Major League Soccer has signed eight college seniors--including former Timbers U-23s Fatai Alashe (Michigan State) and Khiry Shelton (Oregon State) in advance of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, the league announced Monday.
Included in the signings are five NSCAA All-Americans, while all eight signees have earned all-region and all-conference honors in their collegiate careers.
Highlighting the group is Notre Dame captain and midfielder Nick Besler (younger brother to Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler). After leading the Fighting Irish to the 2013 NCAA College Cup Championship, Besler (pictured above) played every minute of the 2014 season, notching one goal and two assists, earning him NSCAA All-America Second-Team honors.
Also notable on the list is Oregon State forward Shelton, who joins Besler on the NSCAA All-America Second Team this year. The Texas native was named Pac-12 Player of the Year after helping the Beavers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003 with a career-high 10 goals and 12 assists in 2014.
The other players who received NSCAA All-America honors in 2014 are Alashe (Michigan State), Boyd Okwuonu (UNC) and Andy Thoma (University of Washington). The other players signed were Otis Earle (UC Riverside), Ramon Martin Del Campo (University of California, Davis) and Dan Metzger (University of Maryland).