Sporting KC selects Dwyer, Hedrick in MLS SuperDraft
Sporting Kansas City selected University of South Florida forward Dom Dwyer and Coastal Carolina central defender Cyprian Hedrick in Thursday’s 2012 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas at the Kansas City Convention Center.
"We're very excited about both of our selections today,” Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said. “Each player possesses certain qualities that we identified early that we think will help us down the road. We feel that both players will have the opportunity to excel in our system and we're looking forward to having them in Kansas City to begin preseason."
Dwyer, 21, was taken with the 16th overall selection in the first round of the SuperDraft. A Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy semifinalist in 2011, he led the University of South Florida with 16 goals and two assists in 21 matches. The speedy Dwyer earned NSCAA All-American Second Team honors in 2011 and was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Year as the conference’s leading goal scorer.
The London native spent his first two years in the United States at Tyler Junior College, where he scored 52 goals in two seasons and helped lead the school to back-to-back national junior college championships with a 41-0-1 record. He earned NJCAA National Player of the Year honors with 37 goals and five assists in 2010.
As one of 11 Generation adidas players available in the SuperDraft, Dwyer is classified as an off-budget player and his salary will not count against the club’s salary budget. He will also receive an educational stipend as part of the initiative, which is a joint program between MLS and adidas that is dedicated to developing exceptional domestic talent in a professional environment.
“I’m very excited, especially to have the home crowd here in attendance today,” Dwyer said. “It’s great to be able to meet the club’s supporters and I’m very happy to have this opportunity to play in Major League Soccer.”
Hedrick, 22, was the No. 30 overall selection in the SuperDraft, following a distinguished career at Coastal Carolina University. Primarily playing central defense, Hedrick earned Big South Defensive Player of the Year designation in 2011 and was named to the First Team All-Big South and the NSCAA’s All-South Atlantic Team. He was also recently announced as a NSCAA Men's Collegiate Scholar All-American first team selection.
Born in Cameroon before coming to the United States at a young age, Hedrick began his collegiate career at San Jacinto College and earned NSCAA All-Region honorable mention recognition for the 2008 season.
“I can't even begin to explain the emotion,” Hedrick said. “Coming from Africa as a little kid, I love this game and I've always wanted to play professionally. Now I'm here, I've made it to my dream, and it's time to really step up into it.”
Following Thursday’s SuperDraft, Sporting Kansas City will next participated in the four-round 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17 via conference call.
Dom Dwyer – 16th Overall (1st Round)
College: University of South Florida
Hometown: London, England
Birthplace: Cuckfield, England
Citizenship: United Kingdom
Cyprian Hedrick (Sip-REE-an HE-drick) – 30th Overall (2nd Round)
College: Coastal Carolina University
Hometown: Friendswood, Texas
Birthplace: Duala, Cameroon
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes
On the selection of Cyprian Hedrick…
We're excited about the pick. He has qualities where physically he can step into the League right away, that won't be the issue. Just the repetition of situations and the way that we like to build out of the back, and the expectations we have for our centerbacks, that remains to be seen. Outside of that, it's going to be exciting. Bringing him in, we're looking at him as a depth guy, and it's really going to be 'how fast does he accelerate through the process?'
On Hedrick figuring into Sporting Kansas City's draft strategy…
It's what we think is going to work for our team going forward, and that's how we make our decisions. It's like C.J. Sapong, nobody expected him last year. Everybody thought he played at a small school without a lot of competition. We're looking at what they're going to be down the road. If there's one thing I have confidence in, I have confidence in our staff and the way that we like to spend time and try to develop players. If this guy has the hunger to do it, and I think he does, coupled with the qualities that he does have, I think he's someone we can develop.
On the selection of Dom Dwyer…
I think he's an easy one. He's a goalscorer, he's proven that, number one. Number two is he's extremely courageous around the box, he'd stick his head on the end of a guy's foot to score a goal. Generation adidas helps tremendously, it doesn't put a lot of pressure on him to have an impact right away, and it keeps him off-budget for us. And the final piece is with all of our forwards, where you have Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury and C.J. Sapong in the mix with their national teams, we needed to add another forward into the mix along with Soony Saad just so that in case those guys are away or someone gets injured, we have some backup. It’s a big, big pick for us.
First Round SuperDraft Selection Dom Dwyer
On the emotions of being drafted in the first round…
I wasn’t quite as prepared as I wanted to be. A week ago I was getting ready to go back to school and now I’m a Sporting Kansas City player, its unbelievable!
On his time at South Florida…
I had a great six months there, scored a few goals. We went to the elite eight, we just lost out to Creighton, but it was good and now that program is building and it was time for me to move on. I got the Generation adidas offer the day before the combine.
On his qualities as a player…
I think I’m fast and strong. Hopefully I’ll bring goals to the team, that’s what I want to do. First of all, I just want to win the game and if I can help that by scoring goals, I’ll do that.
On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park….
I’m very excited, I haven’t even seen it yet. I think I’m actually getting a tour later on and I have heard great things so I’m already excited.
Giving thanks to the supporters of Sporting Kansas City…
Thank you for the great introduction, I am really enjoying it and obviously I am really excited to get playing and show you guys what I can do and hopefully win a championship.
Second Round SuperDraft Selection Cyprian Hedrick
On being drafted by Sporting Kansas City…
I'm very happy that I'm getting this opportunity. I've heard great things about the team, about the organization, and I'm just really excited to get out there."
On the prospect of playing at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…
It looks really cool. It looks really, really nice.
On his style of play and his main qualities….
I'm a natural-born defender, whether that's in a holding position or centerback. I'm a very simple player. I break down the attack and distribute the ball. I'm not the kind of guy who's going to get on the ball and do all this fancy stuff. I'm very hard-nosed. I win a tackle, play the ball one and two-touch, I just keep my life simple. I'm a very simple player, I work hard and I get the job done.
On his anticipation of the SuperDraft…
I just kind of heard that there was some interest, and there was some interest from other places as well. I was like, 'Well that's amazing', since I didn't go to the Combine. I was just hoping, just waiting for an opportunity, and luckily I got a very good one, so I'm very excited about it.