Aleks Berkolds Selected by Seattle Sounders FC in MLS Draft
Former San Diego State and Albion SC San Diego defender Aleks Berkolds was selected as the 68th overall pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft last week in Chicago. Berkolds competed with Albion SC of the NPSL during the college season in San Diego, California.
LA Galaxy former forward Ariel Lassiter, who now plays left winger for LD Alajuelense is another amazing player who trained at Albion SC. The successful story of player development at the San Diego based youth soccer club continues with a high percentage of collegiate bound players, many who aspire to become professionals like Berkolds and Lassiter.
The selection was made on Monday morning, with Berkolds contacted via conference call.
The 22-year old Berkolds played every minute of the 2018 collegiate season and started all 18 games, leading the team with 1,650 minutes played for the Aztecs (7-10-1).
The native of Northridge, California, started 13 matches as a redshirt freshman in 2015, recording one goal and two assists.
During the collegiate offseason, Berkolds suited up for ASC San Diego of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), an extension of the Albion SC program which provides a pathway who want to become professionals.
Led by Noah Gins, Co-Owner and CEO, the San Diego based organization is dedicated to developing top talent in the region at not only the youth level but also for collegiate players looking to advance their skills during the offseason.
“It was a great experience getting the chance to play with ASC San Diego as the level of play and preparation was extremely high,” said Berkolds. “I want to thank the amazing coaching staff at ASC for developing me into the player I’ve become. The culture day in and day out was second to none. I couldn’t thank them enough.”
“It’s been a great honor to represent a team that does so much to impact the community on and off the field.”
Ziggy Korytoski, head coach of ASC San Diego, congratulated Berkolds on his MLS draft selection by highlighting his commitment on and off the pitch.
“I am very proud of Aleks and the work he has put in over the last year to earn the respect of a team such as the Seattle Sounders to draft him,” said Korytoski. “He continued throughout our time together in preparing for his future, while being humbly committed to serving ASC and the San Diego community. His commitment to our culture lived up to all expectations, and I expect him to be a household name around the country in the future.”
“I am proud to see a player come through the system and be recognized by the MLS,” said Gins.
“We have built a system to push players on to the highest level. We now have produced players to the MLS, Spain, and Mexico professional leagues,” said Gins. “We wish Aleks the best and look forward to supporting him on his journey.”
Sounders FC begins its 2019 preseason on Tuesday, January 22, at Starfire Sports before traveling to out-of-town training camps in Orange County, California, and Tucson, Arizona.