Six Pac-10 Players Selected in 2011 MLS Draft
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Led by CALIFORNIA defender and 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year A.J. Soares, who was selected with the No. 6 overall pick by the New England Revolution, six Pac-10 men's soccer players were chosen in the 2011 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft on Thursday. Two players were selected in the first round, while three went in the second round and one in the third. The Golden Bears were well-represented in the draft with five picks, the most in program history. STANFORD had one player chosen.
Since the Pac-10 began sponsoring men's soccer in 2000, the Conference has seen 81 players drafted in the MLS SuperDraft, including four No. 1 picks.
A 2010 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy semifinalist, Soares is the highest Cal player to be taken in the MLS SuperDraft and any MLS college draft. The Solana Beach, Calif., native was one of four college seniors to sign with the MLS ahead of the 2011 MLS Combine and SuperDraft. Soares earned first team All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) after leading a stingy Cal defense that allowed just 17 goals and posted eight shutouts in 2010. A two-time first team All-Pac-10 honoree, Soares was also a key contributor for the Bears on offense, posting career highs in points (11) and goals (5).
Stanford's Bobby Warshaw was the second Pac-10 player selected in the first round when FC Dallas drafted him at No. 17. Warshaw becomes the first Cardinal player selected in the MLS SuperDraft since 2005. A native of Mechanicsburg, Pa., the midfielder/defender was a three-time first team All-Pac-10 honoree and was an NSCAA first team All-American in 2009. Warshaw was a 2009 MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. He scored 18 goals in his Stanford career and led the Cardinal in scoring his first three years, even after being moved to defender as a junior.
Cal forward/defender Demitrius Omphroy was taken with the eighth pick of the second round (26th overall) by Toronto FC. The Alameda, Calif., native collected a career-high six assists in his final season as a Bear. Omphroy trained with the Panamanian National Team last summer.
Midfielder Servando Carrasco became the third Bear to be drafted, going to the Seattle Sounders as the 27th overall pick. The San Diego product posted career-highs in points (17) and goals (7) as a senior. Carrasco was a first team All-Pac-10 and third team NSCAA Far West Region selection in 2010.
Cal midfielder Hector Jimenez went 34th overall to the Los Angeles Galaxy. A three-time All-Pac-10 first team member, Jimenez finished his career ranked second on the school's all-time assist list with 28. The Bell Gardens, Calif., native recorded two goals and six assists in 2010.
Forward Davis Paul was the fifth Bear to hear his name called on draft day as the 51st overall pick (third round) by the Chicago Fire. A third team NSCAA All-American, Paul set the Cal single-season assist record with 14 to finish fourth nationally. The Upland, Calif., native ranks fourth on the school's career assist list with 21. Paul led the Pac-10 with 30 points in his final season.
The 2010 Pac-10 Champion Golden Bears advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, falling to eventual national champion Akron on penalty kicks. Cal finished the season 14-2-4 and matched the 2005 team for the program's deepest program run. Stanford completed the season with an 8-10-0 overall record.
Photo Credits: Major League Soccer