Five Big West Players Selected In 2016 Major League Soccer SuperDraft
Links associated with this release:
2016 MLS SuperDraft Tracker
A Cal Poly program record three players – and five overall from the Big West – were snatched up by Major League Soccer clubs as the 2016 SuperDraft concluded on Tuesday.
Two-time Big West Midfielder of the Year Chase Minter became the highest Mustang draft pick ever when he was selected in the second round, No. 21 overall, by the Columbus Crew.
Three picks later, at No. 24 overall, UC Riverside forward Michael Salazar went to the Montreal Impact to conclude day one of the SuperDraft.
Day two resulted in three more Big West players coming off the draft boards, beginning with Cal Poly defender Kip Colvey in the 3rd round, 49th overall, to the San Jose Earthquakes. Mustang teammate Wade Hamilton went to the Portland Timbers with the last pick of the third round and No. 61 overall.
The final pick of the draft – fourth round and No. 81 overall – also came from the Portland Timbers and they nabbed CSUN’s Trevor Morley, the 2015 Big West Defensive Player of the Year.
The 2016 draft marks the third straight year that at least five Big West representatives have been selected by MLS clubs. The 2014 and 2015 drafts netted six apiece, giving the Big West 17 draftees over the last three seasons.
Cal Poly’s three selections this year not only led all Big West programs, but only 2015 NCAA Tournament runner-up Clemson (four), Georgetown (four) and Creighton (four) enjoyed more selections among any program.
Minter finished his career atop the Mustang record book with 21 assists, while also placing fifth in points (53) and seventh in goals (16). The native of Heath, Texas, was second among Big West players with 20 points during the 2015 season.
Salazar continued a streak for the Highlander program, which has witnessed at one of its players chosen in the MLS Draft in each of the last five seasons. He was named to the NSCAA All-Far West Region Third Team after tying for second in the Big West with seven goals.
Colvey, a first team all-conference pick, helped Cal Poly equal a program record with 11 victories as he set a career-high with three goals. He was the centerpiece of a defense that protected Hamilton, one of the most successful netminders in Big West history.
Hamilton, the two-time Big West Goalkeeper of the Year, finished among the leaders in the conference record book, including saves (293, 7th), minutes played (6,832, 5th), matches played (73, t-5th), and wins (34, 5th).
Morley, the third different Matador to earn the Big West’s top defender designation, notched a career-high four goals en route to NSCAA All-Far West Second Team kudos. He also earned three All-Big West First Team citations during his career.