DURHAM, N.C.-After spending five days in the Florida sun performing both on the field and in the meeting room for the 19 clubs at the Major League Soccer Combine, Duke goalkeeper James Belshaw will await the 2013 MLS SuperDraft to see what lies ahead in his soccer career. The SuperDraft will be streamed globally Jan. 17 beginning at 12 p.m. (ET) in Indianapolis, Ind.
Belshaw, a 2012 NSCAA All-America selection, was one of 54 college seniors invited to the MLS Combine. The Nottingham, England native suited up for adiZero, leading his squad to the MLS Combine title with a 2-0-1 record over the course of the five days. The lone goalie for the team, Belshaw proved to be a strong leader and organizer of his squad according to mlssoccer.com analyst Matthew Doyle.
"In any situation like this where you're taking a bunch of guys and throwing them together organization is key," Doyle said. "And nobody has done better at that and keeping his side organized and compact than Duke's James Belshaw. He is the most outstanding goalkeeper going in this event so far. His ability to give crisp clear concise directions to his defenders, it's top notch."
A four-year starter for the Blue Devils, Belshaw moved up in the MLS mock draft to No. 29 to the Philadelphia Union according to some MLS analysts. Considered an international player, Belshaw would require a club to use one of its international roster slots.
Belshaw, a two-year captain for the Blue Devils, became the 32nd player in Duke history to earn All-America recognition and just the fourth goalkeeper to do so. He also is just the 12th ACC goalkeeper to capture an NSCAA All-America nod since the ACC tracked the honors in 1973.
A two-time All-ACC first team pick, Belshaw anchored the Blue Devils' defense each of the past four seasons. This past season he became the first Duke goalkeeper in program history and the ninth in ACC history to earn first team honors twice in his career and only the third Duke goalie to win multiple All-ACC honors after he earned All-ACC second team recognition as a sophomore.
In addition to his stellar play in goal, Belshaw netted his first career goal in 2012, knocking home a penalty kick in a 2-0 win over Clemson. In goal for the Blue Devils, Belshaw registered a career-best eight shutouts and a career-low 0.69 goals against average in 2012. His eight shutouts are tied for eighth in Duke single season history, while his 21 clean sheets are third. A four-year starter in goal the Nottingham, England native played over 7,000 minutes in his career and sports a .766 save percentage and a 1.04 goals against average.
Behind the play of Belshaw, the Blue Devils' nine shutouts in 2012 are the most since 2009, while the team's 0.70 goals against average is the lowest since the 1987 squad posted a 0.63 goals against average.
Duke finished the year 8-8-2 overall and 3-4-1 in conference play and fell to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament semifinal.
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