Local colleges have large present in MLS draft, VT midfielder Daniel Pereira selected first


Virginia Tech midfielder was selected first overall by expansion team FC Austin in Thursday’s MLS Superdraft. He was one of 15 players selected from colleges in the DMV.

WASHINGTON (WDVM) – Colleges from the DMV were well represented in Thursday’s MLS Superdraft with 15 players selected from five different schools.

20-year-old Virginia Tech native Daniel Pereira was selected by expansion team Austin FC as the first overall pick.

Pereira was born and raised in Venezuela and moved to America with his parents seeking asylum when he was a teenager, attending high school in Roanoke. He started 26 games in two seasons at Virginia Tech, scoring six goals and adding six assists.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you’re talented, you’re talented. It’s up to you to put the work in,” Pereira said. “It’s about putting the work in, which I did. I’m a very committed guy to the game and I think that’s what got me here. I’m always training. It’s a crazy, unbelievable moment that I’ll never forget.”

While Tech can brag about the first selection, Virginia had the most selections with five players taken. Potomac Falls high school graduate defender Brett Halsey was selected seventh overall by Real Salt Lake.

Georgetown forward Derek Dodson was drafted eight overall by Orlando City. The Hoyas had four players selected in the draft.

Matt and Ben Di Rosa, twin defensemen from the University of Maryland were also selected in the draft, becoming the first set of twins drafted in MLS history.

Virginia Tech had one additional player to Pereira drafted, while James Madison also had two players selected.

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