By Jose Saldana
Senior co-captain defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce was drafted No. 2 overall by the LA Galaxy in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft on Friday morning.
Hilliard-Arce had a stellar career with the Cardinal, winning three consecutive NCAA championships, earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year twice and garnering other all-conference honors. He was also a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, which recognizes the best college soccer player in the country.
He is the highest-ever drafted Cardinal player, tied with Chad Marshall who was drafted second in 2004. Not only was he the fulcrum of a couple of the best defenses in college soccer, but he was excellent in set pieces. He had 13 career goals and five assists, as he used his height (6-foot-1) to attack corner kicks.
Joining Hilliard-Arce with the LA Galaxy, co-captain midfielder Drew Skundrich was chosen 40th overall in the MLS SuperDraft. In his senior year, Skundrich was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team and scored a career-high five goals and a career-high five assists as a central midfielder.
Skundrich has been a key cog for the Cardinal since the first of the championship seasons in 2015 when he started at defense.
Not drafted in the SuperDraft but signing Homegrown deals with MLS teams are forward Foster Langsdorf and midfielder Corey Baird.
Langsdorf signed a deal with the Portland Timbers where he takes with him incredible goal scoring. He netted 37 goals which set the Pac-12 all-time scoring record. 14 of the goals were scored in senior season, including two goals in the NCAA tournament.
He is the only two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year in the conference’s history.
Baird signed a deal with Real Salt Lake. His 30 career assists sits him at third most in the program’s history. He had a great rapport with Langsdorf, as they often set each other for goal opportunities.
Goalkeeper Nico Corti signed a contract with Rio Grande Valley FC of the USL, an affiliate of the MLS team Houston Dynamo. After taking over for an impressive goalie in Andrew Epstein this past year, Corti didn’t disappoint as he helped Stanford to a Pac-12 record 0.386 goals against average, which included 14 shutouts.
His performance aided the Cardinal’s defense to another scoreless postseason. Stanford has not conceded a goal since the College Cup semifinal against Akron in 2015.
Contact Jose Saldana at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu