Ever since joining the ACC, both the Men’s and Women’s Soccer programs have grown into teams competing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament on an annual basis. Recruiting classes have improved, the players have stepped up against the top teams in the nation, and both teams have seen school records broken. This past week two Hokies were given the chance to make their professional dreams come true.
Kasak drafted by Sporting Kansas City
On Monday afternoon, Major League Soccer, the top soccer league in America, had its annual draft as it expands to 26 teams this season. In the fourth and final round of the draft, Sporting Kansas City selected senior forward James Kasak. After four years in the program he becomes just the 7th Hokie to be taken in the MLS Draft.
Speaking to HokieSports after his selection Kasak commented, “Playing at Tech transformed me as a player. My coaches and teammates helped me develop tremendously and pushed me to grow. I definitely still have more years to develop, but can’t wait to get started.”
Despite a re-brand, Sporting KC is one of the original franchises in MLS and has a very loyal fanbase. With international players like Johnny Russell (Scotland) and Alan Pulido (Mexico) at the forward position, along with rising young American talent Gianluca Busio, if Kasak earns a contract he will likely spend the season with the club’s reserve team - Sporting KC II - adapting to the pro level. SKC2 play in the USL Championship, which is the second division in US soccer.
McGlynn drafted by Sky Blue FC
If you’ve followed Hokies Women’s Soccer for the past four years you are well familiar with the name Mandy McGlynn. Arguably the best Virginia Tech Women’s Soccer player in the history of the program. While in Blacksburg she posted a school record 32 shutouts, earning All-ACC First Team and Virginia Player of the Year honors, on her way to call-ups by the US Women’s U18 and U20 National Teams.
McGlynn stated after her selection, “Thank you to my Virginia Tech coaches – Chugger Adair, Matt Gwilliam and Drew Kopp – for recruiting me and giving me an amazing platform all four years. Thank you to my youth coach Chris Barocas for developing me and making me the goalkeeper I am today. I’d also like to thank Tony DiCicco, he developed my youth coach Chris and as well as myself. He saw something in me at a young age and I wish he could be here today. Lastly, thank you to all the teammates that I’ve had throughout my career for always believing in me and, most importantly, thank you to the NWSL for giving us a league to follow our dreams.”
Canadian National Team player Kailen Sheridan has been Sky Blue’s main goalkeeper for the past four seasons. DiDi Haracic was traded to the club last season, making five appearances, while Kaylan Marckese was added to the team in the 2019 Draft. Sky Blue, nor any pro soccer team, will open their season with four keepers on the roster. The club clearly see potential in McGlynn, so expect a trade or player release in the next few weeks to free up a spot for her ahead of the 2020 season.
Best of luck to James and Mandy as they goes forward in their pro career.