Kansas City Wizards Select Midfielders Chance Myers and Roger Espinoza in 1st Round of 2008 MLS SuperDraft
(January 18, 2008) – The Kansas City Wizards collected their top two SuperDraft targets Friday. Kansas City selected midfielder Chance Myers of UCLA with the 1st overall selection and midfielder Roger Espinoza 11th overall. Both Myers, 20, and Espinoza, 21, are members of the Generation adidas program that allows players who have not yet graduated college to join MLS while still working toward their degree.
“We just drafted two very exciting attacking players, one on the right in Chance Myers and also what we think is the best left-sided player in Roger Espinoza,” Head Coach Curt Onalfo said. “Both players are members of Generation adidas, so they won’t count against our senior roster, and we can give them the time they need to develop. They were the top two picks on our own power rankings.”
Myers has been in Peter Nowak’s U.S. U-23 camp since early January attempting to earn a spot on the U-23 squad that will go through Olympic qualifying in March. Camp wraps up this Sunday in Bradenton, Fla. Myers was named 1st team All-Pac-10 in 2007 and has previously played for the United States at the U-20 and U-18 levels.
“It’s a dream come true.” Myers said “I will bring a strong work ethic and team attitude to Kansas City. Playing at UCLA taught me how to adapt and play at a high level. I look forward to playing with former Bruins like Jimmy Conrad, Sasha Victorine and Kevin Hartman in Kansas City.”
“Chance Myers is a great young player that has a long-term future in soccer,” Head Coach Curt Onalfo said. “He is technically sound with an unbelievable engine. He is only 20 years old, with 15 years of great soccer left. We are excited to draft a very versatile outside midfielder like Chance (Myers).”
Kansas City acquired the 1st overall selection earlier in the week from expansion San Jose Earthquakes for veteran defender Nick Garcia. Kansas City has not had the 1st overall selection since taking Matt McKeon with the 1st overall pick in the 1996 college draft. In 1996, MLS held three different drafts to stock teams with players. Columbus took Brian McBride with the 1st pick in the “Inaugural Draft” and Kansas City selected McKeon of St. Louis University in the “College Draft”, preceding the “Supplemental Draft”.
Espinoza joins Kansas City from Ohio State University where Espinoza and the Buckeyes finished as NCAA runners-up, losing in the championship game to Wake Forest 2-1. Espinoza scored in the 12th minute to give OSU the lead. He played at Yavapai College, a junior college in Prescott, Ariz.
“I’m very excited to come play in Kansas City,” Espinoza said. “I’m very glad the Wizards have been able to make this dream come true and make me the 11th pick.”
“Roger Espinoza is a young, intelligent and dynamic left-sided player with a great future in Major League Soccer,” Onalfo said. “We are very excited to have been able to draft him.”
Espinoza was born in Honduras but left at the age of 12 to come to the United States. He lived in Aurora, Col. and worked as a clubhouse attendant for the Colorado Rapids for two years in high school. He speaks fluent English and Spanish and looks forward to traveling back to Honduras for the first time since he left nearly 10 years ago.
Date of Birth: 12/7/1987
Citizenship: United States
Hometown: Thousand Oakes, Calif.
Date of Birth: 10/25/1986
Citizenship: United States
Hometown: Aurora, Col.
Myers GP GS G A
UCLA 2007 21 21 3 0
UCLA 2006 21 5 1 4
Totals 42 26 4 4
Espinoza GP GS G A
Ohio State 2007 26 25 3 3
Yavapai JC 2006 NO RECORDS
Totals 26 25 3 3
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