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
College longshots land pro contracts
by Paul Kennedy, February 25th, 2014 8:24PM

TAGS:  college men, mls


[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:
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:
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).

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

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).

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



Recent Soccer America Daily
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
Coach Michelle French names 20 for U-20 Women's World Cup qualifying    
Eight collegians and 12 youth club players comprise Coach Michelle French's roster for the U-20 Women's ...
MLS preseason returns to Tucson in 2016    
Ten MLS teams will take part in preseason training in Tucson, Arizona, where the 2016 Desert ...
Ellis calls up Colaprico and Lavelle for first time    
U.S. women's national team coach Jill Eilis called in 28 players -- 20 who went to ...
What They're Saying: Chris Dangerfield    
'We used to go to movies, have cups of tea, strange things you do when you ...
What They're Saying: Tim Leiweke    
"I think we have found a site. It's probably different than what people think we're doing, ...
Video Pick: How Ronaldo gets treated by customs     
Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't seem to have a difficult time getting through customs, as demonstrated by this ...
NASL's Jacksonville banks on Tony Meola    
Hall of Fame goalkeeper Tony Meola, whose previous coaching experience since retiring as a player in ...
Video Pick: Messi proves he's fully recovered    
Lionel Messi, out of Barcelona's starting lineup for two months because of a knee injury, scored ...
Red Bulls' success nets Marsch Coach of the Year honors    
Inexperienced head coaches don't often flourish in MLS, yet in just his second season as a ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives