A mixed bag of news for Wake soccer fans of late:
- Four Deac seniors were selected in the annual MLS College Draft. Chris Duvall went 22nd overall and was a second round selection by the New York Red Bulls, Jared Watts was 33rd overall and was a second round selection by the Colorado Rapids, Tolani Ibikunle was picked 49th overall in the third round by the Rapids, and Luca Gimenez was a fourth round pick (63rd overall) by the Philadelphia Union. All in all, a deserved sendoff for a stellar senior class, and I hope they all stick in the pros.
- Joining these four in MLS will be rising senior Sean Okoli, who signed a contract with the Seattle Sounders, and rising junior Jalen Robinson, who signed a contract with DC United, where he will join his former classmate Collin Martin.
So for those keeping score: the men's team stood to lose its senior midfield captain (Watts), two starting defenders (Duvall and Ibikunle), a talismanic winger (Gimenez), and at least two other part-time starters/first-off-the-bench guys (Ross Tomaselli and Andy Lubahn). Now, the Deacs will also lose their starting all-ACC striker and another all-ACC defender in Okoli and Robinson. This is a massive, massive amount of roster turnover here, and a very young Wake team could struggle next season.
- Oh yeah... those six players headed to MLS? More than any other school in the country.
- Ian Harkes was named to the freshman all-American team by College Soccer News. In addition, he and fellow freshman midfield dynamo Jacori Hayes have both been called up to the U-20 national team. This is awesome, and a deserving honor for both players. Hayes was phenomenal in the second half of the season, and Harkes is more than living up to his dad's proud legacy. These two will give the Deacs a fighting chance in any game next year.
- A quick women's note: a bit disappointing, but no Wake seniors were selected in the NWSL Draft.
- In slightly happier news, I see Katie Stengel out jogging fairy frequently, so hopefully her blood clots have resolved somewhat, and Aubrey Bledsoe was named to the Top Drawer Soccer all-American team (again).
- So, with most of that cleared up, here's a brief look at next year's recruiting classes for both the men's and women's teams:
Men: Kevin Politz - D (#21 nationally by Top Drawer Soccer); Carter Richardson - GK (#27); Bradley Dunwell - M (#36); Steven Echevarria - M (#36 as well... I guess it's a tie?); Kristoffer Reaves - D (#39); John Schumann - M (#123); Duncan McCormick - M (#127); Zachary Fingerhut - D; William Gauger - F; Heath Honold - F; Chase Rhode; Dominic Scotti - M
Women: Peyton Perea - M (#8); Maddie Huster (#21); Elizaeth Kinkler - F (#98); Pilar Torres - F (#105); Allyson Haran - D (#112); Claudia Day - M; Monreau DeVos; Walters Leigh Haynes - M; Sarah Medina - F; Lindsay Preston - GK; Kahla Seymour - F; Haley Westervelt - M