Secaucus, NJ (Sunday, February 6, 2000) - The MetroStars drafted UCLA star defender Steve Shak with the first pick in the 2000 MLS Superdraft in Fort Lauderdale, FL, it was announced today by general manager Nick Sakiewicz. In other draft choices on the day, the team also selected midfielder Daniel Alvarez (Furman, 4th Round, 37th overall), midfielder Orlando Perez (Orange County, 4th Round, 48th overall), forward Colby Jackson (Cal St.-Fullerton, 5th Round, 49th overall), and defender Jake Dancy (6th Round, 61st overall) for a total of five draft picks.
"The selection of young and talented players from some of the best college programs and A League teams in the country is always a very important step in the rebuilding of a team," said Sakiewicz. "With the best player in the draft in Steve Shak and others such as Alvarez, Perez, Jackon, and Dancy, we can build a pool of very young and talented players for our team."
Shak, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Tuesday, comes to the MetroStars from UCLA, where he made 63 starts in 66 career games. He joined UCLA as a walk on and ended as a star defender, who helped UCLA win the 1997 NCAA title and make an appearance this year in the NCAA Final Four in Charlotte. He was a starter on the 1999 U.S. Under-23 team that participated in the Pan Am games in Canada.
"I am ecstatic at the opportunity to join one of biggest clubs in Major League Soccer," said Shak. "I look forward to joining the team right away and playing my part in the upcoming MLS season."
With the first pick in the fourth round, the MetroStars drafted midfielder Daniel Alvarez from Furman University. The Fayetteville, NY product was the 1999 Southern Conference Player of the Year. The MetroStars rounded out their selections with midfielder Orlando Perez from the Orange County Zodiac (A-League), Colby Jackson, a forward from Mike Ammann's alma-mater Cal-State-Fullerton, and defender Jake Dancy, who briefly played with Kansas City in 1997 and 1998.
"We got the players we wanted, which is the most important thing about the draft today," said Zambrano, who coached every Metro draft pick except Colby Jackson. "When you go into the draft, you want to get those players who can make a difference to your team. We did get those players, especially with our late picks."
The newly drafted players are expected to join the MetroStars during the course of the week in Fort Lauderdale, FL where the team is conducting spring training. The Metros face the Dallas Burn Thursday night, at 8:00 p.m. (ET), in an MLS Spring Training 2000 exhibition at Lockhart Stadium.
Hometown: Cerritos, CA
Draft Status: Selected by MetroStars with the first pick in the 2000 Super Draft College: Went from being a seldom-used walk-on to stalwart defender in his four seasons at UCLA ... Appeared in 66 career matches, making 63 starts ... Appeared and started in all 22 UCLA contests as a senior in 1999, helping lead the Bruins to the Final Four ... Backbone of a defense that allowed just 18 goals all season ... Scored a pair of goals, including a game-winner, to finish his senior campaign with four points ... Earned a spot on the Second Team All-Far West squad ... In 1998, was named a Hermann Trophy Candidate as a junior ... Ranked first on the team in minutes with 1,783 and was a big contributor to a defense that had 12 shutouts ... Named to the All-MPSF Team ... Played in the adidas Summer League before his junior campaign ... Played the third-most minutes of any Bruin, appearing in all 23 contests ... Helped the Bruins win the 1997 NCAA Title ... Voted the team's most improved player, while earning Honorable Mention All-MPSF ... Key member of a defense that had a school-record 14 shutouts in 1997 ... Didn't see any game action as a walk-on freshman in 1996.
National Team: Member of the 1999 U.S. Under-23 team, that took home the bronze medal at the Pan American Games ... Appeared in an all six U.S. matches ... Also played on the U-23 squad in 1998.
Prep: Two-year captain at Gahr HS in Cerritos ... Scored 26 goals as a senior ... Led the squad to the San Gabriel Valley League Title in 1995 ... Three-time First-Team All-League selection. Personal: Enjoys music and cooking ... Son of Ron and Loretta Shak ... Admires Pele.
Hometown: Fayetteville, NY
College: Furman University
Draft Status: Chosen by the MetroStars in the fourth round of the 2000 SuperDraft.
College: An NSCAA First Team All-America and the 1999 Southern Conference Player of the Year, playing as a midfielder and a winger ... Appeared in 82 games in his collegiate career, starting 80 ... Has a total of 88 shots on goal, scoring 11 times ... Totaled 41 assists at Furman, and finished with 63 points ... Furman's all-time leader in career assists with 41 ... Alvarez broke Furman's single-season assist mark and finished first in the nation in assists with 16 on the year ... Selected in 1998 for the First Team All-SoCon squad, and was chosen Second Team All-South Region ... Had an outstanding 1997 season, earning his first of three straight All-SoCon honors ... Was named Third Team All-South Region ... Made an impressive debut in 1996, earning a spot on the SoCon All-Tournament team.
Prep:Was the North Carolina state Player of the Year while attending Pine Forest HS ... Named All-Conference three times, and earned All-State and All-Region honors as a senior.
Personal: Born in Bad Tolz, Germany ... Now calls Fayetteville, NC home ... Son of Deborah and Deciderio Alvarez ... Health and Exercise Science Major.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
College: Orange County Zodiac (A League)
Draft Status: Chosen by the MetroStars in the fourth round in the 2000 Superdraft.
Hometown: Claremont, CA
College: Cal State Fullerton
Draft Status: Chosen by the MetroStars in the fifth round of the 2000 SuperDraft College: Played two seasons with Cal State Fullerton (1998-1999) after redshirting his 1997 season when he tranferred from San Diego State ... Scored six goals and five assists in 19 games during his 1999 senior season ... Was a 1999 Preseason Second Team All-America selection by Soccer America ... In 1998, led the MPSF with 17 goals and a school record of 42 points ... Chosen First Team All-MPSF.
Prep: A three-year varsity soccer letter-winner at Claremont HS ... Earned Inland Valley Player of the Year as a senior and league and team MVP. Personal: Son of Marc and Jaki Jackson ... A criminal justice major with plans on working for the FBI.
Hometown: Diamond Bar, CA
College: Fresno State
Selected: Chosen by the MetroStars in the sixth round of the 2000 Superdraft. College: Played one year at Fresno State University (1996), scoring one goal and tallying one assists in 20 games. Team won the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) in 1996...Made the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. With Fresno State as a freshman he was named to the Soccer America All-Freshman team. Professional: Played with the Kansas City Wizards in 1997 and 1998. In his two years with the Wizards, he played a total of five games and made two starts. Did not register a point. Played for the Orange County Zodiacs of the A League in 1997, registering two goals in 1,242 minutes. Also played for the L.A. Salsa U-19 youth team and Mission Viejo Pateadores. Trained with Portsmouth (English First Division) in January 1998.