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United Drafts New Talent

January 17, 2003 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - D.C. United News Release

KANSAS CITY, MO (January 17, 2003) - D.C. United today drafted forward Alecko Eskandarian, defender David Stokes, midfielder Brian Carroll, goalkeeper Doug Warren, midfielder Hayden Woodworth, defender John Swann and goalkeeper Mike Behonick in the 2003 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. The team resumes fitness training Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 10:30 a.m. at American University.

“With today’s draft, we have obtained some extremely talented, young players,” said United Technical Director Dave Kasper. “These acquisitions will provide us with players we feel will contribute now and in the future. We look forward to getting them into preseason camp.

Selected with the first overall selection, Eskandarian joins United having created a powerful legacy at the University of Virginia. Despite playing only three seasons, Eskandarian made a compelling argument as one of the finest players to ever don a Cavalier uniform. Eskandarian proved he was more than ready to turn pro after winning numerous accolades in 2002, including the MAC Hermann Trophy Award, given to the top collegiate player in Division I. He was named to the NSCAA/adidas All-American first-team in 2002 after placing on the second-team in 2001 as a sophomore, and was an All-ACC first-team selection in each of his three seasons. The 5-9, 160-pound striker led the Cavaliers in goals all three seasons, including his freshman season in 2000 when he exploded onto the collegiate soccer scene by scoring 16 goals, which helped him garner ACC Rookie of the Year honors.

The 20-year-old from Montvale, N.J. left a sizable dent in the UVA record books, finishing in the top six in several categories, including goals scored (50- 4th), points (113- 6th), shots (272- 3rd) and game-winning goals (15- 3rd). Eskandarian also had one of the program’s best individual years in 2002, scoring a single-season Cavalier record 25 goals and finishing the year with 54 points, tied for the second most in a single season.

Eskandarian, whose father Andranik was a defender for the storied New York Cosmos of the NASL, made a name for himself even before attending the UVA by being named the 2000 Gatorade National Player of the Year while at Bergen Catholic High School. His talent has also garnered him attention in the international ranks through his many stints with the United States Youth National Teams. Most recently, Eskandarian has spent his time in the Red, White and Blue with the U.S. Under-23 squad that is preparing for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The dynamic forward netted a team-high six goals for the U-23’s in 2002 in the squad’s various competitions.

“I’m unbelievably excited to be selected by D.C. United,” said Eskandarian. “Going to D.C. is a thrill beyond belief and I can’t wait to begin my pro career.

D.C. United nabbed Stokes with their second selection in the first round (fifth overall). Stokes, 20, is another young talent that has decided to leave college early and sign with MLS and the Project-40 program. A local product from Dumfries, VA (Hylton H.S.), the physical junior defender started in all of the Tar Heels’ contests the last three seasons for a defense that allowed only 60 goals in 71 contests. The 6-3, 195-pound Stokes earned Defensive MVP honors at the 2001 NCAA College Cup, helping the Tar Heels to their first-ever national title. Stokes, a finalist for the 2002 MAC Hermann Trophy, is also a regular starter on the United States U-23 National Team that will compete in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

“I’m very excited,” said Stokes. “It’s nice to go to the hometown team. It should be an easy transition for me going home.

United again selected a hometown hero, choosing Carroll with their first pick in the second round (11th overall). The P-40 prospect from Wake Forest University earned NSCAA First Team All-South and First Team All-ACC honors and was a finalist for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy. The 5-10, 150 pound Springfield, VA native (West Springfield H.S.) did not miss a game while at Wake, starting in all 61 games since his freshman year. Carroll, 21, competed during the spring and summer 2002 in Italy, England and Portugal with the U-23, scoring twice against Bolton. He also appeared in the spring of 2001 with the U-20 National Team competing in Trinidad, France and at the World Youth Championships in Argentina.

Three picks later (14th overall), United tabbed Warren. The 6-0, 165 pound goalkeeper from Clemson University was a 2002 First Team NSCAA All-American and was selected to the 2002 All-ACC Second Team. He earned First Team All-ACC honors in 2001 and in 2000. Warren, 21, was also a member of the U.S. Under-23, U19 and U17 National Teams.

After proceeding through the third round without a selection, United resumed its participation in the draft by selecting Woodworth with the first pick in the fourth round (31st overall). The 5-9, 155 pound Pennsylvania native was the 2002 Division III Player of the Year out of Messiah College. Woodworth, 22, is a two-time NCAA Division III All-American (2000 and 2002) after leading his school to National Championships in both years. He also led Messiah to wins over the A-League Hershey Wildcats in April 2001 and a mixed reserve and 1st team squad from Dutch club BVO Emmen in August 2001, as well as a draw against the A-League Charlotte Eagles in April 2002.

Selected in the fifth round (41st overall), Swann joins the Black-and-Red backline having played the four previous years at Indiana University. The 5-10, 180 pound 23-year-old was a 2002 First Team All-American and a three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection. Swann was also a member of the 1999 Hoosiers’ 1999 National Championship team.

A 6-2, 180 pound goalkeeper from American University, Behonick posted a 1.07 goals-against average and a .817 save percentage and six shutouts in 2002. Selected in the sixth round (51st overall), Behonick, 22, was named to the 2002 Penn State/Nike Classic All-Tournament Team and earned 2001 All-Patriot League Second-Team honors. In 1997, he helped American to first NCAA appearance since. D. C. United passed with their final selection in the sixth round (59th overall).

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