Recent Binghamton graduate Jake Keegan has been drafted by the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer, making him the first Binghamton player to be drafted by an MLS Club. The 21-year-old forward was selected in the third round with the 43rd pick of the supplemental draft.
“When you grow up, watching MLS, it’s always a dream. It’s a great feeling,” Keegan said. “It’s a credit to the Binghamton program as a whole, the coaches, and the players that I was recognized enough and I was seen enough to be drafted.”
Philadelphia is scheduled to begin its 2013 campaign on March 4 at home against Sporting Kansas City. In 2012, the Union finished with a 10-18-6 record en route to an eighth place finish in the Eastern Conference. In June, John Hackworth replaced Peter Nowak as head coach of Philadelphia and accumulated an 8-11-4 record.
“[The Union] got a new coach midway through last season and he seems to be bringing the team in the right direction,” Keegan said. “I’m looking forward to working with him and the team.”
Keegan’s 28 career goals were the most scored by a Bearcat in the program’s 12-year NCAA Division I era. As a third team NSCAA Regional selection in 2012, his 0.61 goals scored per game was good for second in the America East and 28th in the NCAA.
According to Keegan, being the first Bearcat to be drafted into MLS obscures the fact that he’s just one of many in a long line of great soccer players to come out of Binghamton.
“It’s obviously a great honor to be the first player [drafted], but I think that there were a couple of players that even I played with and I’m sure there were a couple in the past that I felt should have been drafted as well,” Keegan said.“We’ve had a couple players in the past few years play with pro teams as well, so it’s obviously a great honor to be the first guy selected, but I don’t feel like I’m the first in that sense.”
Keegan is set to head immediately to YSC Sports in Wayne, Pa., to join the Union during its preseason training, which is currently underway.