PHILADELPHIA – University of New Mexico men’s soccer alumnus Kyle Venter was selected by the LA Galaxy with the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday afternoon. Venter became the program’s first ever three-time All-American this season after helping guide the Lobos to a second NCAA College Cup appearance in school history.
“I am feeling a little bit relieved but mostly excited," Venter said at the conclusion of the SuperDraft.. "Going into the whole draft process, I knew I had done everything in my power to put myself in the best situation. Teams pick different players for different reasons, but I couldn’t be more excited to play for a great organization like the LA Galaxy with their history and tremendous coaching staff and front office.”
The Aurora, Colorado native capped off a tremendous New Mexico career with an impressive senior season. He earned All-America honors for a third-straight season while becoming the program’s all-time leader in career minutes played. Venter becomes the 14th player selected in the MLS Draft since 2006. He is the second Lobo to play for the LA Galaxy, following Andrew Boyens who spent the 2012 season with the club.
As a defender, Venter was the Conference USA Most Valuable Player and the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. The MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist was also an All-Region and TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Season selection. Venter earned recognition off the pitch as well with Academic All-Conference USA and NSCAA Academic All-Region honors in 2013.
“Being in Philadelphia for the draft was an incredible experience," Venter said. "Meeting coach Bruce Arena after being selected was surreal. He told me how excited he was to have me in the organization and how much he looked forward to coaching me. This whole process has been exciting and an unbelievable moment in my life.".
Venter will return to Albuquerque this week before reporting to Los Angeles on Sunday. The Galaxy open the 2014 season with an exhibition versus FC Shirak from Armenia on Feb. 8, 2014.