Penn Soccer on Twitter | Penn Soccer on Facebook
Philadelphia Union Release
PHILADELPHIA - For the first time in Major League Soccer history, two Penn players were selected in the same draft year when Thomas Brandt (Philadelphia Union - 13th pick of Supplemental Draft) and Christian Barreiro (New York Red Bulls - 50th pick of Supplemental Draft) were chosen on Tuesday.
"As a program, we are extremely happy for both Thomas and Christian," Penn head coach Rudy Fuller said. "They have focused on this goal for a long time while playing at a high level for our club. They are dedicated soccer players who are ready to take the next step to the professional level and represent themselves and the University well. I look forward to watching their careers develop with pride."
For a Palmyra, Pa. native who attended college in the heart of Philadelphia, it is only fitting that Thomas Brandt had his name called by the Philadelphia Union in the first round on Tuesday. The Union tabbed Brandt with the No. 13 pick in the first round of the Supplemental Draft, making Brandt the first Ivy player selected on the second day of the MLS' drafting process this season.
"I am extremely excited for this opportunity to play professionally," Brandt said. "It has been a dream of mne since I started playing the game. I'm especially fortunate -- and excited -- to be drafted by the MLS club I have spent a lot of time following these past few years since the Union joined MLS."
Brandt, a two-year captain of the Quakers, was twice named first-team All-Ivy while manning the central backfield for the Red and Blue. A two-time NSCAA All-Region selection, Brandt was a first-team All-Northeast honoree in 2010. Over his four seasons, Brandt appeared in 56 matches with 52 starts and was one of Penn's clutch performers with 11 goals and 23 total points despite his usual starting spot on the back line. Off the field, Brandt was just as dedicated and successful as he has twice been named Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area in addition to Capital One CoSIDA First-Team Academic All District (2011) and Academic All-Ivy (2010) honors. Earlier this fall, Brandt was named as a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award candidate and was a preseason Hermann Award Watch List player.
Two rounds later, Brandt's teammate from childhood through four stellar seasons in University City received a call from the New York Red Bulls with their third round pick. Barreiro was twice named first-team All-Ivy in addition to a pair of NSCAA All-Region selections. An Academic All-Ivy choice in 2011, Barreiro was one of the most dynamic playmakers in the Ivy League over the past four years. With 71 appearances and 69 starts over his career, Barreiro utilized his playing time to amass 20 goals, 18 assists and 58 points. In 2011, he led the Quakers in goals (7), assists (7) and points (21), tying for the League lead in helpers for the second season in a row. An MLS Combine invitee, Barreiro spent this summer playing for the Reading United PDL club.
"I feel very blessed to have been selected by the New York Red Bulls," Barreiro said. "I am excited for this opportunity, and am so thankful for all of the support given to me by my family, friends, coaches, teammates and the soccer community."
Brandt and Barreiro are the first Penn player selected in the MLS Draft process since Alex Grendi was chosen by the Columbus Crew in the third round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. Other Penn products chosen by MLS teams over the years include a pair of goalkeepers - Matt Haefner C'04 (2004 - Columbus) and Dan Cepero (2007 - New York). Cepero, chosen by the Red Bulls in '07, became the first goalkeeper in MLS history to score a goal and was the starting keeper when NYRB advanced to the MLS Cup final in 2008.