It's a landmark day for Buffalo-area soccer, as Sweet Home High School alum Liam Callahan became the first Section VI high school product to be selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
The Syracuse captain was taken by the Colorado Rapids with the 24th overall pick - the second selection of the second round. In 2016, the Rapids finished second in the Western Conference and lost to eventual MLS Cup winners Seattle in penalty kicks in the conference semifinals.
Although he wasn't invited to the MLS Combine in Los Angeles, Callahan captained an Orange side that reached the College Cup in 2015 and returned to the NCAA Tournament again in his senior year. In addition to his on-the-field achievements, Callahan also appeared on ESPN's SportsCenter orchestrating this viral heading video.
The winger earned All-Western New York honors as a junior and a senior, then played a season at Villanova before spending the final three years of his college career under Ian McIntyre at Syracuse. He's also suited up for Empire United, FC Buffalo and Kitchener-Waterloo.
My lifetime dream has come true! Thank you to @ColoradoRapids for believing in me. Can't wait to get started!
— Liam Callahan (@Liam_Callahan) January 13, 2017
Other former MLS SuperDraft picks with Western New York ties include the following:
*2000, fifth overall: Aleksey Korol, Livonia in Rochester
*2000, 32nd overall: Yuri Lavrinenko, Gates-Chili in Rochester
*2001, 42nd overall: Yari Allnutt, drafted from Rochester Rhinos (A-League)
*2015, sixth overall: Alex Bono, Charles W. Baker HS in Syracuse, Empire DA
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