Rapids select Hairston and Van De Casteele in first round 2014 SuperDraft

Colorado also drafted midfielder Watts and goalkeeper Berner in second round

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Thursday, January 16, 2014) – The Colorado Rapids selected four players today in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Generation adidas midfielder Marlon Hairston was selected 12th overall, followed by defender Grant Van De Casteele (19th overall selection). Colorado originally had only one first round pick, the 11th, but traded the pick to New England in exchange for the 12th and 19th picks. In the second round, the Rapids selected midfielder Jared Watts and goalkeeper John Berner with the 33rd and 35th overall picks.
 
Hairston, a midfielder from the University of Louisville, was one of seven players in the MLS SuperDraft signed to a Generation adidas contract, meaning his salary does not count against the team’s salary budget. The 19-year-old sophomore helped Louisville win the inaugural American Athletic Conference title in 2013 with three goals and two assists, and earned First Team All-Conference Honors. Van De Casteele, a 6’2” defender from Plano, Texas, played four years at the University of Notre Dame, three of which he played with current Rapids player Dillon Powers. In 2013, Van De Casteele anchored a Notre Dame defense that recorded 10 shutouts en route to winning the first NCAA title in the program’s history.
 
A defensive midfielder Wake Forest University, Watts was selected to the All-ACC First Team for three consecutive seasons and contributed five goals and 10 assists in his four years with the Demon Deacons. He was the captain of the U.S. U-17 squad at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria in 2009, and has also appeared for the U-20 Youth National Team. Berner, earned a starting role in his final two years at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, posting 10 shutouts over the 2012 and 2013 seasons, earning conference Goalkeeper of the Year honors in both years.
 
All four players will report to Commerce City by the end of next week to begin training with the Rapids. The Rapids open preseason with physicals and fitness work before travelling to Houston to face the Dynamo on February 2. The team is set to participate in the Las Vegas ProSoccer Challenge and the Desert Diamond Cup presented by Tucson FC as part of the preparations for the 2013 regular season. To purchase season tickets for the Rapids’ 2013 campaign, visit www.ColoradoRapids.com or call 303-825-GOAL.
 
Marlon Hairston
Full Name: Marlon Hairston
Pronunciation: MAR-lon
Number: TBD
Position: Midfielder
Born: March 23, 1994
Hometown: Jackson, Miss.
Citizenship: USA
Height: 6-0
Weight: 157 lbs
College: University of Louisville
Transaction: Selected by the Colorado Rapids with the 12th overall selection (first round) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on January 16, 2014
 
Grant Van De Casteele
Full Name: Grant Van De Casteele
Number: TBD
Position: Defender
Born: May 10, 1991
Hometown: Plano, Texas
Citizenship: USA
Height: 6-2
Weight: 165 lbs
College: University of Notre Dame
Transaction: Selected by the Colorado Rapids with the 19th overall selection (first round) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on January 16, 2014
 
Jared Watts
Full Name: Jared Watts
Number: TBD
Position: Midfielder
Born: February 2, 1992
Hometown: Statesville, N.C.
Citizenship: USA
Height: 6-1
Weight: 155 lbs
College: Wake Forest University
Transaction: Selected by the Colorado Rapids with the 33rd overall selection (second round) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on January 16, 2014
 
John Berner
Full Name: John Berner
Number: TBD
Position: Goalkeeper
Born: February 14, 1991
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Citizenship: USA
Height: 6-3
Weight: 205 lbs
College: Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Transaction: Selected by the Colorado Rapids with the 35th overall selection (second round) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on January 16, 2014