Whitworth's Ramos selected in MLS SuperDraft
|Photo by Whitworth Athletics|
Senior All-American forward Micheal Ramos has been selected by the Toronto FC with the 50th overall pick in the third round of the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Tuesday.
Toronto FC partnered with the Seattle Sounders FC and two North American Soccer League teams in holding a combine Ramos attended in December. Toronto was impressed with his play at the combine and spoke to Whitworth head coach Morgan Cathey about Ramos prior to the draft selection, Cathey said.
Click here to view a SuperDraft news release from Toronto FC.
"I'm extremely happy for Mikey and I think this is one of the capstone moments in a long road for him and his career," Cathey said. "And I know that he's going to be successful at the next level because of his determination and passion that he exudes every day."
After learning he was drafted, Ramos said he shared an emotional phone call with his mother in coming to realization with the significance of the moment.
"Realizing that after all the hard work I've put in to get to this point, it's finally here -- it's a good feeling," Ramos said.
Ramos also expressed thankfulness for the support of the Whitworth coaching staff and athletic environment in helping to define his character as a player and reach the point of being selected in the draft.
Cathey anticipates Ramos will be invited to preseason training, beginning in the coming weeks, with an opportunity to make an impact and compete for a spot on the MLS roster. Even if he is not offered an MLS contract following preseason training the organization plans to keep Ramos in their system, Cathey said. The team holds a partnership with a USL PRO franchise and can develop players at the USL PRO level as well.
"Their system involves a great, additional professional franchise with their USL PRO team," Cathey said. "So he's going to a great place that sees huge value in him and they're going to take care of him well."
Ramos was the lone player from the Division III level selected in the four-round draft and joins a short list of former Pirates to be drafted into professional soccer. Former Whitworth All-American Jennifer Tissue was drafted by the Boston Breakers in 2000 during the inaugural draft for the Women's United Soccer Association. Former Whitworth standout Austin Washington, drafted by the Chicago Fire in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, played his freshman season for the Pirates before transferring to Gonzaga University.
"We can't be more happy with the opportunity we've had to coach him and to provide a great experience for him here at Whitworth," Cathey said.
Ramos transferred to Whitworth in 2014 after spending his first three years of collegiate eligibility at Walla Walla CC and then Seattle University. He also spent time playing semi-professionally in Iceland and Sweden.
He led Whitworth with 40 points during the 2014 season via 14 goals and 12 assists. He led the Northwest Conference during the regular season in total points and assists while tying for the top goal-scoring mark.
Ramos became the first men's soccer play in program history to earn NSCAA All-America First Team recognition and was also selected to the 2014 D3soccer.com All-American Second Team.
He was previously named to the NSCAA All-West Region First Team to go along with First Team All-NWC and NWC Offensive Player of the Year honors. He was recognized as the NWC Men's Soccer Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week on three occasions during the season.