Four Huskies selected in MLS Draft
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 00:01
The University of Connecticut showed its pedigree at last week’s MLS SuperDraft in Indianapolis by having four recent graduates drafted by MLS clubs.
Senior captain Carlos Alvarez was the second overall pick by Chivas USA, making him the ninth ex-UConn player to be selected in first round.
Alvarez, 22, who was a back-to-back member of the NCAA All-America Second Team, and was named the Big East Midfielder of The Year in his senior season, made over 80 appearances for UConn during his four-year career in Storrs, scoring 20 goals and providing 42 assists.
Alvarez was selected by Chivas USA not only because of his tireless work rate and his silky passing but for his family lineage as well.
Chivas USA is owned by Jorge Vergara, who also owns Chivas de Guadalajara a Mexican soccer club (where current Manchester United star Javier Hernández started his career), wants his Chivas USA side to represent the Latino people of Los Angeles. This means Chivas USA will now mostly field a team comprised of Mexicans or Mexican-Americans.
Strangely enough Alvarez already has a strong connection to the Chivas name. His father played for Chivas de Guadalajara professionally before moving to Los Angeles.
Along with Carlos Alvarez, UConn had seniors Jossimar Sanchez, Stephane Diop, and Max Wasserman all selected in the MLS Supplemental Draft.
Jossimar Sanchez, better known as Jozy, was selected with the 42nd overall pick (fourth in the Supplemental draft) by the hometown New England Revolution. Sanchez played and started 12 matches his senior season, all at center back before breaking his leg against Marquette on Oct. 6. Prior to his senior season Sanchez played at defensive midfield 61 times, so it is unknown where Revs second year head coach Jay Heaps will use him, but it is known that he will be an excellent squad player whose versatility and leadership skills make him valuable.
The third UConn player selected in the 2013 MLS draft was midfielder/forward Stephane Diop, who was selected with the 89th overall pick (51st in the Supplemental draft) by the New York Red Bulls. Diop’s UConn career included 16 goals and 16 assists in 82 games, including a memorable strike to beat Louisville in the Big East Conference Tournament Semifinals at Red Bull Arena, the stadium where he will now play his home games. Diop has a good chance of making the team due to the turbulent off-season for the Red Bulls, which saw 14 players leave the club and will even have a chance to link up with former UConn player Toni Ståhl who was invited to trial with New York this preseason.
The final UConn player selected in the draft was right back Max Wasserman who was selected by Real Salt Lake with the 107th overall pick (69th in the Supplemental draft) will be in direct competition with Brock Granger from Louisville for the reserve right back position. Wasserman played as at right midfielder, left back and right back while at UConn racking up 71 total matches with 6 goals and 10 assists and was the free kick and corner kick specialist.