Major League Soccer’s inaugural Caribbean Combine has yielded its first-ever pro prospect.
Stefano Rijssel, a 21-year-old Surinamese striker who was invited to last week’s MLS Player Combine after a strong showing in the Caribbean Combine a week before, was selected by the Seattle Sounders with the 17th pick of the third round of the MLS SuperDraft on Tuesday.
The league held the final two rounds of the SuperDraft via conference call with team representatives, with 38 players from the college and international ranks selected.
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Rijssel joined Trinidad & Tobago club W Connection in July 2012 and played in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage with the club, including an appearance against the Houston Dynamo. He was one of 23 Caribbean players invited to the league’s first ever Carribbean Combine in Antigua at the beginning of the month, and one of two players invited to MLS Combine Florida after his performance.
The Portland Timbers held the first overall pick (39th overall) and selected Connecticut midfielder George Fochive. The Philadelphia Union – who traded for the first overall pick in the SuperDraft last week and selected Connecticut goalkeeper Andre Blake – had the most picks of any team on Tuesday, with four.
The LA Galaxy were the only team to pass with one of their picks, and the Sounders used a pick that was added to the conclusion of the draft, obtained via trade with the San Jose Earthquakes last March.