Philadelphia, PA (January 16, 2014) -- Sporting Kansas City selected 21-year-old forward Adnan Gabeljic out of Saint Louis University with the No. 38 overall selection in the second round of Thursday's 2014 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas in Philadelphia, Penn.
"We have had the chance to see him quite a few times over the years," Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. "He's a little different forward than we currently have today. Obviously, he's a big guy and extremely powerful. It will give us a different look up top."
"I couldn't be more excited, going to the champions so close to my city," Gabeljic said. "I believe in myself and my potential, and I need a great spot like Sporting KC to help myself develop into a really good player."
Gabeljic was born in Zagreb, Croatia and lived in Stuttgart, Germany before immigrating to Saint Louis at age seven in 1999. He attended Mehlville High School, where he was named an NSCAA All-American and collected Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year, Missouri Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year and first team All-State honors.
He then scored nine goals and added seven assists in 70 appearances during his four-year collegiate career at Saint Louis University. He trained with Sporting Kansas City the summer following his sophomore season.
Gabeljic is the fourth player drafted by Sporting Kansas City from Saint Louis University, joining Matt McKeon (1996), Kevin Kalish (1999) and Jack Jewsbury (2003). Mike Sorber went to SLU and was the first-ever player to be allocated to Kansas City upon the inception of Major League Soccer.
The 6'3, 200-pound winger attended the 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and was a top performer in the physical fitness tests among the 50+ players in attendance. His time (3.92 seconds) in the 30-meter sprint was fastest at the Combine and his 18.6" vertical jump ranked in the Top 10.
The 2014 MLS SuperDraft will conclude with rounds three and four conducted via conference call at 1 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Sporting Kansas City currently holds the No. 41, No. 57 and No. 76 overall selections. For more information, download the MLS SuperDraft press kit online.
Adnan Gabeljic (AHD-nahn guh-BELL-uh-jitch)
College: Saint Louis University
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia
Year GP G A
2013 17 4 1
2012 21 1 5
2011 13 3 0
2010 19 1 1
TOTAL 70 9 7
Sporting KC Quote Sheet
2014 MLS SuperDraft
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes
On the attributes of Gabeljic...
The fact that he is from Saint Louis University, we've had the chance to see him quite a few times over the years. He's a little different forward than we currently have today. Obviously, he's a big guy and extremely powerful. It will give us a different look up top.
On the long-term plan for draft picks...
The good thing though, with the depth in our roster especially in the attacking positions, is that he doesn't necessarily have to come on and be a guy that has to make an impact. We've been pretty patient with the development of our players, which in turn gives them a chance that when they do step on the field, they have a chance for success.
On looking ahead to Tuesday's rounds...
I think every year we pride ourselves on making sure we know about the players that are going to be available. That's a credit to all of our staff and our scouting staff, as well. It is very important, especially when you find yourself in these late rounds and we still have the supplemental rounds coming up, to know the player pool.
SuperDraft Selection Adnan Gabeljic
On the opportunity to join Sporting KC...
I couldn't be more excited, going to the champions so close to my city. I've been a fan of the team for a while, ever since I went and trained with them a few years back.
On hearing his name called during the draft...
It was one of the best moments of my life. I had met with the coaches earlier at the combine and I was confident, even though it was nervous going through the draft waiting for the last pick. I was confident they would consider me.
On his outlook starting his professional career...
My hopes are to develop to my full potential. I believe in myself and my potential, and I need a great spot like Sporting KC to help myself develop into a really good player.