Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
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
College longshots land pro contracts
by Paul Kennedy, February 25th, 2014 8:24PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  college men, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] It's one thing to be a Generation adidas pick or one of the high-profile college seniors whom MLS signs before the SuperDraft to lock into a contract. Most college draft picks head to spring training as longshots to make it until the final cuts around March 1 when clubs must be cap compliant. But two players taken in the third round -- French-American George Fochive (Portland) and Ghanaian Fifi Baiden (Columbus) -- have already landed MLS contracts. For look at how 2014 SuperDraft picks are faring in preseason.

2014 SuperDraft Starters:
PICK TEAM PLAYER
5 Montreal:
D Eric Miller
9 San Jose: M J.J. Koval
11 New England: M Patrick Mullins
20 Chivas USA: LW Thomas McNamara
(Players who started Feb. 22-23 in tournament play.)

GEORGE FOCHIVE. On Tuesday, the Timbers signed Fochive, selected by Portland with the first pick of the third round, and second-round pick Aaron Long.

Fochive was born in Washington but grew up in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He had offers to turn pro out of high school in France but chose to play college ball. He didn't qualify academically for a Division I program so he started out at Hawaii Pacific, a Division II school, and did well enough on the field with the Sea Warriors and in the classroom that he was able to transfer to Connecticut, where he started two seasons.

FIFI BAIDEN. Baiden's soccer journey to MLS is even more improbable as he was born in Ghana to a family so poor he helped his parents out by selling kerosene. His break came when he earned a scholarship to the Right to Dream Academy in Accra and eventually another scholarship to the Dunn School, a boarding school in Los Olivos, Calif.

Baiden is one of several Right to Dream players who have gone on from Dunn to play college soccer. Ema Boateng spent one season at UC Santa Barbara with Baiden before signing last summer with Sweden's Helsingborg. Dunn senior Abu Danladi just signed with UCLA as part of the nation's top recruiting class.

A few of the other third- and fourth-round picks still in the hunt for MLS roster spots:

RICHARD MARQUEZ. The lone Division III pick out of Redlands should make the Philadelphia Union roster as it is thin at center back. Just how much the Union likes Marquez was evident as it released a pair of defenders Kevin Cope (Michigan State) and Robbie Derschang (Akron) taken ahead of him in the second round.

ALBERT EDWARD. The lone Australian taken in the SuperDraft (68th overall) has battled long odds just to make into the Rapids' camp. He was a walk-on at NAIA powerhouse Lindsey Wilson. If he sticks, he won't be the first MLS defender to have played for the Blue Raiders. Lindsey Wilson MLS products include Tyrone Marshall and Shaun Francis.

FABIO PERREIRA. The Brazilian out of the University of Michigan was the last player taken in the SuperDraft at No. 77 but he scored on Sunday for the Seattle Sounders in their 4-0 win over the College of Charleston a day after they opened play at the Carolina Challenge Cup against the host Charleston Battery. The Sounders took 31 players to Charleston, so along with Clint Dempsey (on loan to Fulham) and Shalrie Joseph (still under contract), that makes 33 players for 30 spots and Perreira still a longshot to make the team.

2014 SuperDraft Pick Signings:
GENERATION ADIDAS
Round 1

1 Philadelphia: GK Andre Blake (Connecticut).
2 D.C. United: D Steve Birnbaum (California).
3 Vancouver: D Christian Dean (California).
5 Montreal: D Eric Miller (Creighton).
8 Seattle: D Damion Lowe (Hartford).
12 Colorado: M Marlon Hairston (Louisville).
16 Houston: A.J. Cochran (Wisconsin).
17 Portland: Schillo Tshuma (Maryland).

PRE-DRAFT SIGNINGS
Round 1
4 New England: F Steve Neumann (Georgetown).
11 New England: F Patrick Mullins (Maryland).

POST-DRAFT SIGNINGS
Round 1
7 Vancouver: M Andre Lewis (Portmore United).
9 San Jose: M J.J. Koval (Stanford).
13 Chicago: D Marco Franco (UC Irvine).
14 Columbus: D Ben Sweat (USF).
19 Colorado: D Grant Van De Casteele
Round 2
20 Chivas USA: D Thomas McNamara (Clemson)
26 Portland: D Taylor Peay (Portland).
33 Colorado: M Jared Watts (Wake Forest).
34 Houston: F Mark Sherrod (Memphis)
35 Colorado: GK John Berner (SIU-Edwardsville).
36 Portland: M Aaron Long (UC Irvine)
Round 3
39 Portland: M George Fochive (Connecticut).
42 Columbus: M Fifi Baiden (UC Santa Barbara).
54 Houston: GK Michael Lisch (New Mexico).

Source: MLSSoccer.com
Note: Louisville defender Jimmy Ockford (taken in the second round with the No. 21 pick) tweeted on Tuesday that he had been signed by Seattle and was being loaned to the New York Cosmos.


No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
A back-heel sombrero from Greek boy     
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Greek youth soccer, in a game between AO Ioannina and Agia Eleousa, delivers ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"Obviously they must be very sad with the result but when we lose against a team ...
Report: W-League champion Pali Blues are folding    
The LA Blues won W-League titles as the Pali Blues in 2009, 2009 and 2013 and ...
The Messi files: Eight amazing scoring records    
Lionel Messi holds all the single-season scoring records. Now, he is cleaning up on the all-time ...
Mulroy departs NASL runner-up Ft. Lauderdale Strikers    
Tommy Mulroy, the longtime soccer promoter, is out as the president of the NASL Ft. Lauderdale ...
Business Reporter: adidas to open store in Orlando stadium    
MLS sponsor adidas will operate the league's first in-stadium store starting in 2016 with the opening ...
Three takeaways from Manchester City-Bayern Munich     
The Champions League actually includes runners-up and third- and fourth-place finishers, but this Group E game ...
Marshall becomes first three-time top MLS defender    
In his first season with the Seattle Sounders, Chad Marshall has been named the MLS Defender ...
Copa America: Brazil and Colombia will meet again    
Brazil and Colombia, which faced each other in a hotly contested quarterfinal match at the 2014 ...
Referees grab the spotlight in MLS playoffs    
If the goal of a referee is to go unnoticed, the two referees in Sunday's MLS ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives