KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — America’s top soccer league held their annual college draft on Wednesday and five players who suited up for One Knoxville SC this past summer heard their names called.
Many of the best college soccer players in the country are selected in Major League Soccer’s annual SuperDraft. Nearly all those drafted also played in USL League Two, the pre-professional league in which Knoxville competed, during the summer.
Here are all five blue ridge boys selected:
- Forward Stephen Afrifa selected by Sporting Kansas City (round 1, 8th overall)
- Midfield Amferny Sinclair selected by Real Salt Lake (round 2, 45th overall)
- Defender Buster Sjoberg selected by Vancouver Whitecaps (round 3, 71st overall)
- Defender Jaden Jones-Riley selected by Portland Timbers (round 3, 73rd overall)
- Defender Moses Mensah selected by Real Salt Lake (round 3, 74th overall)
One Knoxville finished their inaugural campaign as USL League Two South Central Division champions after an 11-2-1 regular season record. They hosted multiple rounds of playoff competition before falling to North Carolina Fusion U23s in the national quarterfinals.
One Knoxville will join USL League One in 2023, a fully-professional league recognized as the third-tier of American soccer.
Knoxville will play all home 2023 games at Regal Stadium on the University of Tennessee campus. The team played in several high school stadiums and at Maryville College last season.
Head coach Mark McKeever returns to coach the professional side after leading the team last season.
USL League One already features a strong contingent of teams in the southeast including Chattanooga Red Wolves, North Carolina FC, Greenville Triumph, South Georgia Tormenta FC and Charlotte Independence. Lexington Sporting Club is also set to join the league in 2023.