With the 2011 MLS SuperDraft less than 24 hours away, we asked two players from last year's class to recount what draft day was like for them. One, forward Andrew Wiedeman, was present at the draft in Philadelphia. The other, midfielder Eric Alexander, was attending class back at Indiana. Here are their stories in their own words.
- Name: Andrew Wiedeman
- Position: Forward
- College: California
- Chosen: 21st overall in the 2nd round
The 2010 Draft was an unreal experience. It was filled with angst, excitement and every emotion in between. Yet it remains one of my fondest memories and one that I will never forget. As words cannot do the experience any justice, I will paint a portrait for you instead (with my words).
Last year’s event was held on a Thursday in a wintry Philadelphia. For those of you who have never experienced Philly in January, it’s like something off a postcard. A 25-degree postcard covered in snow (hahaha). Anyway, I flew to Philly via Florida and let me tell you, the flight was remarkable - G5 airplane, caviar, the whole enchilada. Except instead of a G5 airplane it was a Southwest 737 and rather than dining on caviar, I indulged in some complimentary pretzels. But I digress. Now, on to some more relevant stuff.
The day of the Draft was perhaps one of the most emotionally charged days I’ve ever experienced. When you think about it, it’s pretty crazy to be sitting, 20-years old, in a room filled with cheering fans, waiting to hear where you will be relocating to in a few short weeks. As awesome an opportunity as it was, there was still an element of apprehension to the whole process. I grew up in Northern California and went to college 25 minutes from my hometown, so this was some pretty heavy stuff at the time.
As the Draft got underway things started to get real. The first pick went as expected (the Union selecting Danny Mwanga) but after that everything was up in the air. I sat there listening to each pick, wondering if my name would be called next or if I’d have to hear 60 more names before mine was announced. After what seemed like an eternity and probably close to a gallon of palm sweat, I finally heard my name called. With the fifth pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft (5th pick of the 2nd round if you want to get technical) FC Dallas selects Andrew Wiedeman. To be honest, Dallas was the last place I thought I would’ve ended up as they already boasted five G.A. players, but I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. Finally all the uncertainty was washed away and I was left knowing that I was headed to a great club.
After getting acquainted with the coaching staff and management I spent the rest of the day celebrating the unforgettable, albeit exhausting, experience with my family. After a crazy night involving several A-list celebrities whose names must remain undisclosed for legal purposes, I flew back to California on a G5, eating caviar.
- Name: Eric Alexander
- Position: Midfielder
- College: Indiana
- Chosen: 44th overall in the 3rd round
Draft day for me was quite an experience. I was still in school that day, so I went to my morning classes and was constantly texting my agent to see if he had heard anything about teams that might be interested.
I had just come off a good showing at the combine, so I was hoping I had boosted my draft stock a little bit after coming off a mediocre senior year in college. All of my roommates were still going to class and I kind of watched the first round on TV, not really thinking I would go in that round, but wanting to see how it was unfolding for my other friends in the draft.
After they stopped airing it on TV I had to keep up to date with the selections from my computer. I paid close attention to what was going on because two of the teams that I had good friends on had several picks in the second round and I was excited that I would possibly be reunited with them!
Pick after pick came and I started to get nervous that I may not even get picked up. Eventually, I stopped watching and I started playing Halo 3 on my Xbox and tried not to think about it. Then some people came over to my house and came in my room to see what I was up to and how the draft was going. I just told them I stopped watching because I was getting nervous.
I knew it was getting late, when all of a sudden I saw my name pop up and I was selected by FC Dallas. I must have gotten like 10 calls within the next five minutes from different people inside FCD and from my agent and parents as well. I was excited and nervous at the same time. So overall, draft day had its highs and lows for me, but with the success my team had last season and the experience I gained I wouldn't have asked for it to unfold any other way!