Sports

Stanford's Vincent goes No. 4 overall in the MLS SuperDraft

 

Stanford senior captain Brandon Vincent became the second-highest Cardinal selection in MLS SuperDraft history when he was tabbed with the fourth overall pick by the Chicago Fire at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md., on Thursday morning.

Vincent is the seventh Stanford player taken in the first round and second under head coach Jeremy Gunn, following JJ Koval going ninth to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2014. Chad Marshall, who went No. 2 to the Columbus Crew in 2004, and Ryan Nelsen, another fourth overall selection by D.C. United in 2001, are the only other Cardinal to go in the draft's top five.

Vincent is the 19th Stanford men's soccer alumnus to hear his name called in the MLS SuperDraft, which from 1996-99 was known as the MLS College Draft.

Vincent, the 2015 College Cup Defensive Most Outstanding Player, was not present at the SuperDraft and for good reason. Last Friday, he was added to the U.S. Men's National Team roster for its January training camp in Carson by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the second Cardinal to earn an invite.

The camp, which runs from Jan. 11-Feb. 6 and contains a mix of Senior Team members and a host of players age-eligible for the U-23 MNT, will culminate with friendlies against Iceland on Jan. 31 and Canada on Feb. 5. Both matches will be played at StubHub Center.

A MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist and the 2015 Pac-12 Men's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Vincent anchored Stanford's back line over the past four years. He finished third in school history in starts (80), scored 13 goals to go along with three assists and put home four game winners.

The two-time captain also claimed back-to-back Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors and is the only person to ever win the award, which was instituted in 2014. On Dec. 10, he was named a Senior CLASS Second Team All-American and a day later he earned his second consecutive nod as an NSCAA First Team All-American.

After Vincent was selected, teammate Eric Verso became the second Cardinal selected in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft when the redshirt senior midfielder was chosen in the second round with the 34th overall pick by the Montreal Impact.

It's the fifth time Stanford has had multiple players taken in the MLS SuperDraft, which from 1996-99 was known as the MLS College Draft. The Cardinal had three drafted in 2001, four in 2002, four in 2003 and two in 2004.

Verso finished his career with 42 starts and 72 total appearances, accounting for 13 goals and 19 assists. He was responsible for six game winners and put nearly half (47) of his 95 career shots on frame. He was a four-time Pac-12 all-academic selection and earned a spot on the 2015 College Cup All-Tournament Team.

Named to the NSCAA All-Far West Region third team on Dec. 9, Verso had his most successful season in his final year on The Farm. The midfielder finished tied for second nationally in total assists (13) and sixth in assists per game (0.57) with teammate Corey Baird. He punctuated his banner year with a goal and an assist in the national championship against Clemson and finished fourth on the team in points (17).

No Stanford player had racked up 13 assists since Roger Levesque in 2002. Verso and Baird are tied with Levesque and Dan McNevin (1978) for fifth in Cardinal single-season history in that category. They become the first teammates since McNevin and Ted Rafalovich (23) in 1978 to each have at least 13 assists.

— Stanford Athletics

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