Ten NPSL alums were selected in the third and fourth rounds of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, including midfielder Jaret Townsend (#58 overall – Sporting Kansas City), defender Ryo Shimazaki (#59 overall – Columbus Crew SC), forward Stavros Zarokostas (#62 overall – New York Red Bulls), goalkeeper Andrew Verdi (#65 overall – D.C. United), goalkeeper Parker Siegfried (#74 overall – New York City FC), midfielder Julian Avila-Good (#78 overall – Seattle Sounders FC), midfielder Luke Haakenson (#80 overall – Nashville SC), defender James Kasak (#84 overall – Sporting Kansas City), midfielder Kyle Edwards (#86 overall – Houston Dynamo), and defender Younes Boudadi (#102 overall – Los Angeles FC).
Townsend made 75 appearances (42 starts) for the University of Washington, registering nine goals and six assists for the Huskies. The Highlands Ranch, CO native earned First-Team Pac-12 All-Academic and Pac-12 Fall Academic Honor Roll honors during his collegiate career. Shimazaki played four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth University, making 69 appearances (56 starts) while registering seven goals and six assists. During his time with VCU, the Kawasaki, Japan native helped his team win an Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship while earning spots in the the All-Atlantic 10 First and Second Teams. At the international level, Shimazaki was a member of the Japan U-17 Men’s National Team.
Zarokostas was a prolific goalscorer for the University of Rhode Island, tallying 28 goals and 17 assists in 74 games (68 starts). The Coventry, RI native won over ten major awards during his college career, including United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region Second Team, Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team, Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Week, and Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team honors. Verdi recorded 66 saves and nine clean sheets in 28 appearances for the University of Michigan. Verdi was selected to the All-Big Ten First Team and was named the Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year as a senior after recording 32 saves and seven clean sheets in 15 appearances. The Ivyland, PA native spent time with NPSL side West Chester United SC.
Siegfried won 15 awards during his time at Ohio State, finishing with 48 saves, six shutouts, a 1.64 GAA, and a .615 save percentage during his redshirt senior season. Avila-Good was named All-WAC First Team and WAC All-Tournament team in his senior season for Seattle University after being named to the All-WAC Second Team as a junior. He started all 23 matches in 2019, recording one goal and three assists. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native appeared in 75 games over four seasons for the Redhawks.
Haakenson played four seasons at Creighton University, appearing in an impressive 74 matches. The Maple Grove, MN native finished his senior season with five goals, the second most on the squad. His three game-winning goals led the team. Haakenson played for the NPSL’s Minneapolis City SC. Kasak made 75 appearances (44 starts) for Virginia Tech, finishing with six goals and 13 assists during his time with the Hokies. The Stuarts Draft, VA native also earned ACC Academic Honor Roll and VaSID Second Team honors.
Edwards finished his collegiate career at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley ranked second in career goals with 21 and career points with 49. He has international experience with 15 senior caps for the Saint Vincent and Grenadines National Team. Edwards made his debut in a 4-0 victory over Anguilla on Sept. 5, 2014 in Caribbean Cup qualifying. He spent time with Dutch Lions FC, which relocated to Miami this offseason. Boudadi was a standout for Creighton and finished the 2019 season with 16 starts and four assists. A native of Ypres, Belgium, Boudadi played for Club Brugge and represented Morocco at the U-17 and U-20 levels. He played with NPSL side Laredo Heat SC.
A total of 22 NPSL alums were selected in the MLS SuperDraft this year.
Photos Courtesy of the University of Michigan, Jim George/ISNSoccer.com