BALTIMORE – The LA Galaxy made two selections at this afternoon’s 2011 MLS SuperDraft, which was held at the Baltimore Convention Center.
With their first round selection (16th overall), the Galaxy selected Uruguayan midfielder Paolo Cardozo, who was one of three non-collegiate, international players who were selected in the SuperDraft. A veteran of Argentine soccer, the 21-year-old played for Quilmes of the Argentinean Second Division, helping them earn promotion to the First Division last season. Originally born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Cardozo moved to Argentina at the age of seven when he began playing in the River Plate academy system. He remained there until the age of 18 when he joined Quilmes, spending the last two and a half years with the club.
“I couldn’t believe it. To have the LA Galaxy pick you is something very incredible,” said Cardozo in Spanish. “You always hope that your hard work leads to this very moment, a big club picking you. Now it’s up to me to prove to them that I’m deserving.”
In the second round (34th overall) of the SuperDraft, the Galaxy selected Bell Gardens, Calif. native Hector Jimenez. A three-time First Team All-Pac 10 selection at the University of California, Jimenez had five goals and 28 assists in 75 career games with the Bears, helping them reach the NCAA Tournament three times. Jimenez, who attended Bell Gardens High School and helped lead local club team Arsenal FC to three consecutive national titles, was a member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team residency program in Bradenton, Fla. before attending Cal.
“Hector Jimenez is a good player. We actually rated him as the best right-sided player in the draft,” Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “He’s a local kid, went to the University of California and obviously we love to have those types at the Galaxy. We think he’s a very good player and being a local player is a plus.”
The Galaxy rounded out their involvement in the SuperDraft by trading their third round pick (50th overall) to D.C. United in exchange for United’s two selections in the first round of the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft, which will be held on Tuesday, January 18. The Galaxy now have the 3rd and 16th picks in the first round of the Supplemental Draft, as well as one second round selection (34th overall) and one third round selection (52nd overall).
That trade was the Galaxy’s second of the day, having earlier acquired forward Chad Barrett from Toronto FC in exchange for future considerations.
First Round: #16 - Paolo Cardozo
Second Round: #34 – Hector Jimenez
Date of Birth: November 3, 1988
Hometown: Bell Gardens, Calif.
Club/College: University of California
WATCH: Jimenez highlights from MLS Combine
Third Round: # 50 – Traded to D.C. United in exchange for two first round picks in the Supplemental Draft (3rd and 16th)