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Three locals drafted in MLS SuperDraft

All-American Navy defender Joe Greenspan was selected in the second round

All-American Navy defender Joseph Greenspan was selected with the 26th overall pick by the Colorado Rapids but is committed to five years of service before he can play.

Navy defender Joseph Greenspan and UMBC duo Oumar Ballo and Kay Banjo were drafted in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft. For Navy, Greenspan became the just the second-ever player drafted in MLS from a service academy and first from Navy. For UMBC, Ballo and Banjo add to a great run for UMBC as the fifth and sixth players to be drafted since 2011.

At a hulking 6-foot-6, Greenspan put Navy on the map in soccer and finished the year receiving first-team All-American honors. Greenspan, who may end up being the tallest player in MLS history, was clearly one of the best back-line prospects in the draft but, he is set for a five-year military service commitment.

Obviously, during his five years, Greenspan would not be able to play in the MLS regularly but the Colorado Rapids still choose to invest their second round pick and the 26th overall pick on the strapping back, because after his five years, he’s bound to be a very good player for quite some time. Former Air Force goalkeeper Rich Cullen was the only other player from a service academy to be drafted in the MLS. He was selected in the sixth round in 2000 by the Colorado Rapids

Ballo and Banjo, are ready to make impacts now for their teams. Ballo, was once expected to be a very high first round pick in the draft but dropped to the 30th overall pick and was selected by the Houston Dynamo. The three-year player at UMBC carried a Retriever defense that allowed just one goal in the NCAA Tournament and guides them to the national semifinals. The past two seasons he received All-American honors at centerback. Houston is very much in rebuilding mode and Ballo will have a great opportunity to compete for time for the team that allowed the most goals in the Eastern Conference last year.

Banjo, who once thought his soccer career was over after Towson dropped their program, had a great senior season at UMBC and a tremendous performance at the combine to shoot his draft stock up. Banjo was taken with the 38th overall pick by the Vancouver White Caps, a team that struggled to finish offensive opportunities last year and scored the fewest number of goals among all playoff teams.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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