DURHAM, N.C.-Duke University standout goalkeeper James Belshaw was selected today in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft with the 49th pick by the Chicago Fire. Belshaw was a four-year starter in goal for the Blue Devils.
Belshaw was taken in the third round of the MLS Supplemental Draft, which is often considered a continuation of the SuperDraft, consists of four rounds and features only players who have finished their college eligibility and been nominated by an MLS club, as well as youth internationals made available by MLS.
The Chicago Fire currently features a pair of active goalkeepers in Sean Johnson and Paolo Tornaghi. Johnson, a starter for the Fire in each of the past three seasons, has started 72 career games and owns a 29-23-20 record with a 1.28 goals against average.
Belshaw, a 2012 NSCAA All-America selection, was considered by many to be the top goalkeeper at 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. However, as a Nottingham, England native his international status, proved to be an issue as his signing requires a club to use on of its international roster slots. Tornaghi, who hails from Italy, is one of 10 internationals currently on the Fire roster.
A two-year captain for the Blue Devils, Belshaw 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.
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