Feb. 5, 2001
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -
Three seniors from the Stanford University men's soccer team have been drafted in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft, the annual six-round draft held by Major League Soccer. Midfielder Ryan Nelsen was selected by the three-time MLS Cup champion D.C. United as the fourth pick overall, goalkeeper Adam Zapala went to the Dallas Burn with the seventh pick of the fourth round (43rd overall), and forward Corey Woolfolk was grabbed by the San Jose Earthquakes with the first choice of the fifth round (49th overall). All three players were tri-captains of the 2000 Cardinal squad that matched the school single-season record for victories at 18-3-1 and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Nelsen started in all 22 matches, scoring five goals with six assists while helping to anchor a Stanford defense that led the nation with a 0.44 GAA. The native of Christchurch, New Zealand, garnered numerous post-season awards, including being named the 2000 Collegiate Men's Soccer NSCAA/adidas Scholar Athlete of the Year, the Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year, and a First Team National and Regional All-American. Nelsen is also a member of the New Zealand National Team.
Zapala ended his career as the most prolific goalkeeper in Stanford history, as he owns eight school career or single-season records: career GAA (0.63), career minutes (8111:34), career shutouts (52), career games played (86, tied with Woolfolk), career games started (86), single-season GAA (0.45 in 2000), single-season minutes (2377:00 in 1998) and single-season shutouts (16 in 2000). In 2000, he garnered First Team All-Conference accolades following a season in which he set school records with 16 shutouts and a nation-best 0.45 GAA.
Woolfolk enjoyed the best year of his career as a senior, when he had the most prolific scoring season by a Cardinal player since 1982. He scored 12 goals with eight assists for 32 points, including a post-season explosion in which he scored five goals with two assists in three NCAA Tournament matches. In the first round match against Cal State Fullerton, Woolfolk had a hat trick within the first 20:36. The 1996 Michigan "Mr. Soccer" ended his career ranked in the all-time Stanford top-10 in goals (10th with 25), assists (6th with 21) and points (6th with 71). Woolfolk also played in each of the Cardinal's 86 matches in his time on The Farm, tying Zapala for the all-time school record.
Stanford now has produced 20 professional players, including seven in the MLS. In addition to Nelsen, Zapala and Woolfolk, five other former Cardinal players have enjoyed MLS careers: Jamie Clark (San Jose Earthquakes, 1999-present), Simon Elliot (L.A. Galaxy, 1999-present), Rhett Harty (NY/NJ MetroStars, 1996-98), and Mark Semioli (Los Angeles Galaxy, 1996, NY/NJ MetroStars 1997-present).