The four captains of the 2018 national champion Maryland men’s soccer team were selected in the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft on Friday, the most players taken from a single program.
Minnesota United FC selected goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair with the No. 7 overall pick and then traded up to take defender Chase Gasper at No. 15. In the second round, the Houston Dynamo picked Andrew Samuels at No. 33 and the Montreal Impact took Amar Sejdic with the next pick.
The four players taken through two rounds are Maryland’s highest number of draftees since 2009, when a program-record five were selected one month after the Terps’ previous national championship in 2008.
St. Clair was the first goalie selected and the highest-drafted Terp in six years after recording 13 shutouts during his redshirt junior season. He inked a deal with Generation Adidas, forgoing his final year of eligibility with Maryland.
For the last two seasons, St. Clair featured as the lone Terps goalie. He finished with a 24-12-8 record, posting 143 saves and 23 shutouts in his career. He recorded five straight clean sheets in the NCAA tournament to win the title.
When Minnesota selected Gasper later in the first round, it marked the first time since 2014 that Maryland had two first-round picks in the same year. The left back’s stock rose with the Terps’ national championship run and his MLS combine performance.
Gasper’s college career began in 2014 when he lost in the national championship with UCLA, and it ended with a national championship victory with Maryland. After three years with the Bruins, Gasper transferred to College Park for his final two years of eligibility — having received an extra year due to injury.
Still plagued by injuries, Gasper missed five games as a redshirt junior and eight this year. A vital piece to the team, the Terps went 4-7-2 without their left back in the lineup and 19-4-6 with him included. Gasper was the only member of Maryland’s starting backline available for the draft, with Donovan Pines ineligible due to his homegrown status with D.C. United.
Pines has signed an agent and begun discussions with D.C. United. If he doesn’t strike a deal, the club could trade away his rights to another team or Pines can pursue overseas options.
The Houston Dynamo traded up and used the No. 33 overall pick on Andrew Samuels, who was announced as a defender but played as a defensive midfielder for Maryland. Samuels started in all 23 games this season, logging the third-most minutes on the team.
Sejdic became the leader of Maryland’s offense, which scored in the final 12 games on the season. He netted a team-leading eight goals, including the game-winning penalty kick in the national championship. He was named the College Cup’s most outstanding player on offense.
The third and fourth rounds of the SuperDraft will be held on Monday via conference call. Maryland forwards Sebastian Elney and DJ Reeves remain unselected.