Men’s Soccer Players Prepared for MLS SuperDraft
On Thursday, Penn State students Corey Hertzog and Matheus Braga will be hoping to hear their names called at the Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft held in Baltimore, MD. After illustrious careers on Penn State’s Men’s Soccer team, both players are expected to get picked in the three round draft.
Hertzog, a junior, is leaving school a year early as part of the Generation Adidas program. Generation Adidas is a joint venture between MLS and U.S. Soccer that aims to raise the level of youth soccer in the United States. The program benefits MLS teams because the players do not count against the salary cap. The program also benefits the players by helping them to earn higher than the minimum salary in MLS.
Hertzog had a tremendous final season at Penn State, leading the nation in scoring with 20 goals. Steve Davis at Sports Illustrated has Hertzog getting picked 13th by the New York Red Bulls. However, Hertzog, who grew up in Allentown, PA., told MLSSoccer.com, “I’d love to play for the [Philadelphia] Union and be close to home.” Philadelphia has the fifth pick in the draft.
Braga is leaving Penn State after a great senior season at Penn State. He led the Nittany Lions with 17 assists, while also contributing five goals. Early projections had Braga as high as a late first-round pick, but since then his stock has fallen. Braga has shown glimpses of greatness on the field, but it would be too risky for a team to take him in the first round.
The MLS SuperDraft has changed over the years along with the constantly changing league. The draft is unique to the United States, and it keeps teams from bidding against one another for the best players. The draft also offers players like Braga a chance to prove themselves by training at the MLS combine. Both Hertzog and Braga participated at the combine, and the video below shows Hertzog scoring two goals while there.
The first round of the MLS SuperDraft will be aired on ESPN2 at noon on Thursday. Hertzog will most likely hear his name called during this broadcast. If you want to know where Braga gets picked, the second and third rounds will be shown on MLSSoccer.com.