Eddie Ababio prepared for the 2011 MLS Combine by training and working out with an old childhood friend – Colorado Rapids defender Anthony Wallace.
“We’ve known each other since we were little,” said Ababio by phone in Tampa, Florida of his friendship with Wallace. “Growing up we played against each other, and then we became good friends when we were together in Bradenton with the U-17s. Our parents are also good friends, and we’ve stayed in touch while he was at FC Dallas and then of course Colorado.”
The two will now get a chance to train together even more, as the Rapids selected Ababio with the 18th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft. It was news that came as a complete surprise to the former North Carolina defender.
“I was watching the draft at home with my family on TV,” said Ababio. “When Colorado picked me, I couldn’t believe it. Colorado is a good organization. I thought my stock was around the second round, so I couldn’t believe it.”
Born in Ghana, Ababio moved to the United States with his familwhen he was eight years old after his father won a visa lottery. He was raised in Tampa, and at a young age was a standout forward on youth teams, which lead to his invitation to the U.S. U-17 residency program.
When he got to the University of North Carolina, he was converted to the backline, and then specifically to right back. However the attacking mentality never left him, and he finished his college career with 13 goals and 12 assists.
He now hopes to bring the same mentality that allowed him to learn and excel in the new position to the Rapids.
“I just want to get to camp and learn as much as possible from the veterans,” said Ababio. “Hopefully I can keep getting better and be able to contribute.”
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