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FILE- UNM’s midfielder Michael Green races past Air Force’s Conor Henry at the Soccer Complex, October 16, 2011.

Seniors picked for pro draft

For many college athletes, competing professionally is just a dream.

But not for men’s soccer midfielders Lance Rozeboom and Michael Green, seniors who were both drafted in the supplemental rounds of the Major League Soccer (MLS) draft last Tuesday.

“It’s a good feeling. It took about four or five minutes before it actually sunk in. I guess I was in shock that it all happened,” Green said.

Neither player was chosen in the first 38 picks of the first and second rounds of the MLS draft, but were held over to the supplemental draft.

Green was selected number four to the Toronto Football Club, and Rozeboom, the 26th pick, is going to DC United.

Unlike the actual draft, the players picked in the supplemental draft are given a chance to practice with the team during preseason and hopefully be signed by the team.

Green said now that he has been picked, it’s up to him to work hard and make the roster for the upcoming season.

“Now, hopefully, I’ll make the team and put good name out there for New Mexico,” he said.

Green and Rozeboom were the only seniors on the team this year and led the Lobos to their first undefeated season in history, going 18-0-4.

UNM was ranked as high as No. 1 this season but was given the No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament, where it lost in penalty kicks in the round of 16 to University of South Florida.

Rozeboom started 78 games in his Lobo career, the fifth highest total in UNM history. Green started in 67.

Green said he was happy to see that both players from UNM were eventually picked in the draft.

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“It’s a good thing to see a fellow teammate drafted, especially Lance,” Green said. “I’ve known him for a long time. We grew up playing against one another, so it’s cool to see us move up in the ranks of soccer.”

Head coach Jeremy Fishbein said he felt Green and Rozeboom should have been drafted much higher than where they landed, and felt they both have the skill to make their respective team’s rosters.

“I think that Mike and Lance were overlooked in the earlier rounds of the draft,” Fishbein said. “In my mind, they’re both MLS-caliber players and at this point, it doesn’t matter what number you are or what round you’re drafted in. It’s time to go out and prove yourself. I have complete confidence in their abilities to do so.”

The midfielders are the first UNM players drafted into the MLS since the 2009 season, when Justin Davis and Euan Holden were selected, though neither play in the MLS.

For Fishbein, it is nothing new to see Lobos make it to the top level of soccer in the United States. Since he took over at UNM in 2002, 11 players have gone professional, and seven are still on active professional team rosters.

He said he was excited to see more players he coached make it to the next level.

“We’re all excited for the guys to have this opportunity, and look forward to following them as they continue their careers,” Fishbein said.


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