Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Marlon Hairston, the pride of Mississippi
by Paul Kennedy, January 8th, 2014 6:06PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  college men, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS ROOKIE CLASS: Ten to Watch] Mississippi is off the beaten path in terms of soccer, but it has sent a number of players to MLS. The latest: Louisville sophomore Marlon Hairston, who signed as a homegrown contract and is considered one of the top midfield prospects in the 2014 SuperDraft.

The player who put Mississippi soccer on the map was the aptly named Justin Mapp, who signed with MLS out of the second U.S. under-17 national team residency class in Bradenton, Fla., in 2002 and will be entering his 13th MLS season in 2014.

MLS Rookie Class: Ten to Watch
1. Jordan Allen (Univ. of Virginia-signed with Real Salt Lake)
Read his story. Follow @jayalllen.
2. Steve Birnbaum (Univ. of California)
Read his story. Follow @StevenBirnbaum
3. Marlon Hairston (Univ. of Louisville)
Follow @MARLYG10

Mapp's connection to Mississippi led to Chicago playing preseason games there during his eight seasons with the Fire. And it was instrumental in the Fire later starting an affiliate program with the Mississippi Fire Juniors, which led to the signing of former U.S. U-17 Kellen Gulley as a "homegrown" player after he spent the 2011-12 season with the Fire's academy team in Chicago.

Like Mapp and Gulley, Hairston spent time in Bradenton, in his case as a four-year resident at IMG Academy's soccer program. He grew up near a soccer field in Jackson, took up soccer at age of 3 and played at Central Jackson Soccer, but he says he jumped at the chance to get away from what he termed the "distractions" of Jackson when he got a call out of the blue with the offer of a scholarship to IMG valued at $70,000 a year. He was named the 2011-12 IMG Academy Offensive Player of the Year before enrolling at Louisville in 2012.

Hairston, who was called up to the U.S. under-20 national team that competed in the 2013 Toulon Tournament, might not step in and start immediately like fellow Louisville products, Austin Berry (2012 MLS Rookie of Year with Chicago) and Andrew Farrell (2013 No. 1 SuperDraft pick with New England), did the last two season, but their success will make a lot of MLS teams look at him seriously.

The lanky Hairston has been compared to MLS veteran Shalrie Joseph in both his looks (the same dreadlocks) and the easy manner in which he patrols the middle of the park.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: CFU president Gordon Derrick    
"I think it is just politics, people are trying to create an atmosphere. If they can ...
Former USL PRO coach cleared on homicide charges    
Chris Spendlove, a former OKC Energy FC assistant coach, was cleared on charges in the death ...
Orlando City presents new details of downtown stadium    
Orlando City presented additional details of its $155 million downtown stadium that will have an increased ...
Video Pick: Amazing overhead golazo in Paraguay    
The Torneo Clausura season is still young in Paraguay, but it may already have its goal ...
Fox Sports will air all 306 Bundesliga matches    
Fox Sports will debut its coverage of the German Bundesliga on Aug. 14 when defending champion ...
NASL Roundup: Rowdies sign second No. 1 MLS draft pick    
First they signed Freddy Adu, Now, the Tampa Bay Rowdies have signed Omar Salgado, giving them ...
MLS All-Star Game averages 833,000 viewers    
Wednesday's AT&T MLS All-Star Game drew 548,000 viewers for Fox Sports 1's first broadcast of the ...
What They're Saying: Hugo Perez    
"I hereby thank the Salvadoran people for their support in regards to the position of national-team ...
ICYMI | MLS: Drogba gets a rock-star greeting in Montreal    
Hundreds of fans turned out to welcome Didier Drogba to Montreal. Philly's new signing, Tranquillo Barnetta, ...
U.S. Abroad: Torres absent from Copa Libertadores final    
After starting both legs of the semifinals, Jose Torres did not play for Mexico's Tigres in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives