Tag Archives: MLS
By Keeler McJunkin
Former Lane United FC standout Khiry Shelton is making his presence felt during his second year as a pro with NYCFC of the MLS after being selected second overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
Shelton played in 17 games while recording seven starts during his rookie year, but the forward already has 11 starts to his name and has played in 19 games this season while scoring three goals and assisting on nine others.
Last Friday Shelton had three assists after getting the start in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Fire that moved NYCFC into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference and helped them clinch their first-ever MLS playoff spot.
Shelton has one goal and five assists in his last four games with the club and his nine assists rank second on the team, only one behind maestro Andrea Pirlo.
“The season has been great so far,” Shelton said. “I’m learning a lot from the coaching staff and other players around me. You always have nerves and the spotlight in the first season, it’s all new to you. I’m becoming smarter and learning little things to help me get more time on the ball.”
A big change for Shelton has been playing with legends of the sport like David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard. He hasn’t allowed himself to get star-struck around them, but has been soaking in the experience of taking the field with them.
“Growing up you watch these guys on tv and want to be in their position,” Shelton said. “To be able to play with them is amazing. There are times I sit back and it really hits me, but at the same time it’s business, they’re my teammates and we have a job to get done.”
Even though he’s playing on the big stage in New York City inside an iconic place like Yankee Stadium, Shelton hasn’t lost track of how he got there and who helped him along the way. He said his time with Lane United helped him get to where he is today.
“John Galas and our assistant coach Conner (Cappelletti), just the whole organization in general were able to help me get my name out there even more,” Shelton said. “We were training almost every day and the group of guys John brought in helped me showcase my talent. I was able to get my confidence up and be around really good players.”
Shelton said Lane United head coach John Galas had a big impact on him both on and off the field by not only teaching the athletic side of playing the sport, but also the mental aspect of what you need to be doing as a player to be successful.
“He’s a player coach,” Shelton said. “He gets what he wants out of his players whether he has to be hard on them or kind of comfort them. He’s able to do both. He’s like a father figure, if you ever need anything he’d easily be the first person you can call.”
Not only has Shelton been seeing more time on the field with NYCFC, he’s a current member of the USA Under-23 national team and was called up to the senior United States squad for friendlies against Iceland and Canada earlier this year.
Playing for the national team has been quite a different soccer experience for Shelton than he’s seen with any club team in the past.
“I got to play with a lot of the players who have been with the national team for awhile and I got to train with them a lot,” Shelton said. “That was an amazing experience. When you’re with the national team instead of your club cheering for you, you have people from all over the United States cheering for you. That was pretty awesome.”
Earlier this season venerable midfielder and now current NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira said he thinks Shelton can be one of the best players in the MLS before his career is done. While those are big words coming from Vieira, Shelton knows he has the talent to get where he wants to be as a player.
“The things he (Vieira) has done as a player and the things he accomplishes are amazing,” Shelton said. “I know what I can do, but it’s all about me willing to put in the work. I need to stay focused and not think about what I can be, just be me right now. He’s a great coach and he’s been hard on me, but at the same time I know it’s because he wants the best out of me.”
As the MLS playoffs are getting closer, Shelton and his NYCFC teammates are looking to continue their strong play as of late and really make a push to go deep into the postseason.
“We’re a team that knows we can score at any point in time with the talent and determination we have as a team,” Shelton said. “We’ve been doing well and we want to continue to do well.”
Former Lane United FC Goalkeeper Wade Hamilton was drafted by the Portland Timbers on January 19th, during the third round of the MLS SuperDraft. The Timbers selected Hamilton as the 61st overall pick in this year’s draft. Hamilton will be training with the Timbers’ highly talented goalkeepers, Jake Gleeson and Adam Kwarasey, the winner of the 2015 MLS Save of the Year Award.
Hamilton spent his college career playing for Cal Poly where he received numerous recognitions and honors including two Big-West Goalkeeper of the Year awards. Hamilton played every minute of every game during his last three years at Cal Poly and currently ranks second in program history with 293 saves, 18 shutouts, and 72 starts.
Stay tuned for more updates on Wade’s transition to the MLS and his journey with the Timbers.
Lane United FC midfielder and Oregon State graduate Will Seymore has been called up to play in the Vancouver Whitecaps organization. Seymore had already been selected in the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft with a third-round pick by FC Dallas, but has been playing with Lane United since the beginning of the PDL season. On Monday, he got the call to join Vancouver, starting with their Whitecaps 2 team, which plays one rung below the MLS in the USL.
