MLS team drafts USF star

USF men’s soccer standout Christian Jimenez was drafted on Friday, Jan. 14, in the second round (14th overall) by the Major League Soccer expansion team Club Deportivo Chivas USA, located in Los Angeles.

Jimenez, who was one of the Bulls’ top midfielders, only played one season (2004) at USF before deciding to enter the MLS draft. The San Dimas, Calif., native played in all 17 games for the Bulls, posting three goals and four assists and finishing fourth on the team in points (10). He was also named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team, but will not return to USF next season.

“As a college coach, I look to try to encourage all my players to graduate,” men’s soccer coach George Kiefer said. “But they come here, if they have a chance to go pro, I would meet with their parents and the player and take it from there.

“But while Christian was here, I wanted to make sure he did well academically, and he finished with something close to a 3.0,” Kiefer said. “He was selected 14th overall so that tells you what kind of player he is and I’m happy for him, but from a program’s stand point, I think we’ll bounce back just fine.”

USF softball player selected to Team USA

Former USF softball player Leigh Ann Ellis was chosen to compete with the United States Softball National Team in the 2005 Pacific Rim Sports Summit in Seattle this June, marking the first time in USF softball history that a former Bull has ever been selected to play with the national team.

Ellis will be reunited with her former coach, USF head coach and 2004 Olympic gold medal assistant coach Ken Eriksen, who will return as the assistant coach for the national team at this event.

The Barboursville, W.V., native, who played for USF for only two years (2003 and 2004) holds the single-season record victories (43 in 2004), innings pitched (315.2 in 2003), strikeouts (320 in 2003), shutouts (15 in 2004) and saves (four in 2004).

In 2004, Ellis pitched 294.1 innings without giving up a home run and held the Olympic Softball team scoreless for 5 1/3 innings; the longest any American pitcher has held Team USA scoreless.