Major League Soccer has signed eight college seniors in advance of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, the league announced Monday.
Included in the signings are five NSCAA All-Americans, while all eight signees have earned all-region and all-conference honors in their collegiate careers.
Washington Husky player Andy Thoma (defender / midfielder) was among those signed. Thoma is from Los Alamos, New Mexico, and spent four years with Washington. Thoma played in 80 matches for the Huskies, starting 68 of those.
LB Andy Thoma, Washington: Washington plays with three at the back, and Thoma found a home as a wide left wingback in Jamie Clark’s system. Thoma is prototypical left back, with instincts, speed and touch off the flank. In the Huskies’ setup, Thoma is given license to live in the opponent’s third with assignment to track back to find possession. He’s a sturdy defender, but his real gift lies in his ability to get forward. Players this comfortable on the left don’t come around often.
Highlighting the group of MLS signees is Notre Dame captain and midfielder Nick Besler (younger brother to Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler). After leading the Fighting Irish to the 2013 NCAA College Cup Championship, Besler (pictured above) played every minute of the 2014 season, notching one goal and two assists, earning him NSCAA All-America Second-Team honors.
Also notable on the list is Oregon State forward Khiry Shelton, who joins Besler on the NSCAA All-America Second Team this year. The Texas native was named Pac-12 Player of the Year after helping the Beavers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003 with a career-high 10 goals and 12 assists in 2014.
The other players who received NSCAA All-America honors in 2014 are Fatai Alashe (Michigan State), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina) and Andy Thoma (Washington). The other players signed were Otis Earle (UC Riverside), Ramon Martín del Campo (UC Davis) and Dan Metzger (Maryland).