The transition from collegiate to professional sports is an unforgiving one, as less than 2 percent of NCAA senior athletes establish themselves at the pro level, according to the Butler Collegian.
Last season, the Big East featured three of the top-ten and five of the top-25 in Top Drawer Soccer’s National 100. The Big East First and Second Teams of last season are made up of 15 players who elected to go pro.
Of them, none have been more outstanding than Keegan Rosenberry, a player not among the eight in the top-100 nor a Big East First Team selection.
Rosenberry, a defender from Georgetown, was drafted third overall by the Philadelphia Union in the MLS SuperDraft. The rookie defender wasn’t even the first Hoya selected by the Union, as teammate Joshua Yaro was taken second overall.
Despite little publicity, Rosenberry has been arguably the biggest star of the SuperDraft. He has established himself as a starting right back on a team that has risen from near bottom of the Eastern Conference to comfortably in the playoff picture. He even became the first drafted rookie to start in the MLS All-Star Game.
Yaro has also been at the forefront of the Union’s turnaround, showing flashes of potential in the midst of rookie mistakes.
The Philadelphia Union’s Big East trifecta was completed by drafting former Creighton forward Fabian Herbers, sixth overall. Herbers hasn’t found a starting role, but he’s appeared in 30 matches in a crowded offense and contributed with two goals and seven assists.
The Georgetown offensive duo of Brandon Allen and Alex Muyl signed pro contracts with the New York Red Bulls following their successful Big East season last year.
Allen has seen limited action with the first team, but has grown and matured in his time with New York Red Bulls II in the USL. With the Red Bulls’ second team, Allen has appeared in 28 matches and scored 15 goals, helping the side finish top in the third division of American soccer.
Muyl has become a mainstay with the first team this season. It was revealed during one of the game broadcasts that Muyl was tracked to have run 14 kilometers in a single match, a display of his work-rate that is so valued in the Red Bulls high press system. While he is still extremely raw technically, his non-stop commitment has earned him a starting spot.
Alongside Yaro on Georgetown’s backline was Cole Seiler. Despite being named to only the Big East Second Team, Seiler was selected 16th overall by the Vancouver Whitecaps. Seiler spent most of his season loaned down to Whitecaps FC 2, making six appearances.
Former Creighton midfielder Timo Pitter was selected in the second round by FC Dallas, appearing once for the first team before being loaned out to the OKC Energy. There he made eight appearances and scored two goals.
Three more former Big East alumni, Dallas Jaye of Xavier, Connor Sparrow of Creighton and Joshua Turnley of Georgetown, ended up in the USL. In addition, JT Marcinkowski of Xavier and Caleb Postlewait of Butler are currently applying their trade in the fourth division PDL.
Louis Bennett II elected not to return to Marquette this fall and signed with a team in Cyprus. Vincent Mitchell of Butler and Vincent Keller of Creighton are unattached at the moment.
While the road to playing professionally is a long and difficult one, Big East men’s soccer cemented itself as one that can grow and prosper in the pros.
James Justice is a broadcast visual media major from Caldwell, N.J. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MLSTakeover.