Left: Andrew Duran speaks to the media after being drafted by Seattle in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. Right: Duran heads the ball in the Menace's 5-1 home win over Kansas City on July 23, 2011. Photo credits: Left- MLSsoccer.com; Right - Jodi Jurik
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, Jan. 13, 2012 – With the 15th selection in yesterday’s 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, Seattle Sounders FC made Andrew Duran the 23rd former Des Moines Menace player drafted by an MLS team.
Duran, a defender from Creighton who joined the Menace for the push to the 2011 Premier Development League playoffs, is the first former Des Moines player to be selected in the SuperDraft’s opening round.
“I had a rush of emotions when they called my name,” Duran said in an online interview yesterday afternoon at the Kansas City (Mo.) Convention Center’s draft headquarters. “It’s just a dream come true to play for such a great team like Seattle.”
Duran vies for a spot with a franchise that has won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in each of its three MLS seasons. He joins two Menace alumni in Seattle: midfielder Lamar Neagle (2007-08 Menace), who enjoyed a breakout 2011 season, and coach Ezra Hendrickson, a member of the inaugural 1994 Menace who played for six MLS teams from 1997-2008.
Head coach Sigi Schmid, Hendrickson and their staff chose Duran with their first of two turns in the two-round, 38-player draft. Duke’s Andrew Wenger was the No. 1 pick, going to the expansion Montreal Impact.
A member of the NCAA all-America second team this fall, Duran logged 284 minutes in three matches for the 2011 Menace (12-4-0). On the final weekend of the regular season, he helped Des Moines secure two wins to clinch a postseason spot. He played all 120 minutes on July 29 in a 3-2 overtime loss at Michigan in the PDL playoffs’ first round.
The Missouri Valley Conference’s defensive player of the year, Duran helped Creighton (21-2-1) reach the 2011 NCAA College Cup. He anchored a backline that posted 19 shutouts and an NCAA-record 0.20 goals against average.
Duran, a native of Mokena, Ill., is one of four Creighton players who heard his name called yesterday. Former Jays Ethan Finlay (Columbus, 10th pick), Tyler Polak (Chicago, 22nd) and Greg Jordan (Philadelphia, 32nd) were also drafted. Louisville was the only college program to match Creighton’s total of 2012 SuperDraft selections.
At least one former Menace player has been an MLS draft pick in 10 of the last 11 years. Several alumni, including Jhojan Obando and Lance Rozeboom, have hopes of being drafted soon. On Tuesday (Jan. 17), teams will select 76 players in the MLS Supplemental Draft.
Like Duran, Obando and Rozeboom had the chance to help their draft stock, competing in this year’s MLS Player Combine. They were among the 72 prospects invited to the combine, which ran Jan. 6-10 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Obando, a Providence product, emerged as the Menace’s top goalkeeper in 2011; Rozeboom, a New Mexico midfielder and second-team all-American, played for Des Moines in 2007-09.
Nearly 60 Menace alumni have played professional soccer. Click here for an updated list of former Menace players in the pros, including the 23 drafted by MLS teams.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. The Menace men’s side competes in the 73-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace’s women’s team prepares for its inaugural season, as part of the six-team Women’s League Soccer. The Menace teams play their home matches in a fun, family-friendly environment at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. The organization promotes a healthy lifestyle through its popular youth programs, including the Menace Academy (select soccer for ages 9-19), camps, clinics, Junior Menace and tournaments.
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