Four Cal players selected in MLS Draft

After the Philadelphia Union selected Connecticut goalkeeper Andre Blake No. 1 overall Thursday in the Major League Soccer Draft, all the attention shifted to Cal.

The next two picks were both from Cal, marking the third time in MLS history that two players from the same college were selected with consecutive picks.

D.C. United got the player they wanted with the second pick in Cal center back Steven Birnbaum, one of the most experienced players available. Cal defender Christian Dean was selected with the third pick by the Vancouver Whitecaps.

“It’s insane,” Dean said. “The University of California has never had anyone go above 5. To go 2 and 3 is crazy. It’s kind of an unheard of thing for two players from the same school to go back-to-back so early.”

Cal wasn’t done there though, as midfielder Ryan Neil was selected late in the first round at No. 18 by Real Salt Lake and midfielder Alec Sundly was taken in the second round (31st overall) by the New England Revolution.

Stanford wasn’t left out of the mix either as the Earthquakes nabbed Cardinal midfielder J.J. Koval with the ninth overall pick.

— Staff, wire report

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