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Posted at 10:22 AM ET, 01/ 6/2011

Matt Kassel preparing to leave Maryland and sign homegrown contract with New York Red Bulls

By Steve Goff

Maryland junior midfielder Matt Kassel is planning to leave school to sign with the New York Red Bulls, Terrapins Coach Sasho Cirovski told the Insider.

The Red Bulls have MLS rights to Kassel, a New Jersey native, because he rose through the club's youth system, making him exempt from next week's draft in Baltimore. Another person close to the situation said the sides are likely to finalize a homegrown contract as early as this weekend.

"He's planning to sign unless there's a last-minute snag," said Cirovski, who has already seen junior goalkeeper Zac MacMath enter the draft and sophomore defender Ethan White sign a homegrown deal with D.C. United. "With Matt, I'm happy we had him for three years. He was a great player for us. After every year, there was a possibility he was going to leave. This is the right time."

For more details.....

This season, Kassel, a two-way central midfielder, led Maryland in assists with 11 and was tied for second in goals with nine. In three years, he made 62 starts and registered 11 goals and 24 assists.

Meantime, Cirovski confirmed senior goalkeeper Will Swaim, who started 12 matches as a freshman before losing the job to MacMath, has applied to graduate school at Maryland with plans to return to the team. He made just two appearances in 2010. Maryland has two recruits on the way but no other returning keepers.

By Steve Goff  | January 6, 2011; 10:22 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer, MLS  | Tags:  Maryland Terrapins, New York Red Bulls  
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Wow, the Chiefs finally solve their never ending QB problems and he decides to play soccer. The lure of the Big Apple . . .

Posted by: benonthehill | January 6, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Is DC getting too giddy about the potential of their youth? Cirovski backed the exodus to MLS of everyone but White. I know White is an excellent college player but I wonder if he will be the first of the DC homegrowns to not fulfill what is expected by DC management. Its either that or Cirovski may just be a Union fan

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | January 6, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

All credit to the glass for being half empty, but I'd like to see White kick a ball before we sit shivah over the Academy...

Posted by: JkR- | January 6, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Tenorios laptop,

where did you get the impression that Cirovski didnt back White from?

He looked into going professional right out of High School, but decided to do the college thing for a couple years. Im sure he will do just fine for United

Posted by: pino149 | January 6, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

One of these quotes is not like the others:

"[MacMath] is definitely ready for the next step, and it's going to be Zac's choice," Terrapins Coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I'm not looking to keep Zac in school. If he ends up staying, I will be delighted"

"With Matt, I'm happy we had him for three years. He was a great player for us. After every year, there was a possibility he was going to leave. This is the right time."

"[White's] mind-set is that he is ready to turn pro," Terrapins Coach Sasho Cirovski said

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | January 6, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Hmm you are right one is not like the other, however to me its very criptic. its certainly not an endorsement though. Lets watch him play first before we go all doom and gloom on our youth system

Posted by: pino149 | January 6, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen White play?

Sitting down at Ludwig and watching the players -- who are, as should be obvious from the interest in them as professionals, all very high caliber -- is much simpler than trying to decode secret messages in a coach's reported comments.

For the first three-quarters of this past season, White was the best player on the field for the Terps. I would imagine that everyone who saw him play recognized both his skills and physical prowess immediately on the field.

DC United supporters have much to be excited about in Ethan White. Whether he will fulfill his promise is another question, but there is no reason to doubt that promise given what he displayed at Maryland.

Posted by: CPAddick | January 6, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Cirovski backed the exodus to MLS of everyone but White."

Really? I'm still looking for the glowing Kassel quote here.

Out of the three, it looks like an implied statement that MacMath should have left a year or two ago as much as anything else.

Posted by: stancollins | January 6, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Re: stancollins: Are you serious? From an article in the Examiner,"Asked if signing with MLS was the right choice for MacMath, Cirovski expressed some concern about whether MacMath would land with a team where there is playing time available. The three years that former Terps keeper Chris Seitz spent as a backup at Real Salt Lake hurt Seitz in his first season as a starter this season with Philadelphia, which let him go in last month's re-entry draft to Seattle, which in turn eventually traded him to FC Dallas".

By Cirovski saying that "This is the right time," It seems like Kassel is the only one he does not have reservations about.

Posted by: alex75 | January 6, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Jozy didn't get to kick the ball in today's Del Ray Cup action. But his team came back from a 2-goal deficit to beat Valencia 4-2 and advance to the semifinals (1st leg was scoreless).

Some Rossi kid did well.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 6, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. After counting the remaining teams in the competition it's clear Villarreal is moving into the quarterfinal round not the semifinals.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 6, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse


Yes, I'm serious. Three fourths of what you're quoting above is the newspaper writer, not Cirovski. If you look at what Cirovski has said about MacMath, he's stated pretty clearly that he has the talent to be a pro. With both Matt and Ethan, he hasn't happened to have said that, but he hasn't said they don't either. It's not White that stands out as 'different' in those quotes, it's MacMath.

Posted by: stancollins | January 7, 2011 7:55 AM | Report abuse

A lot of snipping about a few soundbites.

All of these players have given a number of years to Maryland, and have been great Terps. I figured we would have had Kassel for 1 year, and am glad we got him for 3. Sasho's built a program where the cream of the crop will be going pro early but the more players going pro, the better the program looks and the better we can recruit.

Posted by: M__N | January 7, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

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