KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Oakland men's soccer senior defender Wilfred Williams was selected by Sporting Kansas City in the fourth round as the No. 82 pick overall in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Super Draft on Sunday. Williams becomes just the second player in program history to be drafted by a MLS team since Jason Perry who was selected 43rd overall in the fifth round by the LA Galaxy in the 2004 draft. Williams will join the team for preseason training in Scottsdale, Arizona.
"It is an honor for me to be drafted," said Williams. "This is a new beginning for me."
"What a fantastic accomplishment for Wilfred to get drafted by Sporting Kansas City of the MLS! Wilfred has taken the first step in realizing a childhood dream of becoming a professional soccer player and changing the trajectory of his and his family's life," said Oakland head coach Eric Pogue. "Wilfred's dedication, perseverance and persistence in his journey to become an MLS draft pick is really quite amazing over the course of 21 years living in three countries (Liberia, Ghana, USA), six states (Tenn., Tex., Fla., Pa., N.C., Mich.) and attending three universities (Memphis, Eastern Florida State College, Oakland) while becoming a US citizen this past Fall."
In two years at Oakland, Williams started in 34 games anchoring the back line to seven shutouts from the left back position while recording three assists. Williams is also very involved in giving back and helping those less fortunate with fund raising efforts to provide kids with gifts during the holiday season through the One7 Ministry, a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Charlotte, N.C.
"Wilfred has an ideal skill set for the professional game as a highly coveted left-footed left back with a good engine to get up and down the line over 90 minutes", added Pogue. "His versatility to play anywhere along the left side at outside back, wing back, midfield or winger will help him be a valuable player at the professional level."