Two with state ties get call
Two players with Colorado connections were among those selected in Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft.
Drew Beckie, a defender at the University of Denver, and Taylor Kemp, a defender at the University of Maryland, each were picked. Beckie, a right back/center back for the Pioneers, went to a Columbus Crew side looking for depth on defense. Kemp, a Highlands Ranch native, will get a shot at left back for D.C. United.
Beckie, 22, and Kemp, 22, each spent time playing for Real Colorado as youth players. Beckie and Kemp have also spent time on youth national teams, with Beckie dressing for his native Canada and Kemp playing in the U.S. system.
Kemp, 5-11, 153 pounds, spent most of his senior season with the Terrapins battling injury and started only 10 matches. Beckie, 6-1, 161 pounds, started and played in 18 of Denver’s 20 matches, logging the fourth-most minutes on the team as a senior.
Kemp also had the distinction of being D.C.’s lone selection in the draft. United coach Ben Olsen said the squad had been watching Kemp as he played in nearby Maryland for the past several years.
“We believe we took the best left back at the combine,” Olsen said.
D.C. executives also praised the addition of a natural left-sided player.
Beckie’s selection by Columbus gives the Crew some defensive depth. It also spoke to the strength of having a good performance at the scouting combine.
“He was a guy that was on our radar before the combine, but we didn’t see him too many times in college,” Head Coach Robert Warzycha said. “We heard a lot about him, but he had a very, very good combine. He was very good in all three games. He was one of the best at organizing the back four, he talks a lot and squeezes the field.”