Duke's Ali Curtis and Creighton's Brian Mullan were amongst a group of collegiate standouts to sign with MLS Jan. 31. Joining Curtis and Mullan were Bradley's Bryan Namoff, Richmond's Craig Ziadie and UAB's David Clemente.
All five players will be available for selection in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft on Feb. 5, at the Signature Grand in Davie, Florida.
Curtis, the 2000 Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year and 1999 Hermann Trophy winner will join MLS after four outstanding seasons at Duke. A three-time all-American, the Milan, Mich., native also finished second in balloting for the 2000 Hermann Trophy. A physical frontrunner with a deft scoring touch, Curtis captured ACC Player of the Year honors in 1999 and led the league in scoring as a sophomore. He finished his Blue Devil career with 134 points on 53 goals and 28 assists.
"I want to win championships and I want to be part of a championship team," said Curtis following the 2000 Hermann Trophy presentation. "We didn't do it during my college career, but whatever professional team I play for I want to help them win a championship."
Mullan comes to MLS from Creighton, where his scoring exploits helped the Bluejays to the 2000 NCAA College Cup final. A second-team NSCAA All-America as a senior, Mullan led Creighton in scoring with 49 points on 18 goals and 13 assists. He capped his career by breaking Johnny Torres' (New England Revolution) school record for career points in NCAA Tournament play.
Namoff leaves Bradley as the school's second all-time leading scorer with 81 points on 32 goals and 17 assists. As a senior, he registered 40 points on 15 goals and 10 assists, while helping the Braves to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Ziadie, the 2000 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, was a three-time first-team All-CAA selection while marshalling the Spider's defense from the sweeper position. His skill and composure in the back make him one of the higher-rated defenders available in this year's draft.
Clemente will be one of the top goalkeepers available in the SuperDraft after earning 2000 Defensive Player of the Year honors in Conference USA. He leaves UAB as the school's all-time leader in wins, shutouts and GAA and was a standout member of Canada's U-17 National Team at the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship in Ecuador.
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