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Eight WCC Players Selected In MLS SuperDraft

Jan. 18, 2008

Baltimore, MD - Eight WCC men's soccer standouts were selected in the 2008 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, conducted in Baltimore on Friday. San Francisco's Rob Valentino was the top draft pick from the conference, as the senior was selected 13th overall in the first round by the New England Revolution.

Eight of the 56 players selected by MLS clubs came from the WCC, the highest total of former league players drafted since 15 conference standouts were taken in the 1996 inaugural, college, and supplemental drafts combined. The figure marks the most players taken from the conference since the MLS introduced the SuperDraft in 2000.

Valentino is the first inaugural round MLS draft pick from USF, and becomes the fifth WCC player chosen in the top-15 selections in the last five years. Valentino, the 2006 West Coast Conference Player of the Year, was named to the Hermann Trophy Award Watch list entering the 2007 campaign, before suffering a season-ending injury. Valentino spearheaded the Dons' run to back-to-back WCC Championships (2004-05) and catapulted USF Soccer to three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.

A pair of WCC players were drafted in the second round, with Gonzaga's George Josten going 20th overall to the Columbus Crew and Santa Clara's Peter Lowry going to the Chicago Fire with the 26th overall pick. Josten was a three-time All-WCC selection, a three-time NSCAA/adidas All-Far West Region selection and was a NSCAA/adidas third-team All-America selection this past season. He is the first Gonzaga player to be drafted since 2001, when current US National Team star Brian Ching was drafted in the second round. Lowry piled up the honors in 2007, including the WCC Player of the Year award, after a brilliant senior campaign for the Broncos. Lowry led the Broncos in scoring with eight goals and seven assists for a career best 23 points in the regular season and also led the conference in goals, while placing second in points and tied for third in assists from his central midfield position.

Santa Clara's Matt Marquess was selected 39th overall by the Kansas City Wizards. Marquess played three years for the Broncos after transferring from UC Santa Cruz and appeared in 67 straight matches during his time on the Mission Campus. An All-WCC selection in 2007, Marquess notched three assists as a senior, as well as scoring his only goal.

Four WCC standouts were drafted in the fourth round, led by Santa Clara's Jamil Roberts and San Francisco's Brandon McDonald. Roberts, the 2007 WCC Defensive Player of the Year, was drafted 45th overall by FC Dallas, while McDonald was selected 46th overall by the LA Galaxy. Santa Clara's Matt Hatzke was taken by the Galaxy with the 51st overall pick, and Gonzaga's Austin Washington rounded out the selections from the conference as the 54th selection by the Chicago Fire.

Santa Clara's four players drafted marks the highest number of Broncos selected since 1996, while Gonzaga's two draftees is the most in program history.

WCC In The 2008 MLS SuperDraft

First Round
Rob Valentino, USF - #13, New England Revolution

Second Round
George Josten, GON - #20, Columbus Crew
Peter Lowry, SCU - #26, Chicago Fire

Third Round
Matt Marquess, SCU - #39, Kansas City Wizards

Fourth Round
Jamil Roberts, SCU - #45, FC Dallas
Brandon McDonald, USF - #46, LA Galaxy
Matt Hatzke, SCU - #51, LA Galaxy
Austin Washington, GON - #54, Chicago Fire