Red Stormin’ the MLS: Three Johnnies Selected In SuperDraft

Graduate student Lucas Bartlett was selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

TORCH PHOTO/ Sara Kiernan

Graduate student Lucas Bartlett was selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

The Red Storm Men’s Soccer program had one of its best years in 2021 with a record of 11-6-3, advancing to the second round of the NCAA College Cup. They also made history during the Major League Soccer SuperDraft held on Jan. 11th, 2022. The three players selected were graduate student Lucas Bartlett, senior Tani Oluwaseyi and redshirt junior Luka Gavarn. 

This ties the record number of Johnnies drafted, originally set in 2006. St. John’s Men’s Soccer is one of five programs in the country this year to have three or more players selected in the SuperDraft. 

“Each one of these young men has worked incredibly hard and given so much to this program and this University,” Head Coach David Masur said in a press release. “I speak for everyone at St. John’s when I say that I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished and I can’t wait to see them succeed at the next level.”

The American Soccer Club FC Dallas helped make history for the Red Storm program by selecting Bartlett as the sixth overall pick in the first round. Bartlett’s single-season in Queens has truly made a mark on the program. Starting all 20 games in the 2021 fall season, he finished tied for the most team goals, including three game-winning goals. Bartlett was a defensive back, making his offensive impact more impressive.

Bartlett was recognized for his amazing season by being named to the All-BIG East First team in the United Soccer Coaches Ranking and finishing No. 70 in the TopDrawSoccer Postseason Top 100. 

The Minnesota United FC American soccer program picked Tani Oluwaseyi in the first round as the 17th overall choice. Oluwaseyi had one of the most profound careers to come out of St. John’s men’s soccer program. After an impressive freshman season, scoring four goals, Oluwaseyi stepped into the national scene. In his sophomore season, he became the first double-digit scorer since 2003, en route to ultimately being named the first Big East Offensive Player of the Year for the program in two decades. Along with this, he helped lead the Johnnies to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA College Cup, not done so since 2008, totaling a league-leading season of 11 goals and five assists. 

During the COVID-19 short-season of Spring 2021, Oluwaseyi was still able to make five goals and three assists earning him a back-to-back spot on the All-Big East First Team. 

Although Oluwaseyi was out most of this past season due to a knee injury, he was back in action during the last two games. He was sidelined again with knee-related issues during the conference tournament but returned for the NCAA College Cupmatches.

The last Johnny selected in the SuperDraft was goalkeeper Luka Gavran, being selected during the second round as the 31st pick. Gavarn will be heading up to Canada to become a part of the Toronto FC organization. He started every game this season and led the NCAA with the most shutouts this past season. Gavarn became the third Johnny to be named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year and earned All-American Honors from the United Soccer Coaches and College Soccer News.