Colorado Rapids Soccer Club added two players through the 2017 MLS SuperDraft at the LA Convention Center, selecting University of Denver midfielder Sam Hamilton (15th overall) and Syracuse University defender Liam Callahan (24th overall).
“We are pleased with the outcome of the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft," said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Sporting Director. "It's the culmination of a long scouting process undertaken by our technical group, where we gained good insight into Sam and Liam prior to this week’s event.
"We look for technical players, with strong characters and leadership qualities, which we believe will help them fit in with our club culture and mentality.
“Having two captains, both of whom led their respective teams to the Final Four in the past two seasons, is a major plus for us. We’re looking forward to working closely with them on their continued development and to their contributions to our club on and off the pitch.”
In 2016, Hamilton helped guide the Pioneers to the NCAA Semifinals after registering a second consecutive unbeaten regular season. The six-foot midfielder served as team captain in his final season, and started all 24 matches for the University of Denver. In his four collegiate seasons, Hamilton appeared in 83 official games, becoming the most capped player in Denver’s Division I history.
The Evergreen, Colorado native earned First Team All-Summit League accolades in his final two seasons. Hamilton, 21, will join DU teammate Kortne Ford in Commerce City after the defender signed as a Homegrown player earlier this month.
Callahan, a defender from Syracuse University, tallied two goals and added one assist in his senior campaign. The Orange’s two-year captain transferred to Syracuse after spending his freshman season at Villanova University. In his first season with the Orange, Callahan appeared in 18 games and helped the defense register an ACC-best 12 shutouts in 2014. A year later, Callahan would help Syracuse advance to the program’s first ever College Cup, adding one goal and nine assists for the season.
"I think the SuperDraft was a success. We targeted two players in the first two rounds and we are very pleased with our selections,” said Head Coach, Pablo Mastroeni. “Sam and Liam had outstanding collegiate careers and they’re two players that have the right mentality and who we believe will fit in right away.”
Colorado currently holds the 45th and 86th selections in rounds three and four of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 17.