Chicago Fire Select Kinney in MLS Superdraft
ELON, N.C. –After performing well at the 2010 adidas Major League Soccer Player Combine, Elon defender Steven Kinney became the first player in program history to be drafted into the MLS. With the 45th pick of the 2010 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, the Chicago Fire selected Kinney on Thursday.
“This is a great honor to go on to the next step,” Kinney commented. “The combine was one step, this is the next step and now I have to go to preseason camp and perform. I feel that Elon and Coach Powell definitely prepared me for this next experience. I think Coach has given me the keys to be successful at the next level and I am confident in my ability.”
Kinney, who completed his degree in December, has been one of the most impressive players to ever wear the maroon and gold. The four-year starter was a three-time first-team All-Southern Conference selection during his time on the Elon back line. Kinney helped the Phoenix record 28 shutouts over four seasons, including a school-record tying 10 in 2009. The native of Norcross, Ga., was honored as one of the 30 finalists for the Lowes Senior CLASS award as a senior, while leading Elon to its first-ever appearance in the league tournament championship game. Kinney was also the first Phoenix men’s soccer player to earn Academic All-America status, being named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America third team in November.
Said Powell, “We are very excited for Steven to get drafted in the MLS and this is also great news for our program. We are pleased that Steven will get to pursue his professional ambitions with the Chicago Fire and the soccer staff, our team and I wish him the best of luck in the future.”
The co-captain netted eight goals and assisted on two others during his Elon career. Kinney was instrumental in Elon’s unbeaten conference slate in 2008 as the Phoenix won its first SoCon regular-season title.
At the combine, Kinney started at center back and played the full 90 minutes in the first game, scoring the team’s game-winning goal after he held off his defender and put home a diving header off a free kick en route to Condivo’s 4-1 victory over F50i.
In game two, Condivo posted a 2-1 win over Predator X. Kinney competed at the right back position during the second half of action. In the final game, Condivo defeated Jabulani, 1-0, as Kinney moved back to his natural center back position.
Kinney, the lone Southern Conference player drafted this year, will report to Chicago’s training camp at the end of January.