NPSL at MLS Superdraft - The magnificent nine
The MLS Superdraft for 2014 is over and all the young players picked by the US Soccer's top tier of clubs can now rest easy that their future has been set for at least the immediate time-being.
The emphasis of the draft is to simply take the best young soccer players from around the country, mainly from college, and thrust them into professional soccer in the hope of unearthing a future star.
By developing their current talent, many players have become stars of their club, with a select few continuing on to play abroad and also with the US Men's National team, so by investing in the talent of today, they hope to produce the stars of tomorrow.
We could talk about the conveyor belt of players that comes from sources such as Akron, South Carolina and Wake Forest and in the Superdraft, the MLSs' sole source of playing for the young players is college but there is more to the players development than college play.
You have USL PDL & NPSL during the summer months and in our eyes, in most scenarios, the play is of a higher level than college, and more in the players interest in terms of development.
The PDL has always been the main source for which college players are chosen from and this year was no different but the NPSL also saw a number of their alumni picked in the four rounds in this years draft.
National Premier Soccer League - #Growingthegame
Pick 9 - JJ Koval - San Jose Earthquakes - NPSL FC Hasenthal
JJ has trained and played with FC Hasenthal from Southern California since 2008 and the club finished the 2013 South West Conference season in top spot.
The midfielder, a student at Stanford, played in 74 matches for the University over the term of his course.
"Much respect for him (JJKoval) he's unrelenting...so happy to see him earn this opportunity to play at the highest level of US soccer." - Hasenthal head coach Eric Warner.
Pick 11 - Patrick Mullins - New England Revolution - NPSL New Orleans Jesters
The New Orleans native was the name on a lot of sources lips as being a top 5 pick so came as a surprise that it took so long for him to be picked.
The forward, who had won the Mac Hermann trophy for the second consecutive year just last week, has been a regular starter for the New Orleans Jesters who participate in the South East conference in the NPSLs South Region.
He finished his college career with Maryland scoring 47 goals and 25 assists over 4 years.
Pick 32 - Mark Sherrod - Houston Dynamo - NPSL Chattanooga FC
Sherrod may only have played one season (2011) with Chattanooga FC but he can be claimed as an alumni of the league.
The 6'3 Knoxville, TN native became the first ever Memphis Tigers player to be invited to the MLS combine and obviously impressed as he was picked in the second round of picks.
His first task as a Dynamo player? Playing Patrick Mullins New England Revolution!
Pick 45 - Adam Bedell - Columbus Crew - NPSL Detroit City FC
This guy is a monster on the field. Not just in terms of his 6'6 height but also in terms of his playing stats.
He helped Detroit to the Great Lakes Conference title in 2013 by a massive 10 points but his side were unceremoniously dumped from the playoffs by a surprise 4-1 defeat by Erie Admirals in the conference final in front of over 2'000 supporters.
Adam scored 2 goals for Detroit in 2013 but offers so much more to his comrades than just goal scoring.
Pick 53 - Joey Dillon - Real Salt Lake - NPSL Detroit City
Another from the Le Rouge stable, Joey took part in the 2012 season alongside the above Adam Bedell but saw his season end prematurely through injury.
The club finished second in the conference and were knocked out in the playoff semi-finals against AFC Cleveland.
Played 86 games over four years with Georgetown.
Pick 57 - Alex Martinez - Sporting KC - NPSL Discoveries SC
Alex may never have kicked a ball for the NPSL expansion side but played through the previous years in the youth ranks so we reckon that counts.
Discoveries SC are a 2014 expansion side for NPSL but Alex is the 5th player from the club to play professional, the 3rd at MLS level.
He has experience of playing NPSL sides when he he played against Chattanooga FC in the 2013 Open Cup for PDL side Carolina Dynamo. He scored the opener in a 4-4 tie before progressing on penalties and also scored his sides only goal in the defeat against NASL side Carolina Railhawks.
His work will be cut out forcing his way into the 2013 MLS Cup championship winners in the upcoming season and a trial at an affiliate side may be a good alternative.
Pick 59 - Michael Nwiloh - Chivas USA - NPSL Georgia Revolution
The 24 year-old defender is travelling across the country to fulfil his dreams of playing professional soccer and may well get many starting opportunities for the Los Angeles sides as they look to rebuild from what was a disastrous 2013.
After finishing the 2013 season with Georgia Revolution in second place in the Sunshine Conference, he rounded off his Georgia State career with 75 appearances over four years and a spot on the 2013 NSCAA All South Region second team.
Pick 70 - Daniel Jackson - Real Salt Lake - NPSL DC United U23s
Daniel was DC Uniteds top goalscorer in 2013 with 14 goals and two assists but it wasn't enough to see the Federal City club progress.
The move to RSL for the big attacker will be a tough one as he tries to cement a spot in a talented top tier side that has a MLS Cup championship in their history but more recently were MLS Cup and Open Cup finalist losers in 2013.
Pick 77 - Fabio Pereira - Seattle Sounders - NPSL Detroit City FC
Yet another from the Rust Belt city club, showing that the area is awash with talented soccer players.
The Brazilian midfielder helped his side to 2013 glory with the Great Lakes Conference title as they went 11-0-1 over the course of the season and will finally make his wish of becoming a professional soccer player come true when he starts to rub shoulders with Seattle Sounders and MLSs' biggest signing, Clint Dempsey.
This list was compiled from searching various sources and may be in no manner exhaustive. Please inform us of any mistakes or missing entries.
The NPSL has certainly came a long way in few years and with massive expansion and a more professional outlook oozing from every pore of the organisation, chances of even more Superdraft players in the future look more likely.
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The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL is the fastest-growing national soccer league in the U.S., operating in 70+ markets across the country. Two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, operate U-23 squads in the NPSL. Three North American Soccer League (NASL) also participate reserve sides in the NPSL, Atlanta Silverbacks, Minnesota United and Carolina Railhawks.
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