Goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton Selected 82nd Overall by LA Galaxy in MLS SuperDraft
Penn State goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton was selected 82nd overall in the fourth round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft today by the Los Angeles Galaxy, the reigning MLS Cup winners.
Unbelievably excited and appreciative to be drafted by @LAGalaxy! Looking forward to getting to work!
— Andrew Wolverton (@a_wolvie) January 20, 2015
Though no doubt an impressive achievement by the 6-foot-6 senior, watching Wolverton slip this far down the draft board is a bit surprising. According to TopDrawerSoccer.com, Wolverton was one of the top goalkeeping prospects available and a projected first rounder, rated as the 17th-best prospect, yet somehow the ninth and final keeper selected in the Draft.
Albeit a late draft pick, Wolverton still has a chance of cracking the opening day lineup. The Galaxy’s starting goalie from last season, Jaime Penedo, is a free agent, and the only other keeper on the roster is 26-year-old Brian Rowe. The former UCLA Bruin was the 24th overall selection in 2012, and has four caps with the first team.
Wolverton leaves behind a strong history of success at keeper, helping turn Penn State soccer into a perennial NCAA title contender. As the starting goalkeeper ever since his arrival on campus in 2011, Wolverton was a key piece of a team that won back-to-back Big Ten titles in 2012 and 2013, including a second-place finish in 2014. The four-year starter is the program’s all-time leader in shutouts (32), goals against average (0.53) and rose to as high as fourth in saves with 225. Wolverton’s all-time record is 38-23-8, and was twice named first team All-Big Ten.
Despite Penn State’s loss to Syracuse in the second round of the NCAA tournament this season, the Atlanta, Georgia native can leave University Park holding his head high. The 2014 season, his final as a Nittany Lion, was arguably his best, as he recorded 64 saves to go along with a 0.90 goals against average and nine shutouts, which placed him in a tie for second in the Big Ten. In what proved to be his final contest in blue and white against Syracuse, he put together a heroic effort, making a season high eight saves to help keep Penn State within striking distance to the very last minute.
Wolverton was one of only 55 college seniors invited to participate in the league’s player combine earlier this month and is just the seventh Penn State player to be drafted by an MLS club in program history, joining former Nittany Lions John Gallagher (2013, Chicago Fire), Mark Fetrow (2012, Vancouver Whitecaps), Corey Hertzog (2011, NY Red Bulls), Drew Cost (2011, Real Salt Lake) and Jason Yeisley (2010, FC Dallas).
Congrats Andrew, and we look forward to seeing you represent Penn State in the big leagues.
Photo: Mark Selders