INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Thursday, January 17, 2013) The Houston Dynamo selected Virginia Commonwealth University forward Jason Johnson and Georgetown defender Jimmy Nealis in todays 2013 MLS SuperDraft at the Indiana Convention Center.
Johnson, selected with the No. 13 overall selection, scored 13 goals and added 6 assists in 21 games with the Rams in 2012. The Generation adidas forward was named Atlantic 10 Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a junior last season after leading the conference in goals. The Jamaica native has made one appearance for the Jamaican national team, a February 2010 match against Argentina.
Words cannot describe this feeling, it is beautiful, Johnson said. This team just went to the MLS Cup Final two years in a row and for them to select me this year shows they have plans for me. I am excited to go and work for myself, the club and the fans.
The 22-year-old scored 28 goals in three seasons with VCU, including 11 in 2011. The 6-foot forward was a member of Jamaicas U-23 team during 2012 Olympic qualifying.
Sometimes (in the combine) he would show some explosiveness and it made you realize he had something, said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. He created problems (for opponents), which is a good thing at the combine. You always want pace up top, and when you can get a player that can stretch a defense, its a nice thing to add to your team.
The technical staff was very excited that Jason was available when it was our time to pick, said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. There was a consensus from everybody that he was the right pick. I think he was not only the best available player on the board, but also a player who can come in and fill a need for us.
The Dynamo selected Nealis in the second round (No. 37 overall) of todays draft. The 6-foot defender notched 6 assists in 26 games for Georgetown in 2012, helping the Hoyas reach the national championship game while earning All-Big East second team honors.
Jimmy is a good player and he showed well at the combine, said Kinnear. He is a left back who likes to attack, and from what we know about him we like, and hopefully well see more over the next couple of weeks.
The Massapequa, N.Y. native was New York State Player of the Year as a senior at Massapequa high school.
I am super excited and cant wait to get to camp, said Nealis. The Dynamo have had a lot of recent success and I look forward to learning from Dominic Kinnear.
The Dynamo begin preseason on Monday, Jan. 21 and open the 2013 MLS season on Saturday, March 2 when they host D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium in a rematch of the 2012 Eastern Conference Championship.
Dynamo full-season ticket packages start at $400 and include 20 home games. The club is also offering a new Family Season Ticket Package for the 2013 season. For every full price adult season ticket purchased for $400, fans can purchase an additional season ticket for a child 10 years or younger for just $200, located in the Texas Childrens Health Plan Family Section (Section 201). To purchase your package or for more information on 2013 season tickets, call (713) 276-GOAL.
TRANSACTION: Houston Dynamo drafted FWD Jason Johnson and DEF Jimmy Nealis
DOB: October 9, 1990
Hometown: Happy News, Jamaica
College: Virginia Commonwealth University
How Acquired: Selected in the first round (No. 13 overall) of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft
DOB: August 5, 1991
Hometown: Massapequa, N.Y.
College: Georgetown University
How Acquired: Selected in the second round (No. 37 overall) of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft
ABOUT GENERATION ADIDAS
Players who join MLS as part of the Generation adidas program receive the opportunity to develop their game and hone their skills at the professional level. In addition to training and playing with one of Major League Soccer’s 19 professional clubs, Generation adidas players receive educational grants to further their college education. Generation adidas players do not count against an MLS team’s salary budget.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer club that has won two MLS Cup championships and four conference championships in its first seven seasons and qualified to represent the United States in international competition six times, including the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League. The team currently trains in the Methodist Champions Field at Houston Amateur Sports Park (HASP), the premier training facility in Southeast Texas, and plays at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston. For more information, log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.