Lane United head coach John Galas says he thinks there is “little chance” Seymore will be returning to the Reds following this progression. “We’re thrilled for Will and want to thank him for everything he’s contributed to our club so far this season. He’s now the second player that has gone straight from us into the pros (after Khiry Shelton) and that’s something that everyone in the organization can be proud of. Will has been a model young professional and we wish him all the best in his career.”
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Lane United,” Seymore said earlier today. “The culture, the club the fans — there’s real passion here at Lane and in the community. It’s really a testament to the amount of work and preparation Dave and John (Galas) and the staff have put in and committed to this club and really shows where the organization is headed. Even though this has been a tough season so far and we haven’t gotten the results we’ve wanted, the philosophy John has been training us with really rewarded our playing style.”
Former Lane United FC and Oregon State forward Khiry Shelton was chosen by the expansion New York City FC with the second pick of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft Thursday in Philadephia. Shelton had already signed a contract with the leagueahead of the draft and was expected to be a top-5 pick.
NYCFC snapped Shelton up before the Portland Timbers, who owned the fifth pick in this year’s draft. Shelton had represented the Timbers U-23 team in a showcase against a Major League Soccer Homegrown team at the 2014 MLS All-Star Weekend.
Shelton will now get the chance to train and play alongside international superstars David Villa and Frank Lampard, both of whom will play for NYCFC in the coming season. U.S. men’s national team forward Mix Diskerud also recently signed with NYCFC.
“On behalf of all of us at Lane United FC, we are absolutely thrilled for Khiry and his family today,” head coach John Galas said. “Being the 2nd overall draft pick in the 2015 MLS draft, and selected by NYCFC is simply incredible for Khiry. He has worked tremendously hard for this and all of his success is well deserved. It was an absolute honor to coach him this past summer, and I can’t wait to see what he does along side Villa, Lampard and company.”
Shelton’s high selection in the draft is a reflection of the status he gained after a standout senior season in 2014 with the Oregon State Beavers. He was named PAC-12 Player of the Year following a season in which he finished second in the nation with 12 assists and added 10 goals. He finished as Lane United’s second-highest goalscorer with three last season, despite featuring in only five of the team’s 15 games.
The 2015 MLS season begins the weekend of March 7/8.
Khiry Shelton, the Oregon State senior who played for Lane United FC during the 2014 PDL season, has signed a contract with Major League Soccer prior to the league’s 2015 SuperDraft. He is one of eight college seniors to sign contracts with the league ahead of the draft, and one of only two from the PAC-12.
Shelton was named PAC-12 Player of the Year in November after his stellar senior year, in which he finished with 10 goals over 21 games. His 12 assists were good for second in the country. He has been tipped as a top-5 prospect in the draft.
The SuperDraft only includes players from NCAA schools, although MLS clubs also acquire international players and student-athletes during the offseason. Shelton’s contract is for three years, with an option for a fourth, to be picked up by whichever MLS team drafts him. The Portland Timbers currently hold the fifth pick, putting them at the forefront of the discussion surrounding Shelton, who played for the Timbers U-23s in the MLS’ Homegrown showcase during the 2014 All-Star Weekend.
Lane United FC head coach John Galas was full of praise for Shelton: “We want to congratulate Khiry on signing his first pro contract with the MLS. He has worked very hard to reach this milestone. It has always been a matter of ‘when’ with Khiry; he is an exceptional talent and becoming a professional is no surprise to us. I’d like to personally thank Khiry for playing with Lane United this past year, we are grateful for his contributions to the club and wish him nothing but the best as he enters this new chapter of his footballing life.”
“My time at Lane United FC was a blast,” Shelton said. “I didn’t know what to expect coming into a new club but I had one of the best experiences at the club. The fans were incredible, chanting each player’s name and staying after every game and building relationships with each one of us — it was fantastic.”
The MLS SuperDraft will be held at 12:30 p.m. (ET) in Philadelphia next Wednesday, January 15. Keep in touch with the Lane United FC Twitter feed for news about where Khiry Shelton lands.
Conner Bevans, the Lane United FC starting forward and scorer of the club’s first goal in its PDL history, is headed east for a week-long trial with the 2013 MLS champions Sporting Kansas City. He left for Kansas City yesterday evening and will be back on May 29, in time for the Reds’ next game against Puget Sound Gunners on May 31.
“One of their goals in the summer is to identify and bring in potential MLS prospects, and he’s certainly one of them,” said Lane United head coach John Galas. Asked if the news of Bevans’ goal on Friday night against Seattle had an effect on Kansas City’s decision, Galas said, “I think the call to bring him in probably happened before that, but the goal definitely doesn’t hurt. It’s great for us to have our players train at the MLS level; when we get Conner back he’ll certainly be in great rhythm and great form.”