SuperDraft GA prospect Lopez: "I want to go to Chivas USA"
LAUDERHILL, Fla. — Most players at the MLS Player Combine give you the same old answer: They'd be happy to be selected by any team at the SuperDraft in Indianapolis on January 17.
It's a little different with North Carolina midfielder Mikey Lopez. Turns out there's one team he really wants to be with.
"I want to go to Chivas USA," Lopez told MLSsoccer.com this week. "From what I have heard of Chivas USA, I like what they want to do."
Lopez is an American-born son of Mexican parents — his mother is a fan of UANL Tigres in Mexico — and he would consider it an honor to wear the colors of the Goats.
"Hopefully Chivas USA can pick me and I can help it improve in the league this year," Lopez said.
With the No. 2 overall pick — their only pick in the entire SuperDraft — some believe that Chivas USA may very well claim the US Under-20 international.
The native of Dallas was a standout in college and signed an MLS Generation adidas contract designed for underclassmen. Set to turn 20 in February, Lopez had interest from clubs in Mexico and Europe, but he wasn't even sure he wanted to leave North Carolina after his sophomore season.
"He called me after the game against Indiana and I was upset," he said about the phone call he received from his dad after UNC was eliminated in the 2012 College Cup quarterfinals. "I said, 'I don't know if I want to go [pro] right now' … I hate losing and I don’t want go out like that, losing to Indiana."
On Thursday there will be one group of MLS fans, however, glad he made the jump.
The team that does wind up with Lopez should know one thing: He wants to be your defensive midfielder, a self-described midfield warrior and "the motor of the team who won't stop fighting until the whistle blows."
"I've always been a defensive mid and that's my thing," Lopez said. "Hopefully they'll let me play my natural position, which is defending central mid. But wherever they play me, I'll play and I'll get used to it and adapt to it."