It was a successful day for the Cal men’s soccer program Thursday, as four Bears were selected in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft held in Philadelphia. Steve Birnbaum, Christian Dean and Ryan Neil were all taken in the first round, while Alec Sundly was selected in the second round with the 31st overall pick.
In the history of the MLS SuperDraft, there had never been a Cal player selected above fifth overall, but this year, there were two who received the honor. Center back Birnbaum was selected second overall by D.C. United, and fellow defender Dean was taken next at number three by the Vancouver Whitecaps. Birnbaum and Dean anchored a staunch Cal backline this past season that was widely seen as one of the best in the nation. The pair has a chance to see playing time right away, as D.C. United and the Vancouver Whitecaps ranked among the worst defensive teams in the MLS last season.
Neil, who saw time at both right back and right midfield during his four-year Cal career, was taken with the 18th overall pick by Real Salt Lake. He joins a squad that placed second in the Eastern Conference last season and finished runner-up in the MLS Cup.
To round off the impressive day for Cal soccer, Alec Sundly was selected with the 31st overall pick by the New England Revolution. The center midfielder played a defensive role for Cal this past season. In New England, he will be joining former Cal player and 2011 fifth overall pick A.J. Soares.
Contact Josh Netter at [email protected].