Kansas City trades to get first college pick in MLS

Jerry Langdon
Date Published: 
USA Today

Matt McKeon, a versatile midfielder for Saint Louis University, is expected to be Major League Soccer's top collegiate draft pick today after a trade Sunday in which the Kansas City Wiz obtained the No. 1 pick from (Washington) D.C. United.

In exchange, the Wiz sent former Virginia goalkeeper Jeff Causey to Washington, giving coach Bruce Arena eight of his former Cavaliers.

Kansas City also received goalkeeper Garth Lagerwey.

McKeon had two goals and an assist to earn MVP honors for leading the West to a 4-1 victory Saturday against the East in the Umbro Senior Classic all-star game at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Washington will get the No. 2 selection and likely will choose North Carolina defender Eddie Pope after trading the No. 1 pick and a third-round choice in the supplemental draft, also scheduled today, to the New York/New Jersey MetroStars.

New York/New Jersey has the No. 3 college pick and the top two choices in the supplemental draft, one of which is expected to be 12-year Italian League veteran sweeper Nicola Caricola.

The other could be forward Ed Rodriguez, who has played outdoors in Mexico and indoors in the USA.

In addition to McKeon and Pope, current collegians expected to be drafted high include:

Forward - Mac Cozier, N.C.-Charlotte; Miles Joseph and Wolde Harris, Clemson; Derrick Brownell, Santa Clara; Jare Guillermo, San Diego; Jeff Bannister, Indiana.

Midfield - Imad Baba, Clemson; Mike Gentile, Wisconsin; Gregg Vanney, UCLA; Steve Ralston, Florida International.

Defender - Brandon Pollard, Virginia; Scott Lamphear, Wisconsin.

Goalkeeper - Chris Snitko, UCLA; Jeff Cassar, Florida International.

All are seniors except Baba, a junior who is leaving Clemson. Another top-rated senior, midfielder Damian Silvera of Virginia, was one of four allocated players assigned to New York/New Jersey last month.

Several young prospects from Argentina and Brazil participated in workouts in Fort Lauderdale and impressed MLS coaches: Forward Alberto Naveda, midfielders Vurno Jimenez, Roberto Gonazles and defenders Mario Gori, Mariano Aguirre and Marcelo DoPico are from Argentina; midfielders Welton and Valdir, forward Tulio and defender Vogner are from Brazil.

Several forwards are among the top players under consideration in the supplemental draft: Evans Wise, Trinidad and Tobago; Nate Friends, Virginia; Paul Wright, A-League and indoor star; Zak Ibsen, with 14 national team appearances; and Richard Sharpe, Florida Tech.

Briefly: Brazil and Argentina clinched South America's two men's berths in the Olympics with victories Sunday. Brazil defeated Uruguay 3-1, and Argentina blanked Venezuela 2-0. . . . The Continental Indoor Soccer League will start its fourth season this spring with 12 teams. One new entry is Indianapolis. Dropping out are Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, San Jose, Calif., and Mexico City.