Two Huskies Chosen in MLS SuperDraft

Feb. 11, 2002

Seattle - Washington soccer player Billy Sleeth was selected with the 10th pick in the first round and teammate Bryn Ritchie was chosen in the third round, the 28th pick overall, of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft that was held Feb. 10.

Sleeth, is the second Husky men's soccer player to be chosen in the first round, following former teammate Wes Hart who was selected seventh overall in the 2000 draft. Sleeth was selected by Chicago while Ritchie was chosen by Colorado, joining Hart on that squad.

Chris Gbandi, the 2000 Hermann Trophy Winner from the University of Connecticut, was selected by the Dallas Burn with the first overall pick. Held at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, the six-round SuperDraft featured the selection of 66 players from the college and professional ranks.

Sleeth (Spokane, Wash.) and Ritchie (Medford, Ore.) helped lead a senior-laden Husky men's soccer team to a record of 13-6-0 overall and 4-4-0 in the Pac-10 in 2001. After receiving a first round bye, the Huskies met Northwest rival Portland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where the Pilots won, 1-0, at Husky Soccer Field.

The two Huskies, both defenders, were a part of three consecutive conference championship teams, leading the Huskies to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles in 1998 and '99 and to the inaugural Pac-10 Conference crown in 2000. Their teams earned invitations to the NCAA Tournament each year, adding to a string of seven consecutive postseason appearances by the Huskies and making Washington one of only seven schools in the country to own such a streak.

Ritchie was a two-time All-Pac-10 first team player and earned third team all-America honors as a senior in 2001. In addition to his playing honors, he was named National Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association last month.

Sleeth anchored a notoriously stingy Husky defense and was a two-time All-Pac-10 second team honoree.

Both men, four year starters at Washington, played for the Seattle Sounders reserve team that beat the Dallas Burn in last year's U.S. open Cup.

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