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Brown, Okai go in MLS SuperDraft

The sixth pick of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Deshorn Brown heard his name earlier than any of the previous 26 Menace alumni drafted by MLS teams.


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 – Add Deshorn Brown and Stephen Okai to the list of former Des Moines Menace players drafted by Major League Soccer teams.


The former college teammates were selected in today’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft. The Colorado Rapids made Brown the No. 6 pick, and the Philadelphia Union chose Okai 31st overall.


Brown heard his name called earlier than any of the previous 26 MLS draft picks with Menace ties. A lightning-quick forward from Manchester, Jamaica, Brown is the second former Des Moines player to be chosen in the SuperDraft’s opening round. A year ago, Andrew Duran, who also played for the 2011 Menace, was the 15th selection (Seattle).


Okai, the 2012 NAIA Player of the Year, is a native of Accra, Ghana who provides a steady midfield presence. Brown and Okai were teammates at Mobile in 2010 and 2011, before Brown transferred to Central Florida for his junior season.


The Menace’s top scorer in 2011, Brown delivered nine goals in 10 matches with Des Moines. In three college seasons, he stockpiled 66 goals, including an NAIA-best 32 at Mobile in 2011. As a junior transfer in 2012, Brown scored 13 times for Central Florida. He was named to last year’s NCAA Division-I all-South Region first team and Conference-USA first team.


In 15 matches with the 2010 Menace, Okai contributed two goals and three assists. A three-time all-American, he earned the NAIA’s top inpidual honor after guiding Mobile to the 2012 finals – a 2-0 loss to Belhaven on Dec. 1. He finished his college career with 66 points (20 goals and 26 assists), with 10 goals and nine assists as a senior.


In the weeks leading up to the draft, many analysts predicted Brown would be a top-10 pick. He officially turned pro a week ago (Jan. 10), when he became the second Menace alum (Danny Cruz, 2009) to sign with Generation adidas. With the goal of raising the level of young soccer talent in the U.S., the program encourages elite American players to begin their MLS careers before completing their college eligibility.


Generation adidas signee Andrew Farrell, a defender from Louisville, was chosen by the New England Revolution with the draft’s first selection. Held in the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, the SuperDraft featured 38 total selections in two rounds. Brown was the third pick among the seven members of Generation adidas’s 2013 class.


Related link: 2013 MLS SuperDraft Tracker


At least one former Menace player has been an MLS draft pick in 11 of the last 12 years. Several alumni, including Lebogang Moloto (2010-12 Menace; Lindsey Wilson College), have hopes of being drafted soon. On Tuesday (Jan. 22), teams will select 76 players in the MLS Supplemental Draft.


Like Brown and Okai, Moloto had the chance to help his draft stock, competing in this year’s MLS Player Combine. The three Menace alums were among the 72 prospects invited to the combine, which ran Jan. 11-15 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


At least 60 Menace alumni have played professional soccer. Click here for an updated list of former Menace players in the pros, including the 28 drafted by MLS teams.



ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Entering its 20th season, the Menace men’s side competes in the 65-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace’s women’s team debuted in 2012, winning the Women’s League Soccer championship. 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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