Jan. 10, 2007
Santa Clara, Calif. - Santa Clara University freshman Amaechi Igwe has signed a contract with Major League Soccer's Generation adidas program making him eligible for the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, which takes place on Friday, Jan. 12 in Indianapolis, Ind. Igwe leaves Santa Clara after one season on the Mission Campus and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Ryan Cochrane, Steve Cronin and Mehdi Ballouchy, who were all first round draft picks in MLS.
"I really want to thank Cam (Rast), Eric (Yamamoto) and Rusty (Johnson) and everyone else at Santa Clara for helping me have such a great experience there," said Igwe. "I enjoyed being a part of the team and I will miss that next year. However, I feel like this is the right decision for me and I am looking forward to the challenge of professional soccer."
Igwe had a strong freshman campaign for the Broncos, starting 20 of 23 games and helping the team reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The Belmont, Calif. native scored five goals and notched three assists for 13 points to place second on the team in goals and points. He scored the game-winning goal against San Francisco on Oct. 20 helping the Broncos build a big lead in the West Coast Conference en route to their second conference championship in four years.
"Amaechi was an important piece of our team this past season and we are going to miss him," said Broncos head coach Cameron Rast. "He had a great opportunity to move to the professional ranks and he is a very talented, young player. We wish him well in his professional career. We have had a number of successful players in MLS from our program and we believe Amaechi will make an impact as well."
Igwe also competed with the Under-20 national team in six matches in 2006, including a closed-door scrimmage against Haiti on Oct. 11. He saw time in two matches against Canada in Toronto in early July, before helping the U.S. to a second-place finish at the 2006 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland in early August. In Canada, Igwe scored his first goal for the team on a header for the only U.S. goal on July 9th, and also assisted on Josmer Altidore's game-winning goal late in the first half in the previous game on July 7th. Igwe started two games in the Milk Cup.
Santa Clara senior Erik Ustruck participated in the MLS Player Combine last weekend and is also eligible for the draft. The 2007 MLS SuperDraft takes place on Friday, Jan. 12 at 9:00 a.m. PT and will be televised live on ESPN2.
To see the complete list of 2007 Generation adidas players, click here.