Two NPSL alums were selected in the first two rounds of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia on Friday, January 19th. Brandon Bye was selected eighth overall by the New England Revolution, while Alex Roldan was selected 22nd overall by Seattle Sounders FC.
Bye, who was a standout from Western Michigan University, played for Minneapolis City SC, Kalamazoo FC, and Grand Rapids FC in three NPSL seasons. Roldan, who played four seasons at Seattle University, starred for NPSL side OSA FC.
“I would like give a thanks to New England,” Bye said during a speech at the draft. “I really just would like to say thank you for the experience and I’m ready to get started. Every since I was a little kid I wanted to be a professional soccer player. Today that just happened, my dream just came true. Obviously this is not the end, not the top. But I am ready for whatever comes, whatever challenges, ups and downs. I am ready for it.”
Bye is coming off the most decorated season in Bronco soccer history. He was a Hermann Trophy semifinalist and the 2017 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year in addition to being named a First Team All-American by the United Soccer Coaches and CollegeSoccerNews. Bye was also honored as the National Scholar Player of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches and was an Academic All-American. He is just the second player in WMU history to be drafted into MLS.
The Portage, Michigan native led the Mid-American Conference with 12 goals and 31 points in 2017, stats that put him among the leaders nationally. His six game-winning goals put him seventh in Division I and he also set a program record with 91 shots. For his career he totaled 22 goals and 19 assists. Bye earned no fewer than 22 awards in his illustrious WMU career.
Roldan made 82 appearances (all starts) for the Redhawks and finished with career totals of 18 goals and 17 assists. The Norwalk, California native received United Soccer Coaches All-Region First Team (2017) and All-WAC First Team (2016 and 2017) honors along with several others, including the College Sports Madness WAC Men’s Soccer Player of the Week (Sept. 22-28, 2014) and an 2018 MLS Combine invite.