Two Bruins Selected As First Three Picks In MLS Draft
Jan. 18, 2008
Sophomore midfielder/defender Chance Myers was drafted No. 1 by the Kansas City Wizards, and junior midfielder/defender Tony Beltran was drafted No. 3 by Real Salt Lake in Friday's Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
Myers is the second Bruin in the last three years and fourth overall to be selected as the No. 1 draft pick, joining Marvell Wynne (2006), Steve Shak (2000) and Tahj Jakins (1997). UCLA is the first school ever to produce two Top 3 picks in the draft.
Myers, a Generation adidas player, played two years at UCLA, also earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2007 and started all 21 games, scoring three goals. He was also selected to Top Drawer Soccer's honorable mention Team of the Season and earned second-team Pac-10 All-Academic acclaim. Myers, who is from Thousand Oaks, CA (Thousand Oaks HS) is currently in training camp with the U.S. Under-23 National Team and has also played with the U.S. Under-20 Team at the 2006 Milk Cup and with the U.S. team at the 2007 Pan American Games.
'I can't really describe it,' Myers said on the ESPN telecast about being the No. 1 pick. 'Looking at that list (of No. 1 draft picks), those are some big shoes to fill, but I'm excited to get going and get started.'
Beltran, another Generation adidas player, spent two seasons at UCLA after playing at St. John's his freshman year. In his first year at UCLA in 2006, he helped the Bruins advance all the way to the NCAA title game and earned College Cup All-Tournament honors. In 2007, Beltran received first-team All-Pac-10 acclaim after starting all 21 games and playing in all but four minutes on the year. Beltran, who hails from Claremont, CA (Claremont HS), was a starter for the U.S. squad that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup and recorded an assist in the 6-1 win over Poland in group play.
UCLA has produced more MLS players than any other university. In 2007, a league-high 18 former Bruins were on opening day rosters, and a total of 46 players have been on MLS teams since the league's inception in 1996.