[MLS ROOKIE CLASS: Ten to Watch]One of the most intriguing prospects in the MLS SuperDraft is Zimbabwean Schillo Tshuma, who signed a Generation adidas contract after two seasons at Maryland. A hat tip must go out to Bobby Clark, whose impact on the U.S. game extends far beyond college soccer, where he coached Notre Dame to the 2013 national championship over Tshuma's Terrapins.
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)
Read his story. Follow @MARLYG10
4. Christian Dean (Univ. of California)
Read his story. Follow @christiandean22
5. Pedro Ribeiro (Coastal Carolina Univ.)
Read his story. Follow @pedronalribeiro
6. Andre Blake(Univ. of Connecticut)
Read his story.
7. Patrick Mullins (Univ. of Maryland)
Read his story. Follow @p_mullins_7
8. Schillo Tshuma (Univ. of Maryland)
Between his stints at Dartmouth and Stanford, the Scotsman coached the national team in New Zealand, where the pipeline to the United States was set up and produced numerous New Zealanders, notably Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen. He had also coached in Zimbabwe, where one of his sons, Tommy, later founded Grassroot Soccer. The goal of the program Tommy, a doctor, founded, is to use the power of soccer to help educate Zimbabweans about HIV. But it is also provides educational opportunities for young Zimbabwean players.
A Grassroot Soccer program with Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., sent Gift Maworere and Shadow Sebele and Tshuma to study at the boarding school. Maworere and Sebele both excelled and later played at West Virginia, so it was no surprise when Tshuma helped Episcopal win three Interstate Athletic Conference titles and went on to play at Maryland. He was so excited about the prospect of playing at Maryland that he took the subway from Alexandria to College Park and then walked two miles to play in pickup games with his future Terrapin teammates.
“No one knew he just hopped on the Metro, walked from the Metro, so he could play a pickup game,” coach Sasho Cirovski told the Maryland school newspaper. “I knew at that moment we had a special young man. He could have made all sorts of excuses not to come play, not to do the running, the pickup. He found his own way here and didn’t even want to tell anybody and just showed up. That’s my kind of guy.”
With his quickness and tricky moves, Tshuma was a revelation in his freshman season, helping the Terrapins reach the Men's College Cup semifinals. His inconsistency hurt him in his sophomore year, but he still managed to score six goals and help Maryland again advance to the 2013 Men’s College Cup, where it beat Virginia in the semifinals before losing to Notre Dame in the final.
Tshuma is projected to play as a forward in MLS, playing off the striker as he did so well at Maryland behind Patrick Mullins, the two-time winner of the Hermann Trophy.
"Schillo made his mark in two years," Cirovski said. "His work rate is special and his raw talent is undeniable."