Jan. 18, 2005
Tampa, Fla. - Senior forward Drew McAthy was selected by the Puerto Rico Islanders with the first pick in today's USL First Division, formerly the A-League, college player draft. Teammate and goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was also selected in the draft, going in the second round to the Portland Timbers with the 24th overall pick.
McAthy, the 2004 College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive player, was the first of 24 college players chosen by the 12 USL First Division teams, the United States' second-highest professional level. The Third Team All-American and 2004 Big West Co-Offensive Player of the Year concluded his career at UC Santa Barbara as the school's all-time scoring champion with 122 career points and 53 career goals.
"Wow, that's truly an honor being the very first player picked,playing for Puerto Rico and scoring some goals in the First Division could be some fun," said McAthy who will be traveling to Belgium this week for 10-day trial. "I am just really excited about the next few weeks to see how my professional playing career will begin."
Kennedy was just one to two goalkeepers selected in the draft held exclusively for college seniors, both whom were selected in the second round. The two-time Big West Goalkeeper of the Year was the Timbers' second pick, which sets up a possible reunion with former teammate and fellow College Soccer News All-American Memo Arzate whose contract with Portland was extended following his rookie campaign last year. The College Cup All-Tournament team selection concluded his Gaucho as the best goalkeeper to ever step between the pipes at UCSB with career goals against average of 0.88.
McAthy and Kennedy now join Tony Lochhead, who was drafted by the New England Revolution in the third round of last week's Major League Soccer Super Draft, as the first three players from this year's NCAA National Finalist squad in the professional ranks. McAthy's linemate, fellow First Team All-Big West forward Neil Jones is currently exploring playing options in Norway.