CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire selected four players - forward Justin Cook, goalkeeper David Mahoney, midfielder Chris Karcz and defender Hollis Donaldson - in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, which was conducted via conference call earlier this today. The four collegiate seniors are expected to join the rest of the Fire roster next Monday when the "Men in Red" begin a three-week training camp at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. Today's four-round draft was completed with the 12 MLS clubs selecting from a pool of eligible players mostly made up of talent not taken in January's MLS SuperDraft.
"Despite what we thought was a very solid SuperDraft last month, we did identify some players that we felt would be good additions to our team," said Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan. "We were leaning more on the attacking and goalkeeping sides of things, so we felt we accomplished what we wanted to round out our roster."
As it did in the MLS SuperDraft, the Fire's technical staff targeted a forward with its first selection and chose Ohio State's Justin Cook with the draft's third overall pick. The 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year scored 30 points on a dozen goals and six assists last season for the Buckeyes and led the team to its third appearance in the NCAA Men's College Cup in the last five seasons. Torn ACL injuries to both knees led the 24-year-old Cook to seek two medical redshirts during his tenure at Ohio State, but the striker overcame the injuries to leave Columbus as the school's first All-American in men's soccer since the 1950's after being named to this year's NSCAA All-American Third Team.
The Fire went to familiar ground for its next selection, as the club chose goalkeeper David Mahoney from Sarachan's alma mater of Cornell University with the 15th overall selection in the draft's second round. The 23-year-old Mahoney, a 2004 tri-captain of the Big Red, was tested often in his two seasons at Cornell, where he ranked in the top 20 nationally for much of the 2004 season in saves per game. He finished his two years at Cornell with a 1.85 GAA, 6-20-3 record and five shutouts in 29 contests, all starts. Prior to his two years with the Big Red, Mahoney played two seasons at Ivy League rival Brown University, where he made seven appearances across his freshman and sophomore years.
The Fire stayed out east for its third round selection by choosing Rutgers University midfielder Chris Karcz with the 27th overall pick in the third round. The three-time All-Big East selection was a four-year starter for the Scarlet Knights and finished his career with 49 points on 18 goals and 13 assists. Known as a gritty player, the 21-year-old Karcz proved his toughness by returning to play his senior season in 2004 after tearing his left ACL last spring.
Chicago rounded out its Supplemental Draft in the fourth round by selecting defender Hollis-Ryan Donaldson out of Liberty University with the 39th overall pick. After standing out at Providence Prep School in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL as a forward, Donaldson would shift to defender at Liberty, where he would become a three-year starter for the Flames. During his career, Donaldson scored 13 points (3g, 7a) in 76 career contests, including 45 appearances in the starting eleven. Donaldson is the first player from Liberty to be selected in any Major League Soccer draft.
Of the 48 players selected in the Supplemental Draft, 46 came directly from the college ranks. Five schools had two players selected Friday, led by NCAA College Cup runner-up University of California-Santa Barbara, along with Ohio State University, University of Maryland, St. John's University and University of California. MLS added the Supplemental Draft this year to help teams fill out their rosters to a record-high 28 players. Eighteen of those will be considered members of the Senior Roster, while the remaining 10 will be part of the Developmental Roster. The league will field reserve teams this season for the first time, giving developmental players a chance to play in competitive games throughout the season.
#31 Justin Cook - First Round, 3rd Overall
Born: Oct. 28, 1980 (24)
College: Ohio State University
Hometown: Oviedo, FL
COLLEGE: Spent six years at Ohio State University, including two seasons as captain... Overcame two separate season-ending ACL injuries... Became the Buckeyes' first men's soccer player to earn All-American honors since the 1950's... Led Ohio State to three NCAA tournament appearances in the last five years... Was OSU's career leader in shots with 191 and co-leader in assists with 17... His 33 career goals rank second in school history... 2004: Big Ten Player of the Year with 12 goals and six assists for 30 points... All-Big Ten First Team... NSCAA Third Team All-American... 2003: Medical redshirt due to torn left ACL suffered in May... 2002: Ranked second on team in goals scored (5) and assists (4) as junior... 2001: Finished second in scoring despite missing first four games due to knee injury... Scored six goals to lead the team... 2000: Big Ten Freshman of the Year... Started all 20 matches leading the team in every offensive category (10g, 6a)... 1999: Redshirted after tearing right ACL and took nine months to recover...
#1 David Mahoney - Second Round, 15th Overall
Born: April 14, 1981 (23)
Hometown: Wellesley, MA
COLLEGE: Played in 36 matches across four seasons of play in the Ivy League between Brown and Cornell... 2004: Played in 13 matches, all starts, while registering a 2.23 GAA, 1-11-1 record and one shutout... Notched his lone clean sheet of 2004 on 9-24, when he made seven saves in a 1-0 overtime victory against Gonzaga... 2003: Stepped into the starting role immediately after transferring from Ivy League rival Brown... Started all 16 games for the Big Red while posting a GAA of 1.54, four shutouts and a 5-9-2 record... Named All-Ivy League Honorable Mention... 2002-2001: Made seven appearances (four starts) during his freshman and sophomore seasons at Brown... Helped the Bears to a share of the Ivy League regular season title in 2001.
#32 Chris Karcz - Third Round, 27th Overall
Born: April 15, 1983 (21)
Hometown: Clifton, NJ
U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM: Played three games with the U.S. Under-20 National Team in the spring of 2002... COLLEGE: Was a three-time All-Big East selection during his four-year career at Rutgers University... Ended his career with 18 goals and 13 assists, playing in 76 games with 71 starts... 2004: Tore his left ACL last spring and missed the first six games of the 2004 season while recovering from surgery... Spent entire summer rehabilitating the injury... All-Big East Third Team... 2003: All-Big East Second Team... Scored seven goals and added four assists in 21 games (20 starts)... 2002: One of seven players to start all 19 matches... Tied for the team lead in goals with six while also registering three assists... All-Big East Third Team... 2001: Played in 25 matches, making 22 starts (2g, 6a) as a freshman.
#33 Hollis Donaldson - Fourth Round, 39th Overall
Born: September 1, 1983 (21)
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
COLLEGE: Known as a versatile and athletic player, Donaldson scored 13 points on three goals and seven assists in 76 career games (45 starts)... Continued to improve technically while making a smooth transition to defender from his normal forward position... 2004: Played in 20 of Liberty's 21 games and started in 19 of them... Finished the year with one point on a single assist, which came in a 3-2 loss vs. Appalachian State on 10-02... 2003: Played in 17 games, starting 12... Registered two points on a pair of assists... Had an assist in 11-0 victory against Southern Virginia... Picked up an assist in a 2-1 win over VMI... 2002: Played in all 21 games, including 14 starts, and tallied eight points on a pair of goals and four assists... Had an assist in 4-1 win at Wofford... Had a career-high three-point game after notching a goal and an assist in a 6-0 victory over Southern Virginia... Dished off an assist in 1-1 tie with High Point ... Netted a goal in 5-1 win over Gardner-Webb... Picked up an assist at N.C. State... 2001: Saw action in 18 games... Scored his only two points of the season on his first collegiate goal in a 2-1 loss at UNC Asheville.