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KC Comets select three in first MASL college draft

Comets take three players with local connections

College Soccer: Nov 21 NCAA round 2 - Long Island at Saint Louis Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kansas City Comets selected three players in the inaugural Major Arena Soccer League college draft. All fourteen teams participated in the MASL draft over three rounds. The first two rounds were territorial and could not be traded. The third round was at-large and could have been traded. Teams maintain the MASL rights until December of 2023. The Comets picked ninth in each round.

Round 1

With the 9th overall pick, the Comets selected midfielder John Klein III from Saint Louis University. Klein was a standout player for the Billikens, starting 83 games in his 88 appearances, scoring 29 goals, and adding 27 assists.

The Columbia, Missouri native won A-10 Conference Freshman of the Year in 2018 and was All-Conference in 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022 and also the A-10 co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2022.

SLU is well known for developing high-level talent and the Klein name is not unfamiliar there. His father, grandfather, and great-uncle also played at SLU. Klein’s grandfather won national titles in 1959 and 1960 while his uncle won the national title in 1962.

Klein’s father played a season for the Comets in 1990-91 and spent six seasons with St. Louis.

Klein spent time with Sporting KC and Portland Timbers academies and is on the MLS draft-eligible list.

Round 2

With the 23rd overall pick, the Comets selected Arne Neufang from UMKC. The Saarbrücken, Germany native played midfield for two seasons with the Kansas City Roos. Neufang was named to the All-Summit League All-Conference Second Team in 2021 and academic All-Conference in 2022.

Round 3

With the 37th overall pick, the Comets selected forward Jakib Jones from Park University. Jones earned All-Conference honors in 2019 and 2022. He scored 31 goals and added eight assists for the Pirates. Jones has practiced with the Comets this preseason and would stand a chance of earning a roster if there is an opening.

Other notes:

Utica selected former Sporting KC Academy player Leroy Enzugusi. He was selected by Nashville in the 2021 MLS draft.

Dallas selected Roman Knox, also a former SKC Academy player and he is on the eligible list for the MLS draft.

All picks:

Round One

1. Harrisburg – Ryan Becher – UMBC, son of Bill Becher, former USL head coach

2. Tacoma – Chris Lozano – Pacific Lutheran University, 2021 NWC Offensive Player of the Year, 2021 First Team ALL-NWC

3. Empire – Jeronimo Valdepenna – Cal State University of San Bernardino

4. Utica – Colin Biros – Syracuse University, 2022 National Champion

5. Milwaukee – Carter Abbott – University of Wisconsin

6. St Louis – Iwan Webster – St. Louis University and Maryville University

7. Dallas – Judson Burns – Southern Methodist University

8. Baltimore – Ben Stitz – Penn University, son of former All-Star player Barry Stitz

9. Kansas City – John Klein III – SLU Billikens, son of former Comets and Steamer player John Klein

10. Chihuahua - Daniel Eduardo Guevara - Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua

11. Florida – Skylar Funk – Southeastern University, coached in college by Clay Roberts

12. San Diego – Jessie Gonzalez – Mira Costa College

13. Monterrey - Tadeo Osvaldo Hernandez Silva - Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León

14. Mesquite – Giancarlo Saldana – West Texas A&M University

Round Two

15. Harrisburg Heat - Alex Stevenson – Penn State

16. Tacoma – Craig Johnson – Pacific Lutheran University, NWC Champion, 2x First Team All NWC, First Team All-Region

17. Empire – Nico Mancilla – University of Redlands

18. Utica City FC – Ethan Homler – Binghamton University

19. Milwaukee – Alex Salmeron – Marquette University

20. St. Louis – Erik Rajoy – Columbia College

21. Dallas – Takayoshi Wyatt – University of Tulsa

22. Baltimore – Quantrell Jones – UMBC

23. Kansas City – Arne Neufang – UMKC

24. Chihuahua – Alejandro Juarez – Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua

25. Florida – Gabrielle Privitera – University of South Florida

26. San Diego – Joshua Villanueva – Cuyamaca College

27. Monterrey Flash – Andres Marcelo Carranza Somera - Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

28. Mesquite – Mitchell Cashion – Tulsa University

Round Three

29. Harrisburg – Kelan Swales – Loyola University

30. Tacoma – Zane Baumgardt – Cal State Dominguez Hills, NWAC All-Star, Max Preps Player of the Year, TNT All-Area Best XI

31. Empire – Izaac Zausch – Biola University, All American

32. Utica – Leroy Enzugusi – Drake University, 2021 MLS Super Draft Pick(Nashville SC)

33. Milwaukee – Anzurini Kimba – Wartburg College

34. St. Louis – Matheus Ferreira – Oklahoma Wesleyan University

35. Dallas – Roman Knox – Southern Methodist University, son of former Comets star Tommy Knox

36. Baltimore – Brandon Knapp – St. John’s University

37. Kansas City – Jakib Jones – Park University

38. Chihuahua – Rafael Hernandez – Universidad de Michoacan, 5 State Championships, 3 National University titles, gold medalist CONDDE 2019

39. Florida – Ninrod Picado – Rollins College

40. San Diego – Gael Ruiz – San Diego Christian College

41. Monterrey – Brayan Alexis Rios Lugo – Universidad Autonoma de Neuvo Lion

42. Mesquite – Brandon Martinez-Trelles – Midwestern State University

Thad Bell