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Draft pickSporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes and Adnan Gabeljic. (Sporting KC/photo by Andy Mead)
Sporting Kansas City selected 21-year-old forward Adnan Gabeljic out of Saint Louis University with the No. 38 overall selection in the second round of Thursday's 2014 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia, Penn.
"We have had the chance to see him quite a few times over the years," Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. "He's a little different forward than we currently have today. Obviously, he's a big guy and extremely powerful. It will give us a different look up top."
"I couldn't be more excited, going to the champions so close to my city," Gabeljic said. "I believe in myself and my potential, and I need a great spot like Sporting KC to help myself develop into a really good player."
Gabeljic was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and lived in Stuttgart, Germany, before immigrating to St. Louis at age 7 in 1999. He attended Mehlville High School, where he was named an NSCAA All-American and collected Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year, Missouri Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year and first team All-State honors.
He then scored nine goals and added seven assists in 70 appearances during his four-year collegiate career at Saint Louis University. He trained with Sporting Kansas City the summer following his sophomore season.
Gabeljic is the fourth player drafted by Sporting Kansas City from Saint Louis University, joining Matt McKeon (1996), Kevin Kalish (1999) and Jack Jewsbury (2003). Mike Sorber went to SLU and was the first-ever player to be allocated to Kansas City upon the inception of Major League Soccer.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound winger attended the 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and was a top performer in the physical fitness tests among the more than 50 players in attendance. His time (3.92 seconds) in the 30-meter sprint was fastest at the Combine and his 18.6" vertical jump ranked in the Top 10.
The 2014 MLS SuperDraft will conclude with rounds three and four conducted via conference call at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Sporting Kansas City currently holds the No. 41, No. 57 and No. 76 overall selections.
- Information from Sporting KC