NPSL veteran Brandon Bye, a product of three NPSL teams, was selected eighth overall in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft by Brad Friedel’s New England Revolution. The draft provided memories of a lifetime as Bye’s dreams of becoming a professional soccer player turned into reality.
“It was great,” Bye commented. “Honestly, the fact that we were able to get drafted and then me and Mark (Segbers) were able to come out to New England and get started right away. The draft was awesome. I was just happy to get my name called. My parents and sisters were in Philly with me so it was a great experience for all of us.”
Having the opportunity to play among the best college players from all over the country at the MLS was huge plus for Bye.
“It was an honor playing with all those guys down there, great players from all over the country and the fact that I got invited was an awesome feeling. Then getting down there was just about playing and showcasing my talents as much as possible along with just getting to know the guys and and playing well as a group. I think I did that and that obviously helped me out.”
Saying that Bye played well there is quite an understatement. The Western Michigan product shined in matches and drills, impressing scouts on each day of the combine. He was the only player to finish in the top 10 in the speed, agility, and power tests.
The impressive combine performance is just one piece of a decorated career for Bye, who is arguably the best player to ever come out of the Broncos’ soccer program. This seems especially true when you consider he is just the second player in program history to be drafted into MLS.
“I mean it’s great,” Bye added. “I got to give a lot of credit to my teammates and coaches because they prepared me for this level. Honestly getting invited to the combine was a pretty big deal to me; I was really excited about that. That’s one of the goals I set for the year and that obviously got me ready for the draft. And I was able to get my name called again.”
Western Michigan head coach Chad Wiseman was excited to see Bye selected in the draft’s first round.
“Brandon could not have been selected by a better organization. The New England Revolution sees the athleticism, character, and work rate he brings to the table every day. As he did at Western Michigan University, Brandon continues to make headlines and the MLS SuperDraft was no different.”
The NPSL was another piece of Bye’s development, giving the Kalamazoo, Michigan native an opportunity to grow as a player during the summer months. Simply put, when others were taking time off, Bye was making a name for himself with three NPSL teams.
“It was nice in my backyard to have Kalamazoo (FC),” Bye continued. “And Grand Rapids (FC) wasn’t too far away and then Minneapolis (City SC) when I headed there in the summer for an internship. It was all perfectly laid out for me and I was able to step right in with each team and play and get my touches during the summer and keep in a competitive league. Honestly that was a great thing and it was nice to do that and then jump right back into the fall season.”
Everyone in the NPSL was lucky to see this future pro in action. His former coaches and clubs all spoke highly of their experiences with the talented player.
“Brandon is a player with tremendous potential and has all the physical tools to play professionally,” Kalamazoo FC’s Mike Garrett commented. ‘He’s an outstanding young man from a great family and we couldn’t be happier for him in getting this opportunity.”
Matt Roberts, founder of Grand Rapids FC, was also quick to share positive thoughts on his former player.
“Brandon was a great player for us during our inaugural season in 2015. His work ethic and drive to be the best player on the pitch is what has gotten him to this point and we have no doubt he will succeed as his desire to improve is second to none. We are very proud of Brandon and wish him luck as he begins this new chapter in his career.”
Minneapolis City SC President Dan Hoedeman spoke of Bye’s contributions to the team and his potential moving forward. .
“We knew he was a special player from his first day with us and are proud that he represented Minneapolis City. We can’t wait to watch him play at the MLS level.”
As you can see, it’s been quite a journey for Bye. You can’t argue with the fact that Western Michigan University and three NPSL teams played a major part in his success. And now he is a professional soccer player in one of the world’s top leagues.
So what was Bye’s first day as a pro like? Pretty great from all accounts.
“We got into our first practice,” Bye concluded. “I was just happy to get here, get adjusted a little bit, and then just start playing with the boys and figure everything out from here.”
This is just the very beginning for Brandon Bye and if the past is any indication, he has an amazing future as a pro ahead.