The Portland Timbers selected former Brentwood soccer star Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Newsday's 2009 Long Island Player of the Year, with the No. 8 pick in Wednesday's Major League Soccer SuperDraft held in Kansas City.
"It's very exciting," said Jean-Baptiste, 19, who left UConn after two seasons. He was named All-Big East first team and the 2011 Big East defensive player of the Year this season, starting all 25 games on defense for the Huskies. He had two goals and an assist.
As a member of Generation adidas, Jean-Baptiste will receive a five-year contract with an educational component to cover the cost of completing college in a pre-negotiated time period in exchange for entering MLS early. Terms of the deal are pending. Brentwood coach Ron Eden is in Kansas City for the annual NSCAA convention and was able to congratulate his former All-American defender in person. Eden said Jean-Baptiste is among the best players he's ever coached and his success means a lot to the Brentwood soccer community.
"It shows kids that here's a kid that came from Brentwood," Eden said. "It's great. When I get back and I see the kids I'm going to tell them it's one guy of the last 3,000 kids that I coached to make it."