A trio of Detroit City FC players bid farewell to Cass Tech and the Le Rouge faithful after being selected in the Major League Soccer draft on Jan. 16.
Adam Bedell, Joey Dillon and Fabio Pereira comprise the group that will make the jump to the highest level of American soccer. Bedell was drafted by the Columbus Crew with the 45th overall pick in the third round.
“It’s a whole other level now, and I'm looking forward to taking this next step,” Bedell said. “The Columbus Crew is a great organization with great plans ahead and it’s amazing that I get to be a part of it.”
The University of Detroit-Mercy graduate and former Horizon League Player of the Year has been in Columbus for a few days now, occupied mostly by physicals and baseline tests. According to Bedell, the team will be heading down to Florida on Sunday to begin preseason training.
On draft day, Bedell was back home, waiting for the action to unfold. However, his anticipation subsided quickly once he received a phone call from Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter moments before the draft began. He told Bedell that he would be selected by the Crew, making the day a bit less tense.
Pereira’s draft day was a little longer. With the final pick in the draft — 77th overall in the fourth round — the Seattle Sounders selected Pereira, the crafty midfielder from the University of Michigan.
He was watching the draft with his computer, but the internet connection was so slow that Pereira ended up finding out he was drafted through a string of text messages and phone calls. After spending his career playing in front of raucous crowds such as the Michigan Ultras and the Northern Guard, Pereira will be well-prepared for the intensity that the Sounders’ supporters provide.
“I'm the type of player that rises to the occasion and big crowds get me going,” Pereira said. “The Detroit fans were extremely special to me and I am forever thankful for their passion and support. Now I'm really anxious to get to know Seattle a bit more. I want to play my best out there and help the fans celebrate a title very soon.”
Like Bedell, Pereira is also going through a series of medical tests after arriving in Seattle on Jan. 24. Preseason for the Sounders has already begun, and the team will travel to Arizona on Tuesday to play friendlies and continue preseason training.
Joey Dillon was selected by Real Salt Lake with the 53rd overall pick in the third round. The Rochester Hills-native spent his career with Georgetown University, while making several appearances in a DCFC kit in the summer of 2012. His time with Le Rouge was cut short however, when he sustained an injury halfway through the team's inaugural season.
Dillon played a critical role in Georgetown’s run to the National Championship in 2012, and was named team captain for his senior season this past fall.