Jan. 16, 2004
Five UCLA players have been chosen in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, including the fourth overall pick, forward Matt Taylor.
After an outstanding showing at the MLS Combine, during which he scored five goals in his last two games, Taylor improved his draft stock all the way to the No. 4 selection. The Kansas City Wizards made a trade with Dallas to acquire the No. 4 selection and used that pick to select Taylor, the 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year and a NSCAA second-team All-American. Taylor, who led UCLA with 14 goals and 36 points in 2003, is UCLA's first first-round pick since 2000, when Steve Shak, Carlos Bocanegra and Sasha Victorine were chosen in the first round.
The Chicago Fire selected defender Leonard Griffin as the first pick in the second round and the 11th pick overall. Griffin, a first-team NSCAA All-American in 2003, will join former Bruin teammate Ryan Futagaki in Chicago.
Midfielder Adolfo Gregorio was chosen by the Colorado Rapids as the 15th pick overall and the fifth pick in the second round. Gregorio was a three-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection and a nominee for the 2003 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy. He led UCLA with 14 assists this past season.
Goalkeeper Zach Wells and midfielder Ty Maurin were both selected in the third round. Wells, an NSCAA second-team All-American and the Sports Illustrated On Campus National Player of the Year, was drafted by the NY/NJ MetroStars as the first pick in the third round. Maurin, a two-time All-Pac-10 selection, was chosen by the Dallas Burn as the ninth pick of the third round.