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Three Terps Leave Early

Three players who helped Maryland win the NCAA championship -- juniors Omar Gonzalez and Jeremy Hall and sophomore Rodney Wallace -- have decided to leave school early and turn pro, sources close to the program confirmed to the Insider today.

MLS has approached all three about signing Generation Adidas contracts, which would earn them more than the typical college senior and provide the MLS club that acquires them in the Jan. 15 draft with a salary cap exemption. However, though all are expected to sign with MLS, there are options abroad as well.

The departure of Gonzalez and Wallace leaves Coach Sasho Cirovski without any returning defensive starters next season. The other two in the lineup were seniors A.J. Delagarza and Rich Costanzo. Freshman goalkeeper Zac MacMath is expected to return. Freshman midfielder Matt Kassel, who turned down a Red Bulls developmental offer earlier this year, is also weighing his options.

Senior midfielders Graham Zusi, the College Cup offensive MVP, and Mike Marchiano, who split time with Kassel in a holding position, are also gone.

Gonzalez is a 6-foot-5 central back who started every Maryland game in three years. Hall, a left-side midfielder, led the Terps with 14 goals. Wallace started at left back and showed the poise and speed to join the attack, covering a lot of ground on the flank. While Gonzalez and Hall were widely expected to leave school early, Wallace was a bit of a surprise.

Reached at his College Park office, Cirovski said he had no comment.

Who do you think would thrive the most in MLS?

By Steve Goff  |  December 19, 2008; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS  
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Next: Terps Update


93 days to the first game.

Posted by: Curious99 | December 19, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Curious99.

Vamos United!!

Posted by: Smitty8 | December 19, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Is Cirovski next? Perhaps to Columbus?

Posted by: alecw81 | December 19, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Sasho isn't going anywhere. As he says, he is an obsessively hands-on guy who would want total power and control, and no mls team is going to give that to him.

Warzycha gets the Columbus job.

Posted by: Steve Goff | December 19, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Blessed Christmas Everyone! How good is Omar??

'Caause while my GALAXY need help everywhere, if it comes down to a top-three DEF, or top-three FOR > I actually think we need more help on offense!

Or, is Omar capable of getting us to the playoffs by himself??


Posted by: Samminish | December 19, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Steve, how do you think this year's draft class ranks against past seasons? There appears to be a lot of talent which could be great for DCU with 2 picks in the first round.

Posted by: mellon02 | December 19, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

A friend of my dad's is friends with Sasho and he says he wants to build a dynasty UVA/Indiana style.

I can deal with that.


Posted by: Colm1 | December 19, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

A friend of my mom's friend is a friend of someone else who has a friend who says that all college coaches want to build dynasties. How they will do that when their best players leave after 2-3 years is the salient question.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 19, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Short-term, my gut says Hall or Wallace to be the best of the this batch of Terps in 2009. Long-term, I think those two and Gonzalez have the potential to become national team caliber players. It will take lots of work and luck, but I can see it happening. Hall and Wallace benefit from playing positions our talent pool is thin at. This won't happen overnight, or even by this time next year, but there's a real shot for all three.

Zusi and Delagarza should both become solid MLS pros. The ceiling for them is lower than that first group, but I think both are ready right now to contribute at least as subs next year.

Kassel should stay in school. Good player, but it's not yet time for him to make the jump. He'd be the undisputed starter in defensive midfield next season, rather than have to split time with Marchiano.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 19, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Let us not forget how successful Jason Garey has been in MLS, so these 3 hopefully are getting good advice. John Gilchrist he left early also, how did that work out??

Posted by: cr10 | December 19, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

WTF Chest? who can even relate? I'll give it a shot but don't mind me if it gets a little tight in the afterthought..Hunh?

Posted by: DadRyan | December 20, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Back to college/Terps? I was enjoying the dryan dinosaur chronicles. Maybe CR can enlighten us on which prehistoric beasts he'd pick for his starting 11.

Fast-forward please -- only 41+ years until 2050 when Robots beat the world cup winner.

Warning - you have to endure an advertisement video first, this so Sugar Daddy Hendricks can support the Freedom.

MR Caretaker

Posted by: postgolb | December 20, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse


I don't know if John Gilchrist has much to do with this, what with him playing a different sport and being totally off his rocker. I don't believe Cirovski's squad had anyone who was certifiable.


It might just be because it's early, but I have no idea what you're talking about.


Off-topic: That Osman Chavez story won't go away. La Prensa says DCU is the favorite, with Motagua, LA, and a mystery Belgian team in the running.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 20, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I can understand an upper classman who is in line to make a ton of money leaving if they are dead locks for a pro carrer. For me to hear a freshman weighing his options for a Red Bull developmental contract is hilarious. Unless this kid is the second coming of Pele he should get his sheepskin or at least develop his skills in the best college soccor league, the ACC.

Is John Gilchrist still playing in Israel?

Posted by: donmac1 | December 20, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

92 days . . . . .

Posted by: Curious99 | December 20, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

kassel was in the red bull youth academy for the past two years, hes been around the mls since it was formed since his dad was director of operations for the metrostars. he had the option of going pro last year. not saying its the best decision for him, but its definitely serious and he could absolutely excel

Posted by: aubartolomei | December 20, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@ Chest -- how well does your Mom's friend's friend know the friend of the friend of someone else? And, how reliable is this information?

Because my brother used to play Div. 1 soccer, and he has a friend who is related by marriage to someone else who is the friend of a friend who says he heard someone, possibly an NCAA coach, in a bar one night, say that some college coaches prefer to mail it in and would dread becoming a coaching dynasty.

Posted by: fischy | December 20, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@ Chest-- unless I'm getting my Hondurans confused, he was linked with Anderlecht? Or was that someone else, who had supposedly signed for six months?

Posted by: fischy | December 20, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

MR Caretaker:

While I'd like to extol the virtues of an ankylosaurus defensive midfielder, your team of robots has frightened me to no end. You know, you go out and get Old Glory Insurance to help out with the near-inevitable robot raid on your medicine, and it's just never enough.


My cousin thrice-removed told me that he heard through an acquaintance whose friend's sister dated a guy who knows a guy whose brother runs MLS Rumors and says this information might not be 100% accurate. However, he might have just said that to mislead whoever runs MLS Rumors of Rumors.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 20, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

So a bowl game comes to RFK and they put stands in one of the end zones, but they can't do the same for a soccer game?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | December 20, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

This afternoon I've learned I can wrap an Xmas gift faster than Juan Roman Riquelme can take a freekick.

And I'm not even a professional!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 20, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Yo Chest, this reminds me of Crispin Glover's appearance on Letterman in 87... some say he was on lsd.
I will neither confirm or deny that I made that post late last night...
Honestly, I have even less of an idea about what I meant than you do. Please forgive me for my belligerence dear sir.

Does anyone know how long it will take for those grid iron lines to fade at RFK?

Posted by: DadRyan | December 20, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Pedalada | December 20, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link Pedalada. It's sweet to see the photo - football as a guest in a soccer stadium rather than the reverse.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 22, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

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