Creighton Athletics Former Creighton men's soccer players Akeem Ward and Joel Rydstrand were each drafted during the 2019 MLS SuperDraft on Friday, Jan. 11 in Chicago.
DC United selected Ward with the 14th overall pick during the first round, while the Seattle Sounders claimed Rydstrand with the 44th overall selection, and 20th pick of the second round.
Ward and Rydstrand each participated in the 2019 adidas MLS Player Combine which took place Jan. 3-9 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
Ward becomes Creighton's ninth MLS SuperDraft First Round pick in program history, and first since Fabian Herbers went sixth overall in 2016.
The Bluejays now own a total of 43 drafts picks since the league started in 1996. Creighton has had multiple picks in 12 different drafts.
Ward claimed a spot on the United Soccer Coaches All-East Region First Team following his senior season in 2018. The defender started all 18 games for the Bluejays and ranked third on the team with eight points from four assists and two game-winning goals. He also made the All-BIG EAST First Team and claimed BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week twice.
Ward played a total of 47 games during three seasons with the Bluejays.
Rydstrand earned United Soccer Coaches All-East Region Second Team recognition at the end of the 2018 season. The Almunge, Sweden native paced the Bluejays in assists for the third consecutive season with five, on his way to 2018 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year honors. Rydstrand had eight helpers as a junior and seven as a sophomore. He totaled 23 assists during his career, good enough for 11th on Creighton's individual career assists list.
Rydstrand played in 82 matches in a Bluejay uniform, including 81 starts.
The duo of Ward and Rydstrand helped Creighton claim the 2018 BIG EAST regular-season crown and an 11-4-3 overall record.
The third and fourth rounds of the SuperDraft will be held via a conference call on Monday at noon Central.