The remarkable NCAA College Cup semifinal between Georgetown and Maryland won’t soon be forgotten. In the two weeks since, the spotlight has continued to shine on the Hoyas and Terrapins, reflecting the success of both programs this season.
A combined five players from Georgetown and Maryland were invited to the Major League Soccer combine, which takes place in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from January 11-15. Georgetown led all schools with three players among the 54 invitees: defender Tommy Muller, defender/midfielder Jimmy Nealis and midfielder Ian Christianson. Defender Taylor Kemp and midfielder John Stertzer were invited from Maryland.
With his playmaking abilities in the middle, Stertzer certainly has at least a shot to progress like former Maryland standout Graham Zusi – who has excelled into one of MLS’ best with Sporting Kansas City and soared into an important role this past year with the U.S. national team - if he gets into the right program and continues to improve. Kemp and Nealis both are outside backs, and that’s a role that always prized. Look no further than D.C. United, where former Arkon defender Chris Korb made great progress and became a valuable contributor in 2012, his second MLS season.
There was one other Washington-area product included, too, West Virginia midfielder Uwem Etuk, who hails from Herndon.
After three games in five days at Central Broward Region Park, the MLS draft is Jan. 17 in Indianapolis.
Maryland junior and MAC Hermann Trophy finalist Patrick Mullins hasn’t yet announced whether he’ll turn pro or return for his senior season in College Park. Georgetown junior midfielder Steve Neumann, a Hermann Trophy semifinalist, will be back with the Hoyas next season.
Meanwhile, two players each from Maryland and Georgetown are also in Florida this week for a training camp with the U.S. under-20 national team. Terps defender Dakota Edwards and midfielder Dan Metzger are both taking part, as are Georgetown goalkeeper Tomas Gomez and forward Brandon Allen. Both Metzger and Allen had breakout college seasons.
As usual, there are other D.C. locals, too, Wake Forest’s Collin Martin (D.C. United Academy) and Virginia forward Darius Madison.