Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sporting KC selects three college seniors in final two rounds of MLS SuperDraft

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Sporting Kansas City selected three college seniors on Tuesday in the final two rounds of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas.

Defender Peter Schmetz, midfielder Alex Martinez and forward Reinaldo Brenes complete the club's 2014 draft class along with the selection of forward Adnan Gabeljic in the second round last week.

"All the picks that we have selected throughout this draft have been with regard to how we can add depth to various positions around the field," Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. "Everybody in the league tries to do the best they can with the draft. You have to trust in the people that work with your organization and within the network that we have around the country. I like to think that we are pretty fortunate that we were able to get a lot of good recommendations on players in this draft."

Schmetz, 23, garnered All-Big West First Team honors at the University of California Santa Barbara after appearing in 47 games over three seasons for the Gauchos.

The 6'6 left-footed centerback led UCSB to a Top 25 finish in 2013 and a No. 10 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. A native of Germany, Schmetz played for the Ventura County Fusion during the 2013 Premier Development League season.

"It is awesome to be drafted by the MLS Cup champs," Schmetz said. "I have never been to Kansas City or that part of the country and I am excited about experiencing a new city and challenge. I can't wait to go through a full pre-season and get back on the field."

After a strong showing at the 2014 MLS Player Combine, Martinez was selected out of North Carolina State University where he scored 13 goals and added 18 assists in two seasons. The 22-year-old All-ACC selection began his collegiate career at High Point with 12 goals and four assists through his sophomore season. He scored twice in the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with the Carolina Dynamo to go along with two goals and five assists in the Premier Development League.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to play with the best team in Major League Soccer," Martinez said. "My goal growing up when I came to America was to play professionally in MLS. It is a dream come true to get the chance to play in Kansas City."

Brenes was a team captain and two-time All-MAC selection at the University of Akron. After winning a national championship in his freshman season, Brenes led the Zips in scoring as a junior and senior to cap his four-year college career with 20 goals and nine assists.

A former member of the under-17 and under-18 Costa Rican national teams, Brenes started alongside Gabeljic for Nitro Charge at the 2014 MLS Player Combine.

"I am very happy to be drafted by Sporting Kansas City, a great team and organization," Brenes said. "I am extremely proud to be a part of their family."

Sporting KC's 2014 pre-season begins on Friday when the team arrives in Tucson, Ariz. six weeks ahead of the team's season opener. Visit SportingKC.com/preseason for the team's full pre-season schedule (subject to change), as well as ticket information, hotel accommodations and travel packages.