COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Tuesday, January 21, 2014) – The Colorado Rapids selected two defenders in the final two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft on Tuesday afternoon, picking Tolani Ibikunle from Wake Forest University with the 11th pick of the 3rd round (49th overall) and Albert Edward from Lindsey Wilson College with the 11th pick of the 4th round (68th overall). Both players will join the Rapids in preseason with an opportunity to earn a spot on the roster.
Ibikunle, 21, was picked by the Rapids after four years at Wake Forest University, where he started 20 of the Demon Deacon’s 21 games in his senior year and helped the team to a 10-6-5 record and five shutouts. A defender who can play both centrally and wide, the Wynnewood, Penn. native played a total of 70 matches in his college career, starting 55, scoring three goals and adding three assists. He was a standout at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia during high school, where he earned All-State honors as a junior and senior. He is the second Wake Forest player to be selected by the Rapids in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, joining Jared Watts, who was taken 33rd overall.
Edward comes to Colorado after a four year career at NAIA school Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky, where the right back played a total of 71 games (57 starts), with four goals and seven assists and helped his team to the 2011 NAIA National Championship and tournament appearances in each of his other seasons. Last year he also played for the Premier Development League's Des Moines Menace, which advanced to the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup before falling to MLS side Sporting KC. A native of Brisbane, Australia, Edward is the fourth player who played at Lindsey Wilson to be drafted into MLS, following former Rapids defender Tyrone Marshall (1998), Thabiso “Boyzzz” Khumalo (DC United 2008), Kheli Dube (New England 2008).
The two players will report to Commerce City for preseason training with the Rapids, though none are officially on the team’s roster. Colorado opens preseason with physicals and fitness work before travelling to Houston to face the Dynamo on February 2 in a preseason friendly. 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.