After the New York Bulls signed two Georgetown forwards to homegrown contracts, the Georgetown men’s soccer team stole Major League Soccer headlines again when its entire starting defensive unit was drafted in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. Three of the four were picked Jan. 14, the first day of the draft in Baltimore. Junior center back Joshua Yaro — a Generation Adidas player — led the tetrad with the No. 2 pick, while former senior right back Keegan Rosenberry was selected immediately afterward with the No. 3 pick. Both players were selected by the Philadelphia Union and will have the chance to play together at the professional level. Yaro became the highest overall selection in Georgetown’s soccer program’s history.
Following the duo from Philadelphia was former senior center back Cole Seiler, who was selected by the Vancouver Whitecaps with the No. 16 pick. Former senior left back Josh Turnley did not hear his name called on the first day of the draft, which included only the first two rounds. However, five days later, Turnley was selected with the No. 42 overall pick — the first pick of the second day — by the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“I’m really excited. Georgetown was able put six guys in the pros this year, and that’s a testament to how great the program has become and how hard the coaches have worked to recruit good players and good people,” Yaro said.
Out of the Georgetown defenders, experts are most excited about Yaro’s potential. Many thought that he was a sure bet to go No. 1 overall to the Chicago Fire. Chicago selected midfielder Jack Harrison from Wake Forest instead, before shipping him to New York City Football Club.
“I think the media does a great job of capturing how great a player [Joshua] is and what kind of talent he has,” Rosenberry said. “But sometimes, what isn’t captured is what type of kid he is. He’s such a good kid. He has a great heart and he works his butt off whether it’s on the field or in the classroom.”
That dedication and work ethic are the type of attributes that kept Yaro grounded and hungry and will surely lead him to success on the professional level when combined with his amazing physical and technical ability on the pitch. There are high expectations for Yaro, but he believes he can deal with it by looking inward.
“A lot of people have the expectations, but at the end of the day it comes down to me as a person and what my expectations are,” Yaro said.
Yaro and Rosenberry are thrilled to continue playing together and to build on the close-knit relationship they have already developed in their time at Georgetown.
“It’s obviously good when you’re going into a new place knowing a familiar face. And, I have an understanding of how he plays, and who he is as a player and as a person, and I am excited to have a fellow Hoya joining me in this transition because it makes things a lot easier,” Yaro said.
Moreover, Rosenberry will additionally have the comfort of playing for an organization that he has performed for as an amateur player. Rosenberry spent time with the Philadelphia Union Academy, and even got a chance to suit up with their reserve squad.
“Knowing other people in the organization well…brings confidence I think, and that’s going to make it much easier for me to perform day in and day out in training,” Rosenberry said.
Following Rosenberry and Yaro was center back Seiler, who was named to the Second Team All-Big East this past season. Seiler is unlikely to see much playing time on Vancouver’s first team at the start of the season, but will have plenty of chances to develop with the club’s second team. He joins a prestigious club that finished second in the competitive Western Conference in the 2015 regular season, before being defeated in the Western Conference semifinals by their Cascadia rival, and the eventual MLS Cup champions, the Portland Timbers. Seiler is viewed as a talented and smart center back who makes good decisions on the field.
The last Hoya drafted, Turnley, was named Second Team All-Big East this past season after starting for three years at Georgetown. Turnley joins an LA Galaxy squad that has international stars such as Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, Mexican attacker Giovani dos Santos and Irish striker Robbie Keane.
“I’m just so excited and thankful for the opportunity to go to a storied club like the LA Galaxy and to get a chance to compete against some of the greatest players in the world,” Turnley said, according to LAGalaxy.com.
Although this is not the first time Georgetown has seen players go on to the MLS, this year was particularly historic.
“I think [we] did just as well as any other school would have. Coach Wiese, Coach Gil and Coach Hamel run the organization in such a professional way that as best they can prepare you for the professional level,” Rosenberry said.
Although the 2015 MLS season just ended in December, the start of the 2016 season is coming up shortly in March, marking a significant milestone in these former Hoyas’ careers and Georgetown’s new foothold in the MLS.