- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
D.C. United tap Louisville’s Nick DeLeon
Question of the Day
When Nick DeLeon had a brief chat with D.C. United coach Ben Olsen earlier this week at the MLS combine, the former Louisville midfielder didn’t get much of a feeling he would end up in the nation’s capital.
But seeing as Olsen and the D.C. brass selected him with the seventh pick Thursday at the SuperDraft in Kansas City, Mo., it’s safe to say United’s interest in the college standout was more than DeLeon realized.
“I met up with him and had maybe a five-minute [conversation] with him,” DeLeon said. “He expressed a little interest in me, but I honestly had no idea I was going to end up here. But I’m excited that I did.”
The Phoenix native, whose father, LeRoy, played for the Washington Diplomats of the North American Soccer League, played two years at UNLV before transferring to Louisville for his junior campaign. This past fall, DeLeon started 22 games during his senior season, notching six goals and six assists to help the Cardinals advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
“Physically, he has all the tools,” Olsen said. “I think this kid is going to be a gamer, and I know he’s excited to join the guys and get moving.”
Added United assistant coach Chad Ashton: “We had seen him a lot over the past couple years, and we’d spoken to his coaches. We feel like he’s a guy who is a very attacking player who is very polished on the offensive side of the ball, who can score goals himself, who can set goals up.”
While both veterans are expected to be healthy for United’s March 10 opener, DeLeon’s presence does give Olsen the option of shifting Pontius to striker, where he excelled in limited action last season. And DeLeon, who said he “can bring a lot of flair up top,” is comfortable playing forward as well.
Although DeLeon was regarded as a top prospect coming out of college, he suffered a quad strain at the combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that limited his opportunities to impress league scouts.
“I wasn’t really afraid it was going to hurt my draft stock,” DeLeon said. “I had a pretty good feeling I would still get drafted. I don’t care if I get drafted top 10, first round or second round - I’m just excited to get drafted.”
Thursday’s festivities kicked off with a slight surprise, as the expansion Montreal Impact took defender-midfielder Andrew Wenger out of Duke with the top choice. Akron forward Darren Mattocks, the widely projected No. 1 selection, went to the Vancouver Whitecaps with the second pick.
United didn’t have the choice of drafting Maryland striker Casey Townsend. Chivas USA plucked the Michigan native with the fifth selection after he enjoyed a stellar showing at the combine. (Another local product taken was Virginia left back Hunter Jumper, who went in the second round, 28th overall to the Chicago Fire.)
When United’s only selection of the two-round event arrived, the club was relieved to see DeLeon still on the board.
“Obviously, you don’t know who the picks are going to be in front of your pick,” Ashton said. “But we when we circled our top guys, he was in there.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Luis Silva realizes potential in D.C. United playmaking role
- United, D.C. hope this new stadium plan will be the last
- Jared Jeffrey returns to U.S. in search of playing time after European tour
- Sonny Silooy's career has evolved from standout defender to standout talent developer
- Alain Rochat adjusts to D.C. United move with growing family on his mind
Latest Blog Entries
- Jason Levien, Ben Olsen discuss D.C. United's $300M stadium plan
- Conor Doyle loan continues D.C. United youth movement
- Ben Olsen discusses trading Brandon McDonald to Real Salt Lake
- Interview outtakes: Sonny Silooy
- Hello Luis Silva, Collin Martin, goodbye Alain Rochat: Breaking down D.C. United's busy day
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
How does our 50th state view D.C. politics?
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!