University of Akron men’s soccer player Darren Mattocks is going pro.
Mattocks signed a contract with Generation adidas and will enter the 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
Mattocks, who scored 39 goals in 47 career matches for the Zips, will forgo his final two years of eligibility to turn professional where he is projected to be a high draft pick.
“We are extremely happy for Darren,” UA coach Caleb Porter said in a prepared statement. “He has proven over the last two years that he can produce goals at the highest levels of college soccer. Now he will have the opportunity to showcase his talents in MLS as a Generation adidas player.”
The MLS features 13 former UA players currently in the league, including standouts Steve Zakuani, Teal Bunbury, Darlington Nagbe and Perry Kitchen.
“The Generation adidas contract always gives young professionals the best platform to make a jump,” Porter said. “Not only will he have stability in the form of guaranteed years and compensation, but also the academic security to be able to finish his degree when the time is right. Darren is clearly ready for the next step in his career and I know he will do very well. We wish him all the best and will look forward to watching him blossom for many years to come.”
It is the fourth consecutive season a UA player has signed one of the coveted Generation adidas contracts.
The 2012 MLS SuperDraft will be broadcast on ESPN2 at noon on Jan. 12 in Kansas City, Mo. The 19 MLS clubs will select 38 players.
The expansion franchise Montreal Impact, who already owns the rights to a trio of Zips' standouts, including Evan Bush, Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Zarek Valentin, has the No. 1 pick in the draft.
The Vancouver Whitecaps, who drafted Michael Nanchoff No. 8 overall as an expansion franchise in 2011, own the No. 2 pick this year.
As a Generation adidas signee, Mattocks will be invited to participate in the 2012 MLS Player Combine in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., from Jan. 6-10. He will be joined by Zips senior Luke Holmes.
Mattocks was a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy and was named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year this season after scoring 21 goals in 22 matches.
Other Zips in MLS are: Blair Gavin, Ben Zemanski, Kofi Sarkodie, Chris Korb and Anthony Ampaipitakwong.