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Men’s Soccer

Two selected in second round of MLS SuperDraft

| Friday, January 15, 2016

Former Irish midfielder Patrick Hodan fights for possession during Notre Dame’s 1-0 loss to Syracuse on Nov. 15 at Alumni Stadium.Emma Farnan | The Observer
Former Irish midfielder Patrick Hodan fights for possession during Notre Dame’s 1-0 loss to Syracuse on Nov. 15 at Alumni Stadium.

Notre Dame saw two of its 2015 season captains selected in the second round of Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft, as defender Max Lachowecki and midfielder Patrick Hodan were selected by Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes, respectively.

Lachowecki — who started 85 games for the Irish, including every game of the national championship-winning 2013 season — was selected 25th overall by Real Salt Lake. However, he said he wasn’t paying any attention to the draft when his name was announced.

“To be honest, I wasn’t even watching,” Lachowecki said. “I was so nervous that I was out in my driveway shooting hoops, I didn’t even want to watch. My mom was actually watching in the living room and I heard the door open up and she yelled my name, so I only caught the tail end of it. But I was relieved and excited; it was a whirlwind of emotions for sure.”

He joins former Notre Dame defender Aaron Maund, the 12th-overall selection in 2012, at Real Salt Lake. Maund and Lachowecki played together in the Irish back four in 2011. Lachowecki said it was a relief to have the opportunity to play alongside a former teammate.

“I’ve seen Aaron a few times since he graduated,” Lachowecki said. “He was a senior when I was a freshman, so I’m excited to be able to be reunited with him. It’s going to be nice to have at least one friend out there so it won’t be totally foreign and to have someone to help me get acclimated to a new system, new players and ultimately living in a new city.”

Lachowecki scored eight goals and dished out nine assists over the course of his Notre Dame career and received Big East all-freshman honors in 2012 and second-team All-ACC honors in 2015. He credited his coaches and teammates at Notre Dame for his career success.

“I’d just like to thank my coaches at Notre Dame for everything they’ve done for me,” Lachowecki said. “My coaches, and my teammates, too, are the guys who’ve helped me to get to where I am today. I’d like to thank the University of Notre Dame as well for giving me the opportunity to play and giving me an education at such a great school, too. It’ll be definitely missed. I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”

Hodan was selected 28th overall by the Earthquakes and finishes his Notre Dame career with a long list of individual honors. The Wisconsin native was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year, an NSCAA Division I first-team All-American and a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist in 2014. He was also recognized for his work in the classroom at Notre Dame, receiving Capital One Academic All-American Honors and being named ACC Men’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the year in 2014. Hodan said he grew both on and off the field during his time at Notre Dame.

“Notre Dame was extremely influential in my development, not only as a soccer player but primarily as a person,” Hodan said. “In terms of soccer, Coach [Bobby] Clark and the coaching staff were incredible. They were really helpful and helped me develop as a player.”

He led the Irish in goals during the 2014 season with nine and scored a total of 29 in 87 games. That tally includes both of the goals in Notre Dame’s 2-0 against New Mexico in the 2013 NCAA semifinal to send the Irish to their first ever national title game, where they defeated Maryland to claim the program’s first championship. Hodan said playing a part in the national championship win was his favorite moment at Notre Dame.

“Winning the national championship my sophomore year was definitely the highlight of my Notre Dame career. That’s an experience that I’ll never forget,” Hodan said.

Hodan said he is excited to play with the Earthquakes.

“I’m really looking forward to my professional career,” Hodan said. “I’m really thankful for that opportunity, and I’m just taking it one step at a time.”

Lachowecki and Hodan’s selections mean Notre Dame has had multiple players selected in the last 10 — and 12 of the last 13 — MLS SuperDrafts, with no players selected in 2006. However, this is the first year since 2011 without a Notre Dame player selected in the first round of the SuperDraft and the first time since 2008 no Irish player was among the top 20 selections.

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About Daniel O'Boyle

Daniel O'Boyle is a senior sports writer living in Alumni Hall, majoring in Political Science. He is currently on the Notre Dame Women's Basketball, Men's Tennis and Women's Soccer beats. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Daniel spends most of his free time attempting to keep up with second-flight English soccer and his beloved Reading FC. He believes Lonzo Ball is the greatest basketball player of all time.

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