Jan. 15, 2015
MLS SuperDraft Tracker | Colorado Rapids Official Site
Former Marquette University men's soccer player Axel Sjoberg (WHO-berg) was drafted 14th overall by the Colorado Rapids in the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, which took place in Philadelphia, Pa., on Thursday, Jan. 15.
"I am really happy to be where I am today and can't wait to move to Colorado and get started," Sjoberg said. "It wouldn't have been possible without the support of my family and the people at Marquette and I am extremely grateful for my experience there."
The defender signed with the MLS yesterday, joining a group nearly 20 college seniors who signed with the league prior to the draft. With his selection, Sjoberg becomes the highest draft selection in school history. The Columbus Crew owned the 14th position originally, but Colorado traded up to pick Sjoberg.
On Dec. 31, Sjoberg was invited to participate in the adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which took place Jan. 8-13. The MLS invited 64 total seniors to the combine where they could display their skills to the 20 clubs in the professional league.
"We obviously couldn't' be happier for Axel," head coach Louis Bennett said. "It's fantastic to see the development of a player who comes in and dreams of someday being drafted at the professional level. Axel works as hard as he dreams and that dedication has put him into the position he is today."
The Stockholm, Sweden, native started in all 63 matches he played in during his collegiate career at MU registering 11 goals, 31 points and 24 shots on goal. The 6'7 defender redshirted his freshman year after breaking his foot, but returned for three seasons where he became a standout, earning national and BIG EAST accolades. A major highlight of his career came in 2013 when he helped MU win its first-ever BIG EAST Tournament Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
During his final season sporting the Blue and Gold, Sjoberg started and played every minute of the season's 18 matches, where he recorded three assists and seven shots on goal. He was named to the 2014 NSCAA Men's University Division I Scholar All-American Third Team, was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection, and a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week.
Sjoberg joins a long list of players under MU head coach Louis Bennett who have reached the professional ranks. He is the third Marquette player and first defender to be drafted by the MLS, following midfielders Bryan Ciesiulka and Calum Mallace. Ciesiulka was drafted in 2014 by the Chicago Fire as the 18th pick in the fourth round, 75th overall. The former Golden Eagle co-captain played for the Chicago Fire Development Academy in 2010, spent time with the Super-20's and played three summers with the Chicago Fire PDL before entering the league.
Mallace was the first Golden Eagle to be drafted by the MLS, going 20th overall, first in the second round, to the Montreal Impact in 2012. He earned the 2011 BIG EAST Conference Midfielder of the Year award and was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection during his senior campaign. He started 12 matches and appeared in 23 total for the Impact in 2014 and finished with one goal and three assists.