MLS draftee Austin Ledbetter is shown in the Menace's 2-0 win over Tulsa in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 – Des Moines Menace alumni Austin Ledbetter and Andrew Putna were selected this afternoon in the third round of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
FC Dallas chose Ledbetter with the draft’s 53rd pick, five spots after Real Salt Lake called Putna’s name. Ledbetter, a defender with the 2016 Menace, and Putna, a goalkeeper for Des Moines in 2015, bring the number of Menace players drafted by MLS teams to 45.
On Friday, another pair – Daniel Johnson (chosen 11th by Chicago) and Jalen Brown (38th by New York City FC) – was added to this growing list of Menace alumni selected in the MLS draft.
Ledbetter earned Premier Development League all-conference honors last year after captaining the Menace to its third straight Heartland Division championship.
A native of St. Charles, Mo., Ledbetter followed his successful summer with a memorable finish to his college career. He guided Southern Illinois-Edwardsville to a Cinderella run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and he built a collection of individual accolades along the way. He was the Missouri Valley Conference’s player of the year and defender of the year, and he was also named most valuable player of the MVC Tournament.
Putna appeared in two matches for the 2015 Menace – both shutouts. The Lemont, Ill., native starred for Illinois-Chicago; As a freshman (2013) and as a senior, he was the Horizon League’s goalkeeper of the year.
The first two rounds of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft were announced on Friday in Los Angeles. The draft concluded today with the third and fourth rounds conducted by conference call. Putna and Ledbetter were today’s fourth and ninth selections.
- In the last six years alone, MLS teams have drafted 21 Menace alumni.
- This is the second straight year that four Menace alumni have been drafted; In 2016, Chase Minter, Chris Hellmann, Vince Cicciarelli and Jacob Speed were MLS draft picks.
- Every Menace team from 1998 to 2016 has included at least one MLS draft pick.
- Here is the updated list of 45 Menace alumni selected by MLS teams.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Preparing for its 24th season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). Entering its sixth season, the Menace women’s team is part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). With loyal support, the Menace men’s and women’s teams play their home games at the Valley Stadium in West Des Moines to provide family-fun entertainment. The Menace organization provides the growth of the game of soccer in Iowa with their youth soccer programs, including Junior Menace (ages 3-9), Menace Youth Academy (ages six and older), and youth tournaments, camps and clinics.