- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 13, 2007

D.C. United picked a 17-year-old defensive midfielder with its top pick at yesterday’s MLS SuperDraft in Indianapolis. United chose Bryan Arguez, who played youth club soccer for the West Kendall Optimists in Miami, with the 11th overall pick.

The top six picks in the draft all came from the ACC, with two of those coming from Maryland. Terrapins junior midfielder Maurice Edu, 20, was the top overall selection, taken by the expansion Toronto FC, while sophomore goalie Chris Seitz — who also plays for the U.S. U-20 team, was taken fourth overall by Real Salt Lake. Virginia defender Bakary Soumare was picked second by the Chicago Fire.

The 6-foot-2, 165 pound Arguez couldn’t celebrate his entry into the pros for too long. He will play on the U-20 U.S. men’s national team, which leaves for Panama today to compete in the qualifying round for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada in June. The team is led by former United coach Thomas Rongen and plays Haiti on Wednesday in Panama City.

Arguez also played on the U-17 team and spent the 2004-05 school year at U.S. Soccer’s prestigious residency program in Bradenton, Fla.

“This is a dream come true,” said Arguez, who said that his favorite MLS players were United’s Christian Gomez and Jamie Moreno. Arguez said he didn’t realize United was scouting him and was surprised to be picked by the team.

“We felt Bryan was a real gem in this draft,” United technical director Dave Kasper said. “He has great athletic qualities. He reads the game well and is technically sound.”

With its second pick (24th overall) United chose Northwestern forward Brad North, 21, from The Woodlands, Texas. The 6-foot-1 striker led the Wildcats with nine goals last season.

With its third pick (32nd overall), United took Jay Needham, 22, a midfielder from Southern Methodist who was the Conference USA Defender of the Year in 2006. The team also took Georgetown senior Ricky Schramm, 21, with the 37th overall pick. The forward led the Hoyas with 10 goals last year. With the recently acquired Jay Nolly — who came to United in the Freddy Adu trade — trying to find a new team in Europe, United used its last pick (50th overall) for University of Portland goalie Luis Robles as a precaution.

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