Zips send three to MLS in draft

“The men’s soccer team’s success carried into the offseason as it sent three players into Major League Soccer via the MLS Superdraft. Teal Bunbury, Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski all made the leap from the college to professional level during the draft. Bunbury was the first drafted from the 2009 National Championship runner up team.”

The men’s soccer team’s success carried into the offseason as it sent three players into Major League Soccer via the MLS Superdraft.

Teal Bunbury, Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski all made the leap from the college to professional level during the draft.

Bunbury was the first drafted from the 2009 National Championship runner up team.

Expected to be a top five pick, Bunbury did not surprise many when he went fourth to the Kansas City Wizards, who his dad played for during his career in the MLS.

The selection marks the first time that a son of a former MLS player has entered the league.

I feel so blessed and honored by the Kansas City organization for giving me this opportunity, Bunbury said. Going to Kansas City makes it a little more special because my dad played there and it’s something that’s never happened before. There will be high expectations to live up to, but I’m looking forward to that challenge.

Bunbury was the recipient of the Hermann Trophy, which is considered to be the highest single honor in all of college soccer, earlier in the year after leading the nation in scoring 17 goals.

I’m really going to miss my teammates at Akron because of how close we were, Bunbury said. I loved my time at Akron, being around top-notch players, top-notch coaches and top-notch fans. It was a great time in my life, but it’s time to move forward.

The next Zip to be taken in the draft was midfielder Blair Gavin.

When Gavin decided to forego his senior year and enter the MLS Superdraft, everyone knew he would be a hot commodity.

The co-captain from the most dominating team in college soccer was taken No. 10 overall by Chivas USA, which plays in Carson, Calif.

It’s hard for me to put into words how much my time at Akron meant to me because they were the best years of my life, Gavin said. As a player and as a person, I’ve grown so much and I can’t thank everyone who had a role in that enough. From all my teammates through the years to Caleb and his staff, they have really shaped the person I am today.

I’ll never forget the friends that I made there and the support the A-K Rowdies and community showed us no matter what kind of weather we were playing in or where we were playing. I’m going to miss that and playing at Lee Jackson Field tremendously.

Midfielder Ben Zemanski was the third and final Zip to be chosen in the draft.

Zemanski followed his teammate and fellow co-captain as Chivas USA selected him No. 47 overall.

It has always been a dream to have the opportunity to play professionally, Zemanski said. I spoke to Caleb the other day and he said he would be shocked if I didn’t get drafted, so I was pretty confident I’d get picked. It means a lot definitely to the whole program with guys getting drafted year-in-and-year out. It speaks volumes for what Caleb and his staff are doing at Akron.

UA head coach Caleb Porter has indeed done a lot at Akron and it shows. Four of the programs six players to be drafted to the MLS have played for Porter in the last two years.

This is a tremendous honor for our program and an exciting day for Teal, Blair and Ben for them to achieve their dreams of playing professional soccer, UA head coach Caleb Porter said. It’s a credit to the hard work and talent they have. They’re going to have great careers and represent themselves well.

To have two players go in the top ten and three players taken overall is a statement that our program is one that is not only competing for championships but also developing players for the next level. That’s something that we feel very strongly about. Not only are we allowing student-athletes to get an education but we’re also building them into professional players and helping to grow the sport in this country.