Cate School alum Joshua Yaro was the second overall pick in Thursday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
Yaro, a junior All-American defender at Georgetown, was selected by the Philadelphia Union. He was a two-time All-CIF player at Cate and led the Rams to a pair of CIF Championships.
The Philadelphia Union acquired the second pick from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for allocation money and a player to be named later.
Yaro, who signed a Generations adidas contract before the draft, was projected by many soccer pundits to go No. 1. But with the top pick, the Chicago Fire elected to take Wake Forest midfielder Jack Harrison, also a Generation adidas signee.
Former Santa Barbara High star Tony Alfaro was drafted by the Seattle Sounders in the second round. He was the 27th pick overall.
Harrison, a native of England, was a freshman for the Demon Deacons The Fire later traded Harrison to New York City FC for the No. 4 overall pick and selected Stanford defender Brandon Vincent.
Six of the first 10 draft picks were Generation adidas signees. The Generation adidas contracts are awarded to elite college underclassmen. The contracts do not count against a team’s salary cap.
Terms of Yaro’s contract have not disclosed, but his representative told the Washington Post that he was going to receive one of the largest rookie deals in several years.
Yaro said it didn’t matter where he went in the draft,
“Everyone rated me coming in as the number one pick,” he told the Washington Post. “What I said to a lot of people is, it doesn’t matter where you end up. You’re going to start from scratch once you get into preseason. I don’t really care about number one, number two, number three, number 20.”
Yaro should feel right at home in Philadelphia, as the Union chose Keegan Rosenberry, his backline teammate at Georgetown, as the No. 3 pick.
Yaro, a native of Ghana, came to Cate as part of the Right to Dream Foundation. He is a tremendous athlete. He hold school records in the triple jump and long jump.
Peter Mack, Yaro’s soccer coach at Cate, was thrilled about his former player’s success. Mack is on sabbatical from Cate and emailed Noozhawk from London.
“I can’t say enough about him as a player or a person,” he said. “As skillful and athletic as he is, it’s his unflappable and unselfish nature that helps get the best from his teammates. He really is everything you’d want in a teammate and friend: playful, upbeat, humble. He’s a wonderful human being. You won’t find anyone who will tell you otherwise.
He added: “There’s a reason he went second in the draft. His combination of skill and speed and calm is rare. No doubt, Philadelphia thinks they got a great player in Joshua. But they’ll find out soon enough that they drafted an even better person, someone who is going to be as good for their locker room as their pitch.”
Said current Cate varsity coach Jim Kane, who coached Yaro with the Santa Barbara Soccer Club and was Mack’s assistant with the Rams: “His soccer talent is immense but he is genuinely one of the nicest, hardest working, humble young men I’ve come across. He started Georgetown early in order to get a jump on his education should this soccer opportunity come to fruition. After his soccer career, it wouldn’t surprise me if some day he returns to Ghana and do what he can to make it a better place.
Yaro was lured to sign a contract after his sophomore year at Georgetown but he was committed to get his degree. He has a 3.7 grade-point average and is one semester from earning a government degree. He was a first-team academic all-American at Georgetown.