Two Creighton men’s soccer players were selected in the 2013 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft Tuesday afternoon. As a result, Creighton remains the only college program in the nation to have at least one player drafted into MLS since the league’s inception in 1996.
Toronto FC selected senior Jose Gomez in the second round with the 38th pick overall and the New York Red Bulls claimed senior Andrew Ribeiro at the 70th selection overall in the fourth round. It marks the first draft selection of a Creighton player for each MLS squad.
Earlier this month Gomez finished as the second runner-up for the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy, annually awarded to the top NCAA Division I men’s soccer player. He also claimed Soccer America MVP First team honors as a midfielder in early January. In December, Gomez earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America First Team honors and All-Midwest Region accolades as well as a College Soccer News All-America team selection.
The senior co-captain led the Bluejays to the College Cup in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history. Gomez is the reigning 2012 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Player of the Year and 2012 MVC Tournament MVP after helping the Jays claim their 13th Valley tournament championship and 20th NCAA Tournament appearance.
The 2012 First Team All-MVC selection started all 24 matches for the Bluejays this season. Gomez finished the year ranked No. 20 nationally and led the MVC with nine assists. The final helper of his CU career came Dec. 2 in an NCAA quarterfinal win at No. 4 seed Connecticut on the game-winning goal scored by Christian Blandon with 90 seconds remaining.
Gomez completed 2012 at No. 71 in the country and second in the MVC with 21 points this season (6 goals, 9 assists). He launched at least one shot attempt in each match this season and recorded a shot on goal in 16 contests. Earlier this season he earned an assist on all three CU goals at Princeton (10/9), the first Bluejay to accomplish the feat since Nov. 8, 2008.
The Santa Ana, Calif., native finished his career ranked in a tie for fifth in school history with 26 career assists as a Bluejay in just three seasons in Omaha. Gomez ranks in a tie for first all-time with 15 assists in Morrison Stadium. In other stadium marks he stands second in shots on goal at 37 and third in points at 33. Including his freshman season at Cal State Fullerton in 2008, Gomez totaled 31 assists, 16 goals and 76 shots on goal in his career.
Ribeiro, the reigning 2012 MVC Defensive Player of the Year, started every contest for CU this year. He also claimed an All-MVC First Team selection and earned MVC All-Tournament team honors after scoring the game-winning goal against SIU Edwardsville in the MVC Tournament Championship.
The senior earned MVC Defensive Player of the Week honors on three occasions this season but was also a lethal threat on offense. Each of his final seven goals at CU was a game-winning tally including three this season – two scored against SIUE, the other against Washington in an NCAA Second Round match. This season Ribeiro was named to Ameritas Classic All-Tournament Team and was also recognized as part of the Creighton Invitational All-Tournament Team. He led CU in time seen on the pitch, playing all but 48 minutes in 2012.
The Green Bay, Wis., native is one of three Bluejays to start back-to-back matches in a College Cup joining Gomez and junior teammate Bruno Castro. In four seasons at Creighton, Ribeiro totaled 10 goals, three assists and 30 shots on goal in his career.
Creighton is the only soccer program in the nation to have at least one player drafted (supplemental draft included) into MLS since the league began in 1996. With two players taken this year, 31 Bluejays have been drafted by MLS.