Storrs Side: Three UConn players taken in MLS Supplemental Draft
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 23:01
Stephane Diop was plagued with the injury bug for most of the 2012 UConn men’s soccer season, making him fearful that he may not get the chance to prove himself at the professional level.
But the Senegalese winger used the time that he was healthy to make the New York Red Bulls see he was worth a shot.
Diop was one of three Huskies – along with center back Jossimar Sanchez and right back Max Wasserman – to be selected in Tuesday’s Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft, a follow-up to Thursday’s two-round SuperDraft.
The three players join Carlos Alvarez in the 2013 UConn draft class. Alvarez was selected No. 2 overall by Chivas USA in Thursday’s SuperDraft.
Diop, the 51st overall pick, was a third team All-Big East selection, scoring two goals and recording three assists. After what he described as his “worst season” at UConn, Diop was not invited to the MLS Draft Combine, making his selection by New York even more special.
“It was very hard for me and I’m sad that I wasn’t invited to the Combine, and there was no attention in regard to me,” Diop said via text message on Tuesday. “I never gave up because I always believed that I can make it.”
Sanchez, who has not played since breaking his leg on Oct. 6, was selected fourth overall by the New England Revolution. After three years as a midfielder, Sanchez moved to center back for the 2012 season. Despite missing the final two months of the season, Sanchez was a first team All-Big East selection this past season. UConn only allowed four goals in the 11 full games he played prior to Oct. 6.
Wasserman was taken by Real Salt Lake with the 69th pick, making him teammates with former Husky Kwame Watson-Siriboe. Wasserman moved to right back from the midfield during his junior year. He registered six assists in 2012, showing a knack for playing crosses into the box. Wasserman is also a free-kick specialist. In 2012, both of his goals came on free kicks.