Former National Under 17 team captain Julius James of the University of Connecticut is one of the newest member of American Major League Soccer team Toronto FC.
Toronto head coach Mo Johnston selected James with the No. 9 pick in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Friday.
The six-foot, 180-pound James was named the Big East defender of the year the past three seasons at UConn, and was named a first team all-American in 2006 and 2007.
Newest TFC member excited to contribute.
In a thick island accent, Julian James, formerly of St Anthony's College, explained how he was excited to begin his professional career in Toronto.
"I love the Caribbean people, and I found out there is a big community (in Toronto)," James told Sportsnet.ca from the Baltimore Convention Center. "I know Maurice (Edu), and the coach is great, I am a big fan."
The native of Trinidad played his collegiate soccer at the University of Connecticut, where he earned Big East defender of the year honours the past three seasons, and was named a first team all-American in 2006 and 2007.
There was a definite buzz surrounding the defender's status at the SuperDraft, with a few pre-Draft blogs ranking James as high as No. 2. When TFC coach Mo Johnston relayed his No. 9 selection to MLS commissioner Don Garber, James was not surprised at his new destination.
"I had no idea, but I wasn't surprised," James said. "There was a buzz around many teams, and Toronto was one of them."
With plenty of hardware to support the hype around his game, James is now looking forward to contributing wherever he can.
"I am a defensive guy," James said. "As of now, I am unsure of my role. When I speak to the coach he will tell me what is required of me and I will do it." (Photo shows James with MLS Commissioner Don Garber after being selected by Toronto FC at the Baltimore Convention Center.)