Soccer: Seattle taps Lincoln-Way East grad Duran in MLS SuperDraft
By Phil Arvia email@example.com January 12, 2012 8:18PM
Andrew Duran, Lincoln-Way East grad and first-round pick of the Seattle Sounders in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. | Supplied photo
Updated: February 14, 2012 10:32AM
A lot of eyes will be on Andrew Duran when he suits up for the Seattle Sounders in 2012. But on the day he was selected 15th overall in the MLS SuperDraft, the Lincoln-Way East graduate couldn’t help sneaking a glance back.
“Chicago is just a hot bed for high-caliber soccer,” Duran said by phone from Kansas City, Mo., where the draft was held. “There were three or four other guys from Chicago at the combine, and there’s all this competition between the Chicago Magic and the Fire and the other club teams — plus to have a first-rate professional organization there like the Fire.”
Speaking of first-rate organizations, the 22-year-old Duran has inarguably joined one. The Sounders have been an MLS team for three seasons, setting the league attendance mark in each. In 2011, they averaged 38,496 per game at Century Link Field, roughly 15,000 more than any other MLS club’s average home attendance.
“The fan base, obviously, is unreal,” Duran said. “I couldn’t ask for a better place to go and play.”
Duran graduated from Creighton in 2011 with a marketing degree. A left center back, he started in each of the Blue Jays’ 24 games last season, earning Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as Creighton recorded 19 shutouts and set an NCAA record with a 0.20 goals-against average.
The 6-foot-1, 160-pounder was a second-team All-American, rebounding nicely from his injury-marred previous seasons at Creighton. In 2007, mono-like symptoms cut short his freshman season. In 2008, he tore a knee ligament, and in 2010 he had a season-ending knee injury five games into the year.
Still, the 2006 National High School Player of the Year was called “a steal” by ESPN draft analysts.
“I fell to Seattle, and I’m grateful for it,” Duran said. “They wanted me and I wanted to play there.”
Duran spent a week training with Seattle prior to the college season and apparently made an impression. Shortly after being selected by the Sounders, he spoke to their coach, Sigi Schmid.
“He just said that they were proud to have me, that I slipped to them,” Duran said. “I love that. I love the confidence they have in me.”