Major League Soccer’s annual Superdraft took place on Jan. 15 and there was one name selected that stood out to fans of USF men’s soccer: Miguel Aguilar. The senior forward, who scored 15 goals and tallied nine assists for the Dons over his four year career, was selected 17th overall by D.C. United. United, who finished first overall in the Eastern conference last season, was among a number of MLS teams that were impressed by Aguilar’s showings at the MLS combine in Ft. Lauderdale in early January. Aguilar arrived at the combine with little hype, but his performances over five days in Florida quickly elevated him to becoming a first round draft pick.
Aguilar, a Sacramento native who went to Encina Preparatory High School, was a standout forward for the Dons over the last four years. He was a consistent starter all four years of his college career and finished last season with four goals and three assists, along with earning All-West Coast Conference honors. He was also an excellent student in his time at USF — the finance major, who graduated with honors, was named to the WCC All-Academic Team from 2012 to 2014. He is the first Don to be drafted in the first round of the MLS Superdraft since Rob Valentino was taken 13th overall in the 2008 draft.
Aguilar is joining one of the most surprising teams in MLS from last season. D.C. United went from being one of the worst clubs in the league in 2013 to being the best in the East this previous season. The success of Ben Olsen’s club was built on strong defensive foundations and the play of exciting, young forwards. Aguilar will have trouble breaking into D.C.’s starting 11, but he could become a key contributor off the bench in his rookie season. That being said, the Sacramento native is coming into the league at a difficult time for rookies. With new collective bargaining agreements ongoing, it is expected that MLS roster sizes will shrink, which will make it much more difficult for prospects coming out of college to make MLS rosters. Aguilar, who played both wide midfield and forward for the Dons, is expected to make the final roster for D.C. as a wide midfielder who could play an important role in the U.S. Open Cup and provide a spark off the bench for D.C. United, who will be trying to take the next step this season in reaching the MLS Cup.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dons Athletics