Major League Soccer Draft Day Arrives: De Smet's Bruin Selected
Major League Soccer's draft starts Thursday morning; De Smet, Chaminade and Priory grads could be selected.
Thursday Update: Will Bruin has been selected by the Houston Dynamo with the 11th pick in the first round of today's Major League Soccer SuperDraft. The team traded up to acquire the De Smet grad. Stay with Patch throughout the day for updates.
Coming off his recent runner-up finish in Hermann Trophy voting for NCAA award for soccer's top player, which was handed out at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, former De Smet Spartan Will Bruin had no time to rest. He had a plane to catch.
"My next step is a 6 a.m. flight to Florida to be a part of the MLS combine," Bruin said.
The combine featured approximately 70 of the top MLS draft prospects in practice and games ahead of Thursday's draft. Bruin enjoyed a strong showing during the competition as he drew a penalty and assisted on a goal in his team's first match.
Likely to be a top-five pick, Bruin may be considered the best overall striker in the draft, and his performance at the combine only solidified that. The step into Major League Soccer is only one in a series De Smet's coach Greg Vitello predicts for his former player.
"He has proved himself beyond a shadow of a doubt," Vitello said. "Some day soon, I believe, he will represent the U.S. on the national team, and he will do it with pride."
It could be a steep drop from Bruin's top-five pick expectations to the next player with Creve Coeur ties selected in the draft. A pair of candidates are seen as probable choices with former Chaminade goaltender Joe Willis from the University of Denver as the most likely to be taken high in the draft.
"Goalkeepers are at a premium, so I would not be surprised to see Joe go as a second round pick," Chaminade coach Mike Gauvai, said. "He has great skill. I think he'll do very well in the MLS."
Defender Josh Walburn, a former standout at Priory High School, is the next local player expected to be selected, though it may come in the third or fourth rounds. Walburn, who will graduate this spring from Princeton University, was selected to the All-Ivy League team for his play with the Tigers.
The draft begins at 11 a.m. CST and will be broadcast on ESPN2.