Jan. 13, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Louisville seniors J.T. Murray and Charlie Campbell were both selected in the second round of the 2011 MLS Super Draft. Murray was the 32nd pick by the Sporting Kansas City and Campbell was the 35th pick by FC Dallas. The draft marks the first time in school history that two players were selected.
"I am excited for both players," said head coach Ken Lolla. "We strive to help them reach their goals and potential and I know this has always been a goal for both of them. I know they will continue to be successful and represent the University of Louisville well."
Murray played in 87 games in his four-year career at Louisville, starting every game from his sophomore through senior seasons. He recorded eight goals and seven assists, and after moving to defense for his junior season, helped the Cardinals set a school record with 13 shutouts. He was a BIG EAST All-Tournament team selection during his senior season when he started all 24 games and helped the defense post eight shutouts in reaching the 2010 College Cup national championship against Akron.
"It feels awesome to be drafted," Murray said. "All the hard work I have put in for so long has really paid off. Now it is time for me to get back to work and prepare for camp. I think our run through the NCAA Tournament really prepared me for this next stage in my soccer career. We were able to play in a lot of big games in front of large crowds and came out successful. That helped prepare me to go play in front of all the coaches at the combine. The University of Louisville was the best place for me to play collegiate soccer; it prepared me for the next step. I was able to play in a lot of games under a great coaching staff and learned to be the best player I can be."
"We need someone on the left side as someone that can sort of build into that position," said Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes. " I think that he's actually very, very good on the ball coming out of the back. Our outside backs are on the ball quite a bit. And we thought that him on the ball has been very good. We've seen him outside of the combine, and we think that's he's going to be a guy that has a good chance of working his way into our team over time. Again, I go back to, this guy has played in a lot of games, and has played in bigger games in college. And as I said, he's pretty calm and cool on the ball. So when you're talking about the way we play, he fits our style from a player that will help us build out of the back with his ability to make good decisions on the ball."
Campbell played his final year at the University of Louisville while he pursued his master's degree in sport administration. He started 20 games for the Cardinals as a senior, ranking fourth on the team in scoring with six goals and two assists for 14 points. He scored the game-winner against West Virginia in the BIG EAST Quarterfinal. Campbell also scored a goal in three of Louisville's NCAA Tournament wins (College of Charleston, Ohio State and UCLA). He also dished out an assist against the Buckeyes and Bruins. He was also named to the College Cup All-Tournament team.
"I can't put into words how I feel right now," said Campbell. "It has been my dream since I was four years old to play professional soccer and today that dream became a reality. When I first spoke to Ken about coming to Louisville, I told him I wanted to win a national championship and play in the MLS. Although we came up one game short of achieving the first goal, I can't thank Ken, the rest of the men's soccer staff and the University of Louisville athletic department enough for their time, effort, and support to prepare me to achieve this goal. Also, I would like to thank my teammates - this is truly a team accomplishment and without their hard work I wouldn't be in this situation right now. Most importantly, I want to thank my mother Alese, father Terry, and brother Scott for everything over the last 23 years. The entire family has been on this journey and I'm so grateful for the sacrifices they endured in their lives to help me realize my dream.
"Lastly, I would like to thank FC Dallas for selecting me in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. I look forward to moving from one great coach in Ken Lolla to another great coach in MLS Coach of the Year Schellas Hyndman. I really appreciate the opportunity to continue what I love to do as a profession and look forward to working hard in preseason camp."