SALT LAKE CITY - Real Salt Lake today added four players during the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft, including the selection of 21-year old forward Jeff Rowland with the No. 2 overall pick. Rowland, a 6-foot-1, 175-lb. forward from the University of New Mexico, is the only player in school history to earn two-time First-Team NSCAA/adidas Men's Division I All-America honors.
"I saw Jeff play at least four times and he is a solid target. He scores big goals in big games," said RSL Head Coach John Ellinger. "During the last four years he has been one of the best strikers at the college level and we hope he enjoys the same success in MLS."
Rowland progressed from a freshman walk-on to a 2005 MAC Hermann Trophy Finalist during his four years at New Mexico, during which the school's program entered the NCAA elite. Rowland, who led the Lobos to the finals of the NCAA Division I Championships, earned numerous honors and awards including being named to the 2004-2005 First Team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, 2004 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Co-Player of the Year and a 2004-2005 First-Team NSCAA Academic All-American. Rowland is the only player in the country to garner NSCAA first team All-America honors for both soccer and academics in consecutive seasons (2004-05).
The Albuquerque, N.M., native broke the Lobo record for most points in a season (45) and tied the record for most goals in a season (19) in his junior year (2004) and ranks third in points (104), second in goals (45) and ninth in assists (14) on New Mexico's all-time list. During his four seasons with the Lobos, he played in 72 games with 57 starts. Rowland is a 2002 graduate of La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, where he was named a 2001 Parade Magazine All-American and 2001 adidas/Elite Soccer Program All-Star selection.
"Jeff Rowland was the best player available," Pastorino said. "He was a potential first round 2006 MLS SuperDraft pick and we are thrilled to take him in the supplemental draft."
With the #14 overall pick in the second round, Real Salt Lake tapped University of Connecticut defender Willis Forko, who anchored a Huskies defense that won back-to-back Big East Championships while allowing just 0.56 goals per game in 2005. Forko, a native of Monrovia, Liberia and two-time All Big-East selection, boasts family ties to MLS through his brother, Sam Forko, a MetroStars defender in 2002 and also a former UConn standout.
In the draft's third round, Real Salt Lake added depth to the goalkeeper position by selecting Virginia Tech standout Chase Harrison. Harrison, who started in goal for the Hokies in 75 of his career 79 games, owns all but one Virginia Tech goalkeeping record including career shutouts (24), goals against average (1.12) and minutes played (7181).
RSL completed the day by selecting 2005 NCAA Division I Champion Chris Lancos, a defender from the University of Maryland. Lancos, a former member of the U.S. U-20 World Youth Championships and FIFA U-17 World Championships team, is an intelligent and versatile defender who tallied 7 goals and 18 assists in his Terrapins career. Lancos battled fellow RSL selection Jeff Rowland in the finals of the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship, as the Terps downed the Lobos, 1-0 in December's College Cup.
2006 RSL SEASON, MINI-PLAN AND FLEX TICKET PACKAGES ON SALE: The RSL 2006 season ticket package features 20 games, including all 16 MLS regular season games and four special bonus games. Real Salt Lake's season ticket pricing remains level with the 2005 prices, and consists of Youth (15 and younger) and Adult in five price levels. Prices for the 2006 season ticket packages are $200 adult ($180 youth) for the North Goal, $300 adult ($240 youth) for the Corner Flag, $400 ($320 youth) for East Sideline, $500 ($400 youth) for VIP and $1,000 ($1,000 youth) Club seats.
The 2006 mini-plan features 10 games (to be announced once the MLS 2006 schedule is announced), including nine MLS regular-season games and one special bonus game. Real Salt Lake's mini-plan ticket pricing consists of Youth (15 and younger) and Adult in four price levels. Prices for the 2005 mini-plan season ticket packages are $130 adult ($110 youth) for the North Goal, $180 adult ($150) for the Corner Flag, $220 adult ($180 youth) for East Sideline and $300 adult ($230 youth) for VIP seats.
To add more options for fans, RSL is also offering the flex season ticket package, which is comprised of twenty vouchers of the same price category (North Goal, Corner Flag, Premium and VIP) that allows the purchaser to determine which games they would like to see in the regular reason and how many tickets needed for that game. Prices for the 2005 Flex Package are $280 for the North Goal, $340 for the Corner Flag, $440 for the East Sideline and $560 for the VIP seats. Tickets can be redeemed in the following way: one could use all the vouchers and bring 20 people to one game or 4 people could attend five games. Flex vouchers are discounted from the day of game pricing making it an even greater value.
All tickets can be purchased by visiting the RSL Ticket Office at 515 South 700 East, #2R, SLC, UT 84102, by logging onto www.RealSaltLake.com or by contacting the Real Salt Lake Ticket Office at (866) 9-SOCCER.
ACCESS REAL: Real fans can now receive up-to-date information on the team by signing up for the RSL Weekly Newsletter at the fans section of RealSaltLake.com.