NEW YORK -- Major League Soccer today announced that Eriq Zavaleta, a member or the 2012 NCAA Division I College Cup winning Indiana University team has, signed a Generation adidas contract. Additionally, MLS has signed five college seniors in advance of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas: Carlos Alvarez (University of Connecticut), Ryan Finley (University of Notre Dame), Dillon Powers (University of Notre Dame), John Stertzer (University of Maryland) and Kyle Bekker (Boston College).
Since stepping on campus at Indiana University, Zavaleta, son of former El Salvadoran national team player Carlos Zavaleta, has been one of the best college players in the country. The Westfield, Ind., native capped off his sophomore season by assisting on the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Georgetown to win the national championship. Nephew of former MLS and U.S. National Team defender Greg Vanney, he was named to the College Cup All-Tournament team as well as a College Soccer News First-Team All American thanks in part to his 18 goals on the season.
Alvarez, a Los, Angeles, Calif. native, capped off his impressive four-year career with the University of Connecticut by leading his team to the 2012 Big East Regular Season Championship. Alvarez, whose father played professionally in Mexico with Chivas Guadalajara, has worked tirelessly to make himself one of the top players in this years’ draft. The 2009 Big East Freshman of the Year and 2012 Midfielder of the Year finished his collegiate career as third all-time at Connecticut with 42 assists.
Finley, a finalist for the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy, was named the 2012 Big East Offensive Player of the Year for his contributions to Notre Dame’s season. Finley transferred from Duke University after being named the 2010 ACC Offensive Player of the Year and finished his last two seasons in South Bend. The NSCAA First Team All-American ranked second nationally in goals (21) and points (46) during his senior year with the Fighting Irish.
Powers has been a mainstay in Notre Dame’s lineup since his freshman year. A native of Plano, Texas, Powers was a two-time team captain for the Fighting Irish who is just as involved off the field as he is on it. An active participant in the Take Ten program – which aims to teach kids to practice non-violence – as well as the Salvation Army, Powers is a Finalist for the 2012 Senior Class Award. The U.S. Youth International started 64 of his 78 career games in South Bend.
After a breakout junior campaign, Stertzer returned to the University of Maryland for his senior season and was named a NSCAA All-American as well as First Team All-ACC. The Oakton, Va., native finished the season with seven goals and seven assists while starting 21 of 23 games for the Terrapins while leading his squad to the College Cup semifinals.
Bekker, an Oakville, Ontario native, has been a mainstay in Boston Colleges’ lineup since he started all 23 games his freshman season. The creative midfielder finished his college career ranking second all-time in assists (22) in Golden Eagles history. He led Canada to the semifinal of the 2012 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament last March in his second stint with the U23 Canadian National Team and is a two-time All-ACC First Team member.
The 2013 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas will take place at the Indiana Convention Center on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 12 p.m. ET.