Jan. 17, 2012
2012 MLS Supplemental Draft Tracker
EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern senior forward Oliver Kupe has the opportunity to continue his soccer career in the professional ranks as he was selected by Real Salt Lake in Tuesday’s MLS Supplemental Draft. Kupe, who in 2011 helped guide the Wildcats to their first Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in school history, was selected with the 17th pick in the second round.
“Congratulations to Oliver on being selected by Real Salt Lake as this caps off a great year for our program,” Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. “I know their coach, Jason Kreis, has seen our team play over the years and his coaching philosophy is very similar to our philosophy at Northwestern.”
Kupe is the fourth Northwestern player drafted by an MLS team and first since 2008. Dave Roth was the last Wildcat chosen when he was a fourth-round selection by the New York Red Bulls in the 2008 SuperDraft. Brad North was a 2007 second-round selection by DC United in the SuperDraft and FC Dallas chose Brad Napper in the second round of the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft.
A unanimous first-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2011, Kupe lead the ’Cats in goals (eight) and points (17), scoring in key moments for Northwestern during the team’s 11-match unbeaten streak. He finished his NU career seventh on the school’s all-time goals list (22) and ninth in points (55).
“Oliver proved to be among the toughest forwards to play against, particularly in the big games,” Lenahan added. “He scored a good portion of his goals against Notre Dame, Indiana, Ohio State and Penn State – all of whom had their central defenders drafted as well. He played his best against the best opponents, which is something that will serve him well when competing to play at the professional level. It’s great to have a player drafted after a four-year absence and hopefully this bodes well for more Northwestern players in the professional ranks.”
Kupe was one of four players chosen by RSL in the MLS Supplemental Draft. He joins midfielder/forward Andy Rose of UCLA, forward Emiliano Bonfigli of Manta FC (Argentina) and midfielder Benjamin Ubierna from San Martin, Peru. Rose also has a Northwestern connection as his sister, Georgia, played for the NU women's tennis team from 2005-09 and was an ITA All-American.
Kupe also was one of four Big Ten players picked in Tuesday's four-round supplemental draft, along with Indiana’s Alec Purdie, Ohio State’s David Tiemstra and Penn State’s Mark Fetrow. Two other Big Ten players, Tommy Meyer and Chris Estridge of Indiana, went in last week's MLS SuperDraft.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook! and subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter to receive the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!