Timbers select Jean-Baptiste, King in 2012 MLS SuperDraft
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Portland Timbers today selected defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste and midfielder Brendan King in the 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft held at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo.
The Timbers selected Jean-Baptiste from the University of Connecticut with the No. 8 overall pick and selected King from the University of Notre Dame in the second round (No. 27 overall).
“We had identified the players we were after,” said Timbers General Manager Gavin Wilkinson. “With our No. 8 pick, we definitely wanted to add a quality piece, and I think we got that with Andrew. He was a player that we identified and a player that we wanted. It was good that he fell to the No. 8 spot and we were able to acquire him.”
“It’s a special time in their young career when they get picked, to sign on as a professional soccer player if that’s their dream,” saidJohn Spencer, Timbers head coach. “So for me, it’s enjoy the moment. They’ll have a week to 10 days with family and friends back home and then it’s get into Portland, get yourself ready and based there, and let’s try to make a run at the playoffs this year.”
A member of Generation adidas, Jean-Baptiste, 19, played two collegiate seasons at Connecticut, appearing in 45 games and recording three goals and two assists. As a sophomore, the Brentwood, N.Y., native anchored the Husky’s backline that allowed just 10 goals and recorded a program-record 16 shutouts in 2011. Jean-Baptiste led Connecticut to the finals of the BIG EAST championship tournament and the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.
Following the season, Jean-Baptiste was named the BIG EAST Conference Defensive Player of the Year, received Soccer America second-team MVP honors and earned a spot on the NSCAA All-Northeast Region first team. He was a member of the U.S. U-20 National Team player pool in 2010.
“Very excited,” said Jean-Baptiste on being selected by Portland. “I have a lot of adrenaline rushing through my body. I just feel like I want to get to the team and get started bonding with my teammates, so we can start a good season.”
King, 21, played in all 18 matches and registered a goal and two assists for the University of Notre Dame as a senior in 2011, helping the team reach the BIG EAST championship tournament. During his collegiate career, King played in 81 matches and recorded six goals and 14 assists for the Fighting Irish and was three-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star.
From Naperville, Ill., King was a member of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in 2007 and played in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The 2012 MLS SuperDraft consisted of two rounds and 38 total players were selected. MLS expansion side the Montreal Impact held the No. 1 overall pick and selected forward Andrew Wenger from Duke University.
Timbers 2012 MLS SuperDraft Selections:
Born: June 16, 1992
Hometown: Brentwood, N.Y.
College: University of Connecticut
Citizenship: United States
Born: Feb. 25, 1990
Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
College: University of Notre Dame
Citizenship: United States