EDP Soccer would like to congratulate all the players selected in the MLS Draft. EDP Soccer would like to give special acknowledgement to the players who came through EDP Leagues or the USYS Regional Leagues, now known as the USYS National League Conferences (the New England, North Atlantic, Mid Atlantic and South Atlantic Conferences that are managed by EDP Soccer). Here are the players selected:
Rio Hope Gund (New York Soccer Club) - Drafted 19th to Orlando City FC
With New York Soccer Club, Gund was a part of one of the EDP Leagues all-time top teams. As captain, he led the team to back-to-back National Championships, and went on to win a NCAA National Championship with Georgetown University. Read about Gund's experiences with NYSC and winning a national championship here. Gund was also a member of the EDP Select team that participated in the 2013 Dallas Cup.
Thomas Judge (Marlboro SA) - Drafted 36th to Nashville SC
With Marlboro, Judge was a six-time state champion and also won a National Championship. In their final season, he led the team to an undefeated season in the EDP League top division. The Marlboro SA Warriors, coached by Frank Rizzi, Murray Karp and Jose Cunhia were one of the top teams in the state throughout their tenure, and the club’s most successful team. Judge's ability and leadership were also on display in college, where he helped lead James Madison University to an NCAA Elite 8 appearance in his sophomore season.
Frank Rizzi, Marlboro SA Warriors coach and owner of CTR had this to say about Judge: “Thomas played for MSA/CTR for nine years. He played all of his youth travel career in the Marlboro SA club. He is truly a special player! We shared many great memories together including winning six state cups, a national championship, and pretty much every major tournament in the country. But the greatest memory for me, was to witness his hard work, determination, and perseverance at every practice and every game! Most importantly he is an outstanding human being, and I am blessed and proud to have had the opportunity to be his coach all those years! Another great example of the home-grown talent that comes through, CTR, the town clubs, and EDP Soccer! Murray, Jose, the entire club and I all look forward to watching him as he takes the next step toward his professional career!”
Matthew Vowinkel (Massapequa SC) - Drafted 56th to FC Cincinnati
With Massapequa SC Aces, Vowinkel played in the EDP League top division and was a key to the team's success as one of the top teams in the region and ENYYSA. The team won the ENYYSA State Cup in 2016 and 2015, and also reached the Semi Final of the USYS Eastern Regional Championships. Vowinkel would play for coach Rich Nuttal at Hofstra University, becoming First-Team All CAA, Second-Team United Soccer Coaches All-Region, and a United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American. Nuttal, Hofstra Men’s Soccer Head Coach and former Massapequa SC Coach stated, “We are incredibly proud of this achievement, Matt has worked tirelessly at his game over the years and thoroughly deserves this opportunity. I believe as a pure finisher in the box he is as good as anyone in college soccer. In addition, he has come out of the Long Island local soccer club scene initially with NHP and for his last six years through Massapequa SC. He is also truly a great person and fantastic in the classroom.”
With World Class and TSF, White played in the top division of the EDP League and played in several EDP Cups, winning in 2014 with World Class ‘97 Elite. With TSF, he won the 2016 EDP Open Cup. He would go on to be the NJIT Division I record holder in career goals (34), points (74), and goals in a single season (17).
John Saunders, TSF Academy Sporting Director commented, “All of us at TSF Academy are extremely proud of Rene. During his time with the club, his mind set and work ethic were tremendous and was always an example to show the younger players. At Dallas Cup and during the EDP League Season and EDP Open Cup run, he was instrumental to the team’s success under former TSF DOC Luis Mendoza. We wish him the best of luck in the next stage of his career.”
Michael DeSheilds (Baltimore Celtic SC) - Drafted 5th to DC United
With Baltimore Celtic, DeShields won multiple MSYSA State Cups and USYS Eastern Regional Championships. He won the 2014-15 USYS National League Red Division and won the 2014 USYS National Championship.
AJ Marcucci & Aiden McFadden (Penn Fusion SA) - Drafted 67th to NY Red Bulls & 59th to Atlanta United FC, respectively
With Penn Fusion, the pair were on one of the top teams in the USYS Eastern Regional League. Together they won five EPYSA state championships, two USYS Eastern Regional Championship titles, two USYS National League titles and reached the USYS National Championship Semi Finals twice. Marcucci, who played goalkeeper at Connecticut College, is the first Division III player drafted since 2016.