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Eskandarian Selected First at MLS SuperDraft

January 17, 2003 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release

KANSAS CITY (Friday, January 17, 2003) - University of Virginia forward Alecko Eskandarian, the 2002 MAC Hermann Trophy winner, was selected by D.C. United with the first overall pick in today's MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas in Kansas City. Held in conjunction with the 56th annual Convention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, today's six-round draft will feature 60 total selections.

"To be the first overall selection is a tremendous honor," said Eskandarian. "I'm an East Coast guy, but I understand that this is professional soccer and you've got to prove yourself wherever you go. I can't wait to start my professional career."

Eskandarian, who netted a single-season record 25 goals for the Cavaliers in 2002, departs Virginia after three seasons at the collegiate soccer powerhouse. A member of the player pool for the U.S. Under-23 National Team, Eskandarian is among the players being considered for the U.S. Olympic squad that will attempt to qualify for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He also represented the U.S. at the 2001 Under-20 FIFA World Youth Championship, helping his team advance to the second round. The Montvale, New Jersey native attended today's SuperDraft after departing from his Under-23 teammates in Portugal, where the squad is in camp for a series of exhibition matches. Eskandarian will rejoin his teammates after today's proceedings.

The son of former New York Cosmos defender Andranik Eskandarian, Alecko grew up just 20 miles from Giants Stadium, where his father graced the field for the famed NASL club that once featured legends Pele and Giorgio Chinaglia. United will make its first trip to the Meadowlands on Saturday, May 10 when they battle Clint Mathis, Head Coach Bob Bradley and the rest of the MetroStars at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

At 5-8, 160 lbs, Eskandarian looks to the be final piece in United Head Coach Ray Hudson's revamped attack, which on Wednesday acquired U.S. National Team forward Earnie Stewart. Joined with Stewart, a veteran of the last three U.S. World Cup Teams and seven seasons with NAC Breda of the Dutch Eredivisie (First Division) and 19-year old sensation Santino Quaranta, Eskandarian provides United with the League's most impressive collection of American forwards.

Eskandarian is the first Hermann Trophy winner taken with the top overall pick in any MLS draft proceeding. Complete results of today's SuperDraft will be posted on www.MLSnet.com.


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