ALSO ON SLAM!
Sunday, February 6, 2000
Zawislan chosen by Kansas City Wizards
The 21-year-old from Brampton, Ont., was also selected in the first round of the A-League draft by the Toronto Lynx, who traded up with Charleston to get him.
The 26-team A-League, with Canadian franchises in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, is a feeder circuit for the 12-club MLS.
Zawislan was the lone Canadian among the 40 U.S. college players invited to the Umbro Select All-Star Classic that preceded the two drafts, although there were four Canadians in the women's game.
"It's a great opportunity," Zawislan said Sunday from Omaha, Neb. "I appreciate that they are willing to give me an opportunity. I don't know, right now I'm still kind of shocked. I'm trying to take in everything."
The top pick in Sunday's MLS draft was UCLA defender Steve Shak, taken by the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. Indiana defender Nick Garcia went next to Kansas City before Colorado picked William and Mary goalkeeper Adin Brown.
The Canadian was the fifth goalie taken in the draft.
Zawislan follows in the footsteps of Hamilton-born Greg Sutton, who was drafted by the Chicago Fire in the first round after last year's all-star game.
The six-foot-two, 195-pound Zawislan, who went 50th overall in the MLS draft, made his mark at Creighton University in Omaha, where he posted 27 shutouts in 55 career games and a 0.66 goals-against average.
The Kansas City Wizards, who are coached by former U.S. national team coach Bob Gansler, are already home to one Canadian in veteran striker Alex Bunbury. Last year, goalkeeping duties were split between U.S. international Tony Meola and Chris Snitko.
In other A-League draft news, the Vancouver 86ers opted for some homebrew talent, selecting two players from nearby Simon Fraser University and one from the University of Saskatchewan.
The 86ers used their first selection to take SFU midfielder Tiarnan King as the territorial protection pick. Vancouver then drafted SFU forward Neal Yeung and University of Saskatchewan midfielder Tino Fusco.
Vancouver 86ers defender Tom Hardy, a native of Seattle, was drafted by the New England Revolution in the sixth round of the MLS draft.
The Lynx also took defender-midfielder Brian Alvero of the University of South Florida and Michael Dodd of Burlington, Ont., a defender who played at Oakland College.
The Montreal Impact did not draft.