Three Flint City Bucks drafted by MLS

 

 

FLINT — The Flint City Bucks is the only club in history to have at least one player signed or drafted in every Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft to date. The MLS SuperDraft is a four round exercise where the very best NCAA players are selected.

On January 9, MLS held the first two rounds of the SuperDraft.

Players drafted include defender Nyal Higgins (Ajax, Ontario/Syracuse) who spent parts of two seasons with the Bucks in 2017 and 2018 while playing at Oakland University. The Canadian U20 defender transferred to Syracuse for his senior season and was drafted in the first round with the 19th overall pick by his native Toronto FC.

Next up was defender Patrick Nielsen (Denmark/MSU) who spent parts of two seasons with the Bucks in 2018 and 2019 before being sidelined for most of this past season with a leg injury. Nielsen was a huge part of Michigan State’s run to the College Cup in 2018 and he was selected with the 23rd pick in the first round by Atlanta United FC.

Center back Michael Wetungu (Rochester Hills/MSU) was the third player picked. He played two seasons for the Bucks in 2017 and 2019 after also being coached as an academy player by Bucks’ former head coach, Demir Muftari. Wetungu teamed up with Nielsen both in Flint and East Lansing as a dynamic defensive duo. Wetungu was drafted with the 20th pick of the second round (46th overall) by Real Salt Lake.

The Bucks have sent a total of 87 former players to MLS since 1999. Additional FCB players will be accepting invites to a variety of MLS preseason training camps in the coming weeks.

More than 200 Bucks players have signed professional contracts in over a dozen countries around the world after they completed their USL2 seasons in Michigan.

The Bucks are recognized as the most successful amateur team in US Soccer history, winning an unmatched 12 national titles in the team’s first 24 seasons, including their record third USASA Hank Steinbrecher Cup and fourth USL League Two title this past summer.

The Bucks are gearing up for their second season at Kettering University’s historic Atwood Stadium beginning in May.