Jan. 12, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Notre Dame seniors Greg Dalby (Poway, Calif./Poway) and Nate Norman (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams) were selected in the 2007 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft on Friday afternoon. Dalby, a midfielder/defender, was taken by the Colorado Rapids in the second round as the 17th pick overall, while Norman, a midfielder, also was picked in the second round as the 21st selection overall to the Chicago Fire.
Dalby, a two-time team co-captain, earned first-team All-America honors in both 2005 and 2006 as he anchored the Fighting Irish midfield, while also playing center back at times. He started all 88 games during his Notre Dame career, totaling 10 points on four goals and two assists. Dalby also was tabbed as the 2006 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year and collected all-BIG EAST honors three times in addition to being a two-time M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalist.
“For Greg, it’s terrific because he didn’t sign with the MLS when offered and the fact he was taken so high was great to see,” says Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “Had he signed, I think he would have definitely been a first-rounder. He’s a great player with a great future no matter what he chooses to do.”
Norman played in 82 games, with 33 starts, during his Fighting Irish career. The midfielder compiled 27 points on seven goals and 13 assists. He led the team with seven assists this past season, while also collecting two goals.
“I am very happy for Nate to be taken in the second round,” states Clark. “Since he’s going to Chicago hopefully he’ll be able to keep in touch with our team. Greg has already graduated, but Nate will finish during the second semester and that’ll be great for him to be nearby. There is no question both Greg and Nate can play.”
University of Maryland midfielder Maurice Edu was the first overall selection to Toronto FC in this year’s draft. The MLS SuperDraft consists of four rounds and 52 total picks.
Dalby and Norman become the sixth and seventh players, respectively, taken in the MLS SuperDraft from Notre Dame. Kevin Richards and Justin Detter were both tabbed in the 2004 draft, while Jack Stewart, Kevin Goldthwaite and Chris Sawyer were all picked in the 2005 draft. The Irish also have had two MLS supplemental draft picks, Dan Stebbins (1997) and Ryan Turner (1999).
Stewart and Goldthwaite are currently the only two Irish alums playing in the MLS. Stewart, the highest player ever drafted from Notre Dame at No. 10 overall to the Chicago Fire, plays for Real Salt Lake, while Goldthwaite won the MLS title with the Houston Dynamo last season.
In other Fighting Irish men’s soccer news, departing senior forward Justin McGeeney (Ames, Iowa/Ames) is slated to have a week-long tryout with Galway United in Ireland beginning on January 20th. He played in 71 career games for the Irish, registering 15 goals and three assists for 33 points. This past season, he was second on the team with five goals and collected one assist.
Fellow senior Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral), a midfielder, will have week-long tryouts with both Aberdeen and the Glasgow Rangers from the Scottish Premier League during the upcoming weeks. Clark played with Aberdeen from 1965-82. Etherington appeared in 79 games during his Fighting Irish career, making 54 starts. He totaled 24 points on seven goals and 10 assists. He was hampered by an injury in 2006, yet still was a factor in Notre Dame reaching the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
Both McGeeney and Etherington have a chance to be selected in the MLS Supplemental Draft.
Notre Dame MLS Draft Selections
1997 Supplemental Draft
Dan StebbinsDallas - First Round - 4th overall selection
1999 Supplemental Draft
Ryan TurnerKansas City - Second Round - 14th overall selection
Kevin RichardsColorado Rapids - Fourth Round - 35th overall selection
Justin DetterKansas City Wizards - Fifth Round - 47th overall selection
Jack StewartChicago Fire - First Round - 10th overall selectionCurrent Team: Real Salt Lake
Kevin GoldthwaiteSan Jose Earthquake* - Second Round - 17th overall selectionCurrent Team: Houston* - Earthquake are now the Houston Dynamo
Chris SawyerKansas City Wizards - Second Round - 24th overall selection
Greg DalbyColorado Rapids - Second Round - 17th overall selection
Nate NormanChicago Fire - Second Round - 21st overall selection