If John Stertzer is looking for Maryland players to help inspire his own leap from the Terrapins to Major League Soccer, he has lots of choices.
The closest is just down the road from College Park. D.C. United defender Ethan White came to Maryland at the same time as Stertzer but left after his sophomore season.
"It makes me jealous when I'm in college and he's out there playing pro," Stertzer said. "I can't wait to go out there and play with him or play against him."
The Oakton native and Flint Hill High School star will have his chance soon. After 21 goals and 11 assists in his last two seasons, he's certain to be a first-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday in Indianapolis.
Stertzer's growth into a driving force in the center of the midfield might be better compared with another former Maryland player. Graham Zusi was the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 draft by Sporting Kansas City. He has developed into one of MLS' best midfielders and a revelation for the U.S. national team.
Stertzer, who said he has interviewed with approximately 10 different teams, knows the transition to his preferred position in MLS isn't an easy one. With that in mind, he didn't want to take too much risk at the MLS Combine this week.
"I thought if I kept it simple and played my best soccer, they'd know what kind of player I was," Stertzer said, "I didn't try too much to make the final pass or to do anything that would go overboard."
He scored the combine's first goal.
- Craig Stouffer