Last January, RSL midfielder Sebastian Velasquez was a sophomore at Spartanburg Methodist College in South Carolina. Now, the Colombian-American midfielder is set for a breakout year in MLS, following up his solid form at the end of the 2012 season with a dazzling preseason that has Real Salt Lake buzzing.
A technically-gifted player capable of playing at the top or on the outside of RSL’s midfield diamond, Velasquez should take a huge step forward in his second-year as a pro, with the now 22-year-old playmaker expected to show the league why RSL made him the first Junior College player selected in six years when the team picked him in the 2012 SuperDraft.
RSL: Selected in the second round (36th overall) of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft on 1/12/12
2012: Played nine regular season games – starting five – in his rookie season … Didn’t officially score a goal or provide an assist in league play, but did cause a play that led to a L.A. own goal in RSL’s season opening 3-1 win at the Galaxy on March 10 … Started the first three matches of the season, going 89 minutes in the opener at L.A., playing 84 minutes in RSL’s 2-0 win over New York on March 17 and going the first half in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s home loss to Chivas on March 24 … Didn’t play in RSL’s fourth of fifth game of the season, but again was in the starting lineup for games six and seven, playing 58 minutes in the team’s 2-0 win over Colorado on April 7 and going 63 minutes in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s April 14 loss at Kansas City … Made just two appearances in RSL’s next 25 league games, playing a total of 18 minutes as a sub in RSL’s win at Dallas on April 26 and in the team’s loss at San Jose on July 14 … Appeared in RSL’s final two regular season games off the bench, coming in for 19 minutes on Oct. 17 at L.A. and 27 minutes on Oct. 27 against Vancouver … Made an appearance off the bench in RSL’s 0-0 CONCACAF Champions League draw against C.S. Herediano on Oct. 23
Played two years at Spartanburg Methodist College in South Carolina … Named NJCAA Second Team All-American after prolific scoring season in 2011 … Scored 55 goals and added 33 assists in 33 games in two years at SMC
Youth soccer days included time with Greenville Futbol Club, St. Giles Futbol Club, Carolina Elite Soccer Association and finally Discoveries Soccer Club in Rock Hill, SC, where he played alongside fellow 2012 RSL draftee Enzo Martinez … Born in Medellin, Colombia, and moved to the United States with his mother when he was 14 months old … Monitored his hopeful selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by watching the online coverage alongside his family in Colombia