DURHAM, N.C.—Former Duke University men’s soccer player Jeremy Ebobisse had his dream come true Friday afternoon in Los Angeles as he was selected by Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers with the No. 4 overall pick. Ebobisse, a Generation Adidas signee, played for the Blue Devils in 2014 and 2015.
The Portland Timbers traded up with the Houston Dynamo to draft the Bethesda, Md., product. In exchange for the No. 4 pick the club used on Ebobisse, the Houston Dynamo acquired $100K of GAM, 2017 int’l roster spot & No. 10 pick.
“I remember being a young kid and going to MLS games and celebrating our birthdays there,” said Ebobisse. “We had our opportunity to play on the field at halftime, our 15 minutes of fame and now to get to this point where I’m going to be the one ushered off the field for the next generation it’s really incredible. It’s a testament to the fact that dreams can come true.”
He is the latest Duke product to become a member of MLS, joining former Blue Devils Darrius Barnes, Sean Davis, Mike Grella, Sebastien Ibeagha and Andrew Wenger in the league.
Ebobisse, Duke’s top scorer in 2015, spent this past fall playing with the Charleston Battery of the USL as well as with the United States’ Under 20 National Team. He elected to pursue his career in August before returning to camp with the Blue Devils.
A talented striker, Ebobisse played in 38 games during his two seasons with the Blue Devils, including 30 starts. He tallied seven points from two goals and three assists his rookie campaign and compiled seven goals and four assists for 18 points as a sophomore. He was an All-ACC third team pick in 2015 and voted to the NSCAA All-South Region second team.
“To my family at Duke, my coaches - Coach [John] Kerr, Coach [Mike] Miller, Coach [Michael] Brady and Coach [Chris] Rich and all of my teammates…you guys have had the most profound impact in my development. I came in as a 17-year old inexperienced kid who thought he was ready to conquer the world, but now I feel as if I left as a young adult who is mature and is ready to go on in the league.”
Ebobisse has been a mainstay with the U-20 MNT, helping it to capture the NTC Invitational over the summer. He finished the three-game tournament held in California with three goals and an assist, including the game winner against Japan.
He secured his first career hat trick in a U.S. jersey, scoring three goals against Netherlands in a friendly in October. Ebobisse started two of the three games in Europe as the United States fell to Germany, England and Netherlands in the friendlies.
Most recently in a pair of friendlies with the United States he scored a goal in a 4-0 win over Costa Rica. He started the second friendly, ending in a 0-0 draw.
The Portland Timbers, the 2015 MLS Champions, open the 2017 season March 3, hosting expansion team Minnesota United.