Portage Native, Former Bronco & KZFC Player Drafted in MLS Superdraft
It's been a long road for a Portage Northern graduate to make it into Major League Soccer.
Brandon Bye started off the week in the MLS Combine and had impressed the scouts during the four-day trial. Before that, it was four years of hard work playing for the Western Michigan Broncos. Highlights from his 2017 NCAA Tournament campaign are below.
As a Bronco, Bye was a two-time First Team All-Mid-American Conference player and a Second Team All-MAC. He scored 22 goals and helped on 19 others in 67 career games at Western.
The work continued during the next three summers after graduating Portage Northern, playing the National Premier Soccer League. One of those summers was at home, where he played for Kalamazoo FC in its inaugural year in 2016.
The past all comes back to today, as the MLS Superdraft began in Philadelphia for the first of two days with two rounds apiece.
Bye was selected in the first round and eighth-pick overall by the New England Revolution. It was the first of back-to-back picks, thanks to a trade the Revolution made with the Philadelphia Union during the 2016 season.
While he played midfielder and sometimes forward at Western and KZFC, he's expected to play on the defensive line in the middle of the field (known as center back). That position is usually set for solid passers and strong legs to kick the ball deep. They also have to battle usually taller forwards.
Bye wasn't the only Bronco drafted on the first day of the Superdraft. The final pick of the day was from Toronto FC, who picked goalkeeper Drew Shepard. An Ann Arbor native, Shepard completed his Western career with a 34-12-10 record.