Jan. 21, 2008
Kathryn L. Knapp
OFF TO NEW YORK
Northwestern's David Roth Drafted by Red Bulls
BALTIMORE, Md. - For the second straight year in a row, a member of Northwestern’s men’s soccer team has been selected in the Major League Soccer draft. The New York Red Bulls selected David Roth early in the fourth round with the No. 44 pick overall.
|NU's David Roth was selected by the New York Red Bulls with the No. 44 pick in Friday's MLS SuperDraft. Roth becomes the second Wildcat to join MLS in as many years.
Stephen J. Carrera/Northwestern Athletics
“David has a good chance of being a MLS player,” Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. “I coached his team at the combine and I felt he was one of the top five players on our team. The other four got selected in the first two rounds. I knew he would be selected. I was just surprised that he went so late.”
As a midfielder for the Wildcats, Roth started 83 straight games during his career. In his final campaign, he tallied six goals and seven assists in 20 matches. Standing at 5-8 and weighing in at 138-pounds, Roth isn’t the biggest midfielder out there. But in his four-years at Northwestern he became the club’s career leader in assists (32) and third leader in goals (19).
“He will have to prove that the fact that he weighs 130 pounds soaking wet keep him from playing the game,” Lenahan said. “They said on the broadcast when looking at his stats that he must have been a central midfielder and he should be playing out wide. But actually, he’s played wide left throughout his career. He’s very productive and is able to get goals and assists.”
During his tenure at Northwestern, Roth was a part of a team that turned things completely around. Northwestern is no longer looked at as an underdog. This past fall then-Fire head coach Juan Carlos Osorio had an opportunity to see Roth play.
“Coach Osorio saw him play this past year,” Lenahan said. “He was able to train with the Fire a few times. I think he will fit in perfectly at New York.”
Roth said he's ready for action. “The Red Bulls were my number one choice and I couldn’t be any happier to be selected by them,” Roth said. “It is a really great opportunity for me to play with some of the best players in MLS and I can’t wait to get started.”
Roth is the second ever Wildcat to be selected in the MLS SuperDraft. Brad North was a second-round pick of the D.C. United in 2007.
As for coaching the MLS combine, Lenahan said it was a good experience.
“It was fun. There were a lot of players we had who played the same position,” Lenahan said. “We tried to come up with a system where they could all play. Technically our team finished last, but we played some of the highest quality soccer of everyone. It wasn’t about winning. It was about showcasing the talent that our players have.”