Coach Gianni Cimmini knows what he has in new goalkeeper Luka Gavran, and it leaves him confident.
The TFC II head goes into the club’s first year in the new MLS Next Pro development loop with a solid figure in net.
Gavran is entering his first season as a pro after being selected by the Toronto Football Club, 31st overall, in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft.
“Luka is a very important character for the group right now, he’s a fantastic goalkeeper, he’s had a fantastic season coming off a season with St. John’s, he’s a presence in goal . . . he can make a big save,” said Cimini, in a press conference after practice on Thursday.
“On top of that, the guys respect him because of his character and personality.”
There’s also a strong presence in the dressing room.
“He’s got a way about himself with how he deals with adversity and he’s got the talent to back it up, so we hope for some big things for Luka.”
Gavran spent the last four seasons with St. John’s University, where he made 25 starts and finished with a 13-8-3 record.
He has high expectations for himself and will take on a leadership role with his new squad in 2022. At 21 years of age, he considers himself to be one of the older, more experienced players on the team.
“We definitely have a younger group, so me being one of the older people, it’s going to be a new role for me as a leader,” said the Hamilton, Ont. native. “Through college I wasn’t really a leader, I was always the youngest.
“This year is definitely going to be different.”
The six-foot-six goalkeeper and Toronto FC II will open the season against FC Cincinnati 2, April 3, at NKU Soccer Stadium in Highland Heights, Kentucky.