Dwyer set to be drafted into MLS today
Published: Thursday, January 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 12, 2012 02:01
It's good to be Dom Dwyer.
After a breakthrough debut season at USF, the English-born forward was offered a Generation Adidas contract Jan. 4 and accepted just a day later, ending his time with the Bulls and beginning a journey to life as a professional. That journey rounds another corner today with the 2012 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft.
Generation Adidas selects elite college underclassmen and advances them into MLS, the highest level of professional soccer in the U.S. Nine players were selected this year. The Generation Adidas contract means that Dwyer will not take up a roster space on his MLS team and his salary, which will be higher
than that of a non-Generation Adidas rookie, will not count against the salary cap.
"It was a very tough decision for me," Dwyer said. "I really love Florida, and it's difficult for me to decide to leave the people that made me so happy for these last six months. But, at the end of the day, when someone is dangling your dream in front of you, you have to take advantage of it."
Dwyer will be leaving USF after an almost storybook season, leading the Big East with 16 goals, winning the Big East Player of the Year award and leading the Bulls to a berth in the NCAA Elite Eight.
"I think I expected our team's success," he said. "I knew from the preseason that this team had a chance to be great. We had a tough loss against Creighton, so we didn't go as far as we thought we could. We honestly expected to be a Final Four or Championship team."
Dom Dwyer's goal, which would have won the game but was called offsides. As it turns out, it was Dwyer's last game for USF.
"I still think about that goal a lot," Dwyer said. "Sometimes, me and (coach) George (Kiefer) will talk about that goal and that game, how it still hurts. I almost wish that I had just shot that one over the cross bar, because at least then we wouldn't still be talking about it."
Now, Dwyer is ready for the next stage of his career. He's projected as a first-round pick in today's SuperDraft, which will take place in Kansas City, Mo., at noon. Dwyer will be there to learn his fate.
"My parents just flew in, so we're going to have dinner (and) relax. My coaches from Tyler (Junior College in Texas) are coming in as well," he said. "Everything is out of my hands now. I'm just going to relax, enjoy the moment, wear a nice suit, look sharp, hope to hear my name called and get drafted."
Kiefer is extremely proud of his players' success, and according to Dwyer, was one of his biggest supporters during the decision process, telling him not to look back and to achieve his goal of turning pro.
"I'm very happy for Dom to get the chance to chase his dream," Kiefer said. "I'm happy that he was able to get some good exposure at USF, and he's done a lot of great things for our program."
After the departure of Dwyer, along with seniors Chris Blais and Aubrey Perry, Kiefer is looking toward the future of his program.
"When you look at both our graduating seniors who are going to the combine and now a Generation Adidas guy, it says a lot about the team as a whole," Kiefer said. "I think it also paints a good picture for the younger guys because all three of these guys were team guys. They worked for the team and it paid off."
The draft will be televised live on ESPN2.