Some would call it "The greatest day in Louisville soccer history" after four Louisville players were selected in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, including three in the first round alone. Joking aside, it was a banner day for coach Ken Lolla and it was further validation that his program has become a national power the last two years. No other school had more players drafted than Louisville, and only one other school (Creighton) had four selected. It's no wonder Tom Jurich and the U of L have set aside money and land for a brand new soccer-only stadium. Good times ahead.
Congrats to the four young men drafted today: Colin Rolfe, Austin Berry, Nick DeLeon and Kenney Walker. This was the recruiting class that figuratively put Louisville soccer on the map and gave us so many great memories the last two years at Cardinal Park and the College Cup.
DeLeon, a midfielder, was taken by DC United with the 7th pick of the first round:
Here's a few highlights of DeLeon:
The Chicago Fire drafted central defender Austin Berry with the 9th pick in the first round:
Highlights of Berry at the MLS Combine:
Forward Colin Rolfe fell several spots in the draft after a relatively disappointing season riddled by minor injuries. Adding insult to injury, according to Ives Galarcep of Fox Soccer, Colin had a "flat" performance at the MLS combine. Anyone who tracked his career at Louisville knows Rolfe is a sublimely clutch playmaker and finisher and he'll be taking his talents to South(east) Texas, as the Houston Dynamo drafted him with the 18th pick of the first round.
Requisite Rolfe highlights:
With the last pick of the draft, the LA Galaxy selected defensive midfielder Kenney Walker. Walker led the team with three game-winning goals last season and took the majority of the team's corner kicks. Really glad to see Walker get drafted, he's a player whom I would attach the "tremendous upside" tag to after showing continual improvement in Lolla's system.
Walker's highlight package:
Leading all conferences, 13 of the 38 draft picks today where players from Big East schools including four from Louisville, three from South Florida, two each from UConn and Notre Dame, and one each from West Virginia and Marquette. The ACC had five drafted, MVC (all Creighton) four, C-USA four, Pac-12 three, and the Big-10 had just two (both Indiana). BIG EAST! BIG EAST! BIG EAST!
With the four players selected in today's draft, two in last year's draft and Aaron Horton in last year's supplemental draft, Louisville's sent seven players to MLS teams the last two years. Amazing stuff.