Ready for Mehdi
SALT LAKE CITY (Friday, January 20, 2006) - Real Salt Lake today selected 22-year old playmaker Mehdi Ballouchy (buh - LOO - chee) with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 Major League Soccer SuperDraft in Philadelphia, Penn. Ballouchy, a 5-foot-11, 165-lb. attacking midfielder from Santa Clara University, will provide RSL Head Coach John Ellinger with additional talent in the midfield.
"We are excited to add a player of Mehdi's caliber to our rapidly improving young squad," said Ellinger during today's draft. "Throughout our scouting efforts of college games during the last two NCAA seasons, and during last week's MLS Combine, the RSL coaching staff felt that Mehdi stood heads-and-shoulders above his competition. He is a difference-maker, and we expect him to quickly adjust to the MLS level and contribute to our 2006 campaign."
Ballouchy, a native of Casablanca, Morocco and the son of a former French second division player Driss Ballouchy, earned numerous honors and awards following his junior campaign with the Broncos. In 2005, the First-Team NSCAA/adidas Men's Division I All-America standout was also named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, a consensus first-team All-America by such distinguished publications as Soccer America, Soccer Times and College Soccer News. Ballouchy was also a semifinalist for the 2005 MAC Hermann Trophy.
Prior to declaring as an underclassman for the MLS draft, Ballouchy played two seasons (2004-2005) where he played in 42 games with 41 starts for the Broncos, notching four goals and adding 16 assists. He transferred to the Bay Area soccer power after spending one season (2002) with Creighton University, where he was a main fixture in the midfield starting 20 of 24 games, tallying five goals and adding four assists.
Ballouchy is a 2002 graduate of Henry Gunn High School in Palo Alto, Calif. He spent his junior season at South High School in Denver, Colo., where he earned all-league honors. In addition, he played at Yassine High School in Casablanca, Morocco during his first two prep seasons. Ballouchy was a member of the Morocco U-17 and U-16 National Teams and played in youth program of the local professional team, Raja Casablanca.
"Ballouchy's exquisite passing skills and obvious technical expertise bode well for his professional career," said RSL General Manager Steve Pastorino. "We are excited to invite him into an environment where he can learn from such established veterans as Jason Kreis, Andy Williams, Carey Talley, Douglas Sequeira and Jeff Cunningham, and help propel us towards our goal of winning MLS Cup 2006."
Please log on to www.MLSnet.com or www.RealSaltLake.com for complete results of today's MLS SuperDraft. Media outlets can log on to www.WireImage.com for photos of today's event, including those of Ballouchy, Ellinger and Pastorino.
• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...
Major League Soccer Stories from January 20, 2006
- Bradley names Preki as Chivas USA Assistant Coach - MLS
- L.A. Galaxy select five players at 2006 MLS Superdraft - LA Galaxy
- MetroStars Select Marvell Wynne First Overall in 2006 MLS SuperDraft - MLS
- Chivas USA gets three in Philly - Club Deportivo Chivas USA
- Wizards Draft Six Players Including Armenian Striker Yura Movsisyan - Sporting Kansas City
- Crew Selects College Player Of The Year Jason Garey - Columbus Crew SC
- adidas unveils 2006 Chivas USA uniform - Club Deportivo Chivas USA
- D.C. United drafts Justin Moose in first round of 2006 MLS SuperDraft - D.C. United
- Rapids Select Two in 2006 MLS SuperDraft - Colorado Rapids
- MetroStars Reacquire 41st Overall Pick; Tab Blake Camp - New York Red Bulls
- Revs select three players in 2006 MLS SuperDraft - New England Revolution
- MetroStars Land U-17 Standout Josmer Altidore in Second Round - New York Red Bulls
- Ready for Mehdi - Real Salt Lake
- MetroStars Acquire Top Pick in SuperDraft - New York Red Bulls
- Revolution Select Midfielder - New England Revolution
- Rapids Acquire Jordan, Wingert from Columbus - Colorado Rapids
- adidas Unveils D.C. United Jerseys - D.C. United
- Crew Acquires Two Draft Picks In Exchange For Partial Allocation - Columbus Crew SC
- Crew Acquires Two SuperDraft Picks In Separate Deals - Columbus Crew SC
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Real Salt Lake Stories
- This Week at RSL
- Real Salt Lake Hosts Portland Timbers in Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs
- Real Salt Lake Tops Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 on Decision Day
- Real Salt Lake Visits Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Final Match of 2019 Regular Season
- Real Salt Lake Quintet Invited to U.S. U-23 National Team Camp