After waiting until the 10th overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Chivas USA finally got its man. Head Coach Martín Vásquez and the rest of the Red-and-White's technical staff continued assembling the pieces for this coming season by picking midfielder Blair Gavin from the University of Akron.
Gavin, who decided to join MLS after his junior season at Akron, is a Generation adidas player, which means his salary does not count against the salary cap for the Red-and-White. A deep-lying holding midfielder who can create and join in the attack, Gavin already has his sights set on the future.
"I'm very excited to be [at Chivas USA] and start my career," said Gavin, immediately after being drafted. "As a team, we all want to win championships, and that's what I'm going to try to help bring to this club."
At Akron, Gavin helped the team to a 23-1-1 record and a spot in the NCAA National Championship match this past fall, scoring five goals and adding three assists despite playing primarily in a defensive midfield role. The Louisville, Ky. native also has experience with the United States U-18 and U-20 National Teams, and the 21-year-old is primed to help out in a Chivas USA midfield that is dealing with uncertainty regarding the futures of Jesse Marsch and Paulo Nagamura.
"That was our man," said Chivas USA Head Coach Martín Vásquez. "We welcome to our team, to our family, and I feel that he's going to make an immediate impact on our team.
"We see him playing as a holding midfielder," continued Vásquez. "He can do it himself as a number six, he can do it if we play with two [in that position], he can also be a creative player, so we have a huge plus. He's an excellent ball-winner, he has great vision, he reads the game well... we're very, very happy with our pick."
In fact, Stephen Hamilton, Chivas USA's Vice President of Soccer Operations, mentioned that the Red-and-White had even attempted to trade up in the draft in order to grab Gavin, so the whole staff was "thrilled" when he fell to number ten.
Gavin, for his part, is just excited to get started with Chivas USA.
"It's a heavy weight off my shoulders," said Gavin of being drafted. "The last couple nights were sleep deprived, just wondering where I'm going to be. I couldn't be happier. My name got called - it's like a dream come true, since a little kid I've been working for it. It's awesome."
With preseason just ten days away, Chivas USA continues to shape its roster for the 2010 season, and the addition of Gavin is an important part of the process.
The New England Revolution selected five players in Thursday’s 2010 MLS SuperDraft, conducted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. With the team’s top pick, the Revolution selected Zack Schilawski out of Wake Forest. The team then chose Seth Sinovic (Creighton), Zak Boggs (South Florida), Jason Griffiths (Kentucky) and Adam Welch (Lehigh).
“Overall, we’re pleased with our selections today,” Revolution Vice President of Player Personnel Michael Burns said. “We will find out how they interact with our current players and how they fit into our system once they get to camp. But on paper, we’ve improved the talent base of our club and added some quality players.”
Schilawski, 22, was drafted after a successful four-year career at Wake Forest University where he made 99 appearances, scoring 40 goals and adding 20 assists. As a senior in 2009, he scored a career-high 14 goals to lead the Atlantic Coast Conference and had seven assists while starting all 24 games to earn All-America and All-ACC honors. He was also the NSCAA/adidas men’s soccer Scholar-Athlete of the year, graduating from Wake in three-in-a-half years with a degree in biology. He graduated from Wake Forest ranked third in school history in both goals (40) and points (100).
Sinovic, 22, was a two-time all-region honoree at Creighton. The attack-minded left back finished second on the team with three goals and four assists in 2009, all coming from his left back slot. Sinovic ended his career with eight goals and 15 assists in 77 games. He started 66 of those matches. Sinovic played five seasons with the Jays, missing all but one season as a true freshman in 2005 with an injury.
Boggs, 21, scored 18 goals and recorded eight assists for a total of 46 points in his collegiate career which spanned West Virginia, Central Florida and South Florida. He also helped the Bulls win their first BIG EAST Championship in 2008. With USF, Boggs started all 44 games in his junior and senior seasons, scoring nine goals and adding six assists.
Griffiths, 22, appeared in 65 career games with 64 starts in his Kentucky career, earning all-region honors as a senior. Griffiths finished his career with 12 goals and 10 assists, netting two game-winning goals. Griffiths was also a perfect 8-for-8 in penalty-kick goals in the regular season in his decorated four-year career. During the 2009 season, Griffiths ranked second on the team with three goals, adding one assist.
Welch, 21, was the 2009 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and earned all-region and all-league honors. As a senior defender – who also played forward when needed - Welch led the team in points (15) and tied for the team lead in goals (5). He started every game for which he was available in his four seasons, making 71 appearances.
The Revolution is scheduled to open the 2010 season on the road against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, March 27 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The Revs are set to open their 2010 home slate on Saturday, April 10, when they host Toronto FC. Ticket information is available at revolutionsoccer.net.
New England Revolution 2010 MLS SuperDraft Selections
Zack Schilawski -- First Round (Ninth Overall)
D.O.B.: April 15, 1987
Hometown: Cary, N.C.
College: Wake Forest University
Youth Club: Cary Railhawks/Clarets
Acquired: Drafted by the Revolution in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
Seth Sinovic – Second Round (25th Overall)
D.O.B.: January 28, 1987
Hometown: Leawood, Kan.
Youth Club: Chicago Fire PDL
Acquired: Drafted by the Revolution in the second round (25th overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
Zak Boggs -- Second Round (31st Overall)
D.O.B.: December 25, 1988
Hometown: Vienna, W. Va.
College: South Florida
Youth Club: IMG Academy
Acquired: Drafted by the Revolution in the second round (31st overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
Jason “Jase” Griffiths -- Third Round (48th Overall)
D.O.B.: March 22, 1987
Hometown: Bracknell, England
Youth Club: Beaconsville SYCOB FC
Acquired: Drafted by the Revolution in the third round (48th overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
Adam Welch – Fourth Round (57th Overall)
D.O.B.: April 26, 1988
Hometown: Bethlehem, Pa.
Youth Club: Lehigh Valley United
Acquired: Drafted by the Revolution in the fourth round (57th overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.