July 9, 2014
By Nick Sebesta, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeMSoccer)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - As the MLS season kicks into high gear this summer, several former Demon Deacons are in action in the professional ranks. Here's a look at how these Wake Forest players are faring in the MLS and other professional leagues this season.
Michael Parkhurst - Columbus Crew:
After being selected to the 30-man preliminary World Cup roster for the United States Men's National Team, Parkhurst returned to the club after missing out on the final squad going to Brazil. This season, Parkhurst has started 15 games and has 16 caps this season. The team captain has been a valuable member of the Crew since returning from training with the national team. Fans can vote for Parkhurst to make the 2014 MLS All-Star Game by going here.
Sean Okoli - Seattle Sounders:
Okoli has played in two games this season for the Sounders including making his pro debut in the season opener against Sporting Kansas City. He logged 14 minutes of playing time against Columbus on March 29. Okoli was on loan to the Orange County Blues FC and saw action in two games but has since returned to the Sounders. He will represent Seattle in the 2014 MLS Chipotle Homegrown Game in Portland, Ore. as part of the 2014 MLS All-Star week. The MLS Homegrown players will face the Portland Timbers U-23 squad on August 4 at 10 p.m. in a game that will be shown live on WatchESPN.
Jared Watts - Colorado Rapids:
Corben Bone, Brian Carroll and Michael Lahoud - Philadelphia Union:
Watts has earned significant playing time in his rookie season with the Colorado Rapids. He has started six games with nine total caps while establishing himself as a reliable midfielder. Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni told the Denver Post in April, "I think he's got a lot of upside in his career. He's a guy who comes in and just battles hard every day. The kind of character we want around here. Guys who aren't satisfied with the last performance and trying to improve on that." Watts and the Rapids head to Philadelphia for a game with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
Bone has seen action in two games this season while Carroll has started in 10 games and played in 11. Carroll has chipped in an assist and started and played in all 90 minutes against the L.A. Galaxy earlier this season. Lahoud has started two games and has tallied an assist while seeing time in four total matches this season for the Union.
Chris Duvall - New York Red Bulls:
The 22nd overall pick of the 2014 MLS Superdraft, Duvall has started the last five games for the Red Bulls. He made his first start against the Portland Timbers on May 24 after appearing in his first game the week before against Toronto. Duvall has been impressive so far in his time with New York, who is sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls host the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
Stephen Keel - FC Dallas:
A regular for FC Dallas, Keel is in his second season with the club and has made 12 starts while playing in 14 total games this season. He has logged over 1000 minutes this year and has recorded one assist. Keel has started and played all 90 minutes in the last three games for FC Dallas who is fourth in the Western Conference.
Collin Martin and Jalen Robinson - D.C. United:
After one standout season with Wake Forest in 2012, Martin made four starts for D.C. United last season. This year, he has played in three games with one start. He saw action on July 5 in a 2-1 win over Toronto. D.C. United is in first place in the Eastern Conference and heads to San Jose on Friday. Robinson is currently on loan from D.C. United and plays with Arizona United SC where he has played in five games.
Anthony Arena - Houston Dynamo:
After spending time on loan with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL PRO this season, Arena is back with the Dynamo but has not appeared in a match yet this season for Houston. Arena played in six games for the Riverhounds. Houston heads to Toronto on Saturday.
Sam Cronin - San Jose Earthquakes:
With 34 starts last season for the Earthquakes, Cronin has already logged over 1000 minutes on the pitch for San Jose this season in 13 total games with 12 starts. San Jose hosts D.C. United on Friday night.
Ike Opara - Sporting Kansas City:
Opara had a career-year in 2013 with Sporting KC and looked to duplicate his success in 2014 but suffered a season-ending ankle injury against Colorado on March 29. He had made two starts in three games prior to suffering his injury. Sporting KC is second in the Eastern Conference and hosts Montreal on Saturday.
James Riley - L.A. Galaxy:
Riley signed with the Galaxy in the offseason and made two starts in the beginning of this season but suffered a tear in his left meniscus in March that will keep him out at least for a total of six months. L.A. hosts Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
Akira Fitzgerald, Nick Millington and Zack Schilawski - Carolina RailHawks (NASL):
Fitzgerald, Millington and Schilawski all have big roles for the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL. In his fifth season, Fitzgerald has logged over 800 minutes for the RailHawks while Schilawski leads the squad in goals with three. Millington has played in over 500 minutes of action.
Austin da Luz - Orlando City FC (USL PRO):
In his first season with Orlando City, da Luz has been productive as he has tallied two goals and an assist in nine games while starting five.
Wells Thompson, Tolani Ibikunle and Ben Newnam - Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO):
After spending all of last season with the Chicago Fire, Thompson signed with Charlotte in March. In 15 games, he has recorded two goals and two assists. Newnam has one goal on the season with over 1,300 minutes played in 16 games. Ibikunle has seen action in six games this season.
Cody Arnoux - Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO):
Arnoux has played in 11 games this season for the Hammerheads with one goal scored.
Chris Estridge - Indy Eleven (NASL):
Estridge has made four appearances this season for the Indy Eleven in his first season with the club.