Greenville, S.C. – Furman University senior Coleton Henning and sophomore Walker Zimmerman are among those hoping to hear their name called when Major League Soccer holds its 2013 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday in Indianapolis, Ind.
The two-round, 38-selection draft will take place at the Indiana Convention Center in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention and is set to begin at 12 p.m. ET. The opening pick of the draft will be aired on ESPN's SportsCenter while the entire MLS SuperDraft will be available online at MLSNet.com, ESPN3 and on YouTube.
"We are excited for both Coleton and Walker and can't wait to see where they will begin the professional careers," said Paladin head coach Doug Allison, who will be in attendance in Indianapolis. "Whatever happens on Thursday, they have both represented this soccer program and Furman University in a first class manner both on and off the field."
Henning, the 2011 Southern Conference Player of the Year, participated in the MLS Combine this past weekend in Lauderhill, Fla. The Shawnee, Kan., native played three games in front of MLS coaches, scouts and front office personnel who were getting a last look at the top talent before this week's draft. Henning was named to the All-SoCon First Team for the third time in his Paladin career this past season after netting eight goals in 17 matches. The forward/midfielder, who finished his five-year run at Furman with 24 goals and 12 assists, became the first three-time first team selection for Furman since Jon Leathers accomplished the feat in 2007.
Zimmerman, who inked a Generation adidas contract with MLS earlier this month, is projected to be selected in the top five picks on Thursday. Generation adidas players are typically among the top selections in the MLS SuperDraft, and they also do not count against a team's salary budget. As part of their contract, the college underclassmen also receive educational grants to continue their college education.
A College Soccer News All-American First Team pick, NSCAA All-American Second Team selection and member of the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Season, Zimmerman scored six goals and added three assists while guiding the Paladins to a 12-4-3 record during the 2012 season. The 6-foot-3 center back from Lawrenceville, Ga., netted the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Florida International and led Furman to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory against Clemson with a game-tying goal in the second half.
The defender and two-time All-SoCon pick captured third team NSCAA All-American in 2011, as Furman reached the NCAA Tournament. He has been a regular starter for the United States U-20 National Team during 2012.
Furman has had seven different players selected in the MLS SuperDraft since 2000, including two in 2008 when Shea Salinas and Jon Leathers were both taken in the second round. Former Paladin and current Houston Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark was Furman's highest selection, going as the No. 2 overall pick to the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 2003.
Furman In The MLS Draft
Name Year Rd. Team
Daniel Alvarez 2000 4th MetroStars
Seth Marks 2000 5th Dallas Burn
Daniel Alvarez 2002 3rd Colorado Rapids
J. Barry Nusum 2002 3rd Columbus Crew
Ricardo Clark 2003 1st/#2 MetroStars
Clint Dempsey 2004 1st/#8 New England
Shea Salinas 2008 2nd/ #15 San Jose
Jon Leathers 2008 2nd/ #25 Kansas City