Commerce City, Colo. - The Colorado Rapids today selected Japanese midfielder Kohei Yamada and goalkeeper Joel Helmick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft. Yamada was selected with the 14th pick in the 3rd round and Helmick with the 14th pick in the fourth.
Yamada, from Hyogo, Japan, made his professional debut with Thespa Kusatsu (J League 2) against Tokushima Vortis on March 3, 2010 and played 34 games the past two seasons. The 23-year-old most recently took part in the MLS Combine in Florida and was considered by MLSsoccer.com as the top prospect available in the Supplemental Draft.
The 6-3 Helmick posted a .92 goals against average while playing in all 20 games for Longwood in 2011. The Springfield, Virgina native earned numerous accolades in his four year college career, including the 2011 Atlantic Soccer Conference (ASC) Tournament Most Valuable Player and the ASC Tournament Outstanding Defensive Player and Rookie of the Year following his freshman season.
Colorado had previously traded their first and second round picks in 2010. The first rounder went to Toronto FC in a trade for midfielder Joseph Nane, while the second round selection went to FC Dallas in exchange for defender Anthony Wallace.
WATCH: YAMADA AT THE MLS COMBINE
Born: January 8, 1989
Hometown: Hyogo, Japan
Weight: 143 lbs
College: Osaka University
Former Club: Thespa Kusatsu
Full Name: Joel Helmick
Born: January 24, 1990
Hometown: Springfield, Virgina
College: Longwood University