Jan. 18, 2008
(New York) - It was an exciting day for USF soccer in the 2008 Major League Soccer Super Draft. Two Dons were selected as Rob Valentino went to New England with the 13th overall selection in the first round and then Brandon McDonald was tabbed by the Los Angeles Galaxy with the 46th pick in the fourth round.
Valentino and McDonald were two key cogs in USF's return to the national spotlight in soccer, lifting the Dons to back-to-back West Coast Conference Championships (2004-05) and three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.
"This is a terrific day for Dons soccer," USF head coach Erik Visser said. "We are very excited for Brandon and Rob, who made such a tremendous impact on our program. It's a great opportunity for Brandon to train and compete for an outstanding franchise where he will develop under a strong coaching staff. We are thrilled Brandon has the opportunity to pursue a career in the MLS."
A prep All-American, McDonald an immediate impact as a freshman notching five goals - including a scoring strike against Wisconsin-Milawuakee in the NCAA Tournament - to go along with three assists while starting all 20 matches for the Dons. Along the way, he was honored as an All-West Coast Conference Second Team selection and earned the Stephen Negoesco Award, presented to the top newcomer.
As a sophomore he tallied the game-winner against No. 25 Florida International and scored the lone goal of his injury-shortened junior campaign at San Diego. A versatile player, he played on both the front and back lines for USF as a senior. During his standout career he has appeared in 71 matches with 70 starts, scoring 11 goals off 102 shots with seven assists for 29 points. In his penultimate game for the Dons he scored his 11th career goal in USF's 4-0 shutout of Loyola Marymount.
McDonald and Valentino are two of eight players with WCC ties drafted in the 2008 MLS Super Draft. They will join a third member of the Dons Class of 2007 in the professional ranks. Chris Rodd currently competes in the second division in Norway.