Kyle Zobeck, shown with the 2009 Menace, was selected by FC Dallas in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 – Kyle Zobeck and Lebogang Moloto were chosen in today’s 2013 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft, bringing to 30 the number of former Des Moines Menace players who have been drafted by MLS teams.
FC Dallas selected Zobeck, a goalkeeper from Valparaiso who played for the Menace in 2009, in the second round (26th overall). In the following round (54th overall), Seattle Sounders FC called on Moloto, a member of the 2010-2012 Menace who comes from NAIA power Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).
The four-round MLS Supplemental Draft, conducted via conference call this afternoon, came five days after the MLS SuperDraft. Menace alumni Deshorn Brown and Stephen Okai were drafted on Thursday (Jan. 17). Brown, the SuperDraft’s sixth pick (Colorado), became the first former Menace player to go in the top ten. Okai went to Philadelphia in the 31st slot.
A Coralville native and an Iowa City West graduate, Zobeck is the third Iowa product drafted in the last couple years. He joins Ian Christianson (Cedar Rapids; Georgetown), the 22nd pick (New York) of last week’s SuperDraft, and Lance Rozeboom (Walker; New Mexico), one of three Menace alumni selected in the 2012 Supplemental Draft (D.C. United).
Zobeck ended his college career as Valparaiso’s career and single-season leader in goals against average (0.91 career, 0.66 as a junior) and shutouts (23 careeer, 11 as a junior). He is the Horizon League’s goalkeeper of the year for 2011 and 2012 and one of 10 national finalists for the 2012 Senior CLASS award.
Before his freshman season, Zobeck spent the summer with the Menace and made the most of his one appearance in goal: a season-closing 3-0 win over St. Louis, as Des Moines rested starter Sean Molony and prepared for a run in the Premier Development League playoffs. He is the first former Menace goalkeeper to be drafted since Mike Graczyk and Matt Allen were selected in 2008.
Moloto starred for the Menace each of the last three seasons, scoring 12 goals and assisting six more. His sixth and final goal of the 2011 PDL season was the game-winner (1-0 at St. Louis on July 24) that clinched a postseason berth. His two overtime goals in a wild 3-1 win in Milwaukee last season (May 15) sealed the Menace’s first win in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup since 2006.
A four-time all-American, Moloto has built a reputation as one of NAIA soccer’s clutch performers. The native of Polokwane, South Africa led Lindsey Wilson to three appearances in the final four, including two national championships. He was named the NAIA national tournament’s most valuable player in 2011, when his golden goal gifted the Blue Raiders their second title in three years. He was named the tournament’s most valuable offensive player in 2009 and 2012.
Moloto finished his college career with 42 goals and 20 assists, with a career-high 16 goals as a senior. He joined former Menace teammates Brown and Okai at the 2013 MLS Player Combine. They were among the 72 prospects invited to the combine, which ran Jan. 11-15 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
At least one Menace player has been drafted by an MLS team in 11 of the last 12 years. Starting in 1998 (the organization’s fifth season), at least one member of each Menace team has been an MLS draft pick. The franchise has seen 21 alumni drafted in the last eight years.
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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