All three selections for the Mountaineers came in the First Round. Minnesota United FC took sophomore forward Marcus Caldeira at No. 20, Orlando City SC selected senior forward Yutaro Tsukada at No. 25 and Los Angeles FC (LAFC) drafted senior goalkeeper Jackson Lee at No. 28.
West Virginia was the only school to have three First Round draft picks in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft. The trio make it four West Virginia players ever taken in the First Round, with the Chicago Fire selecting former goalkeeper Nick Noble (2003-06) with the No. 7 overall pick in 2007. They also become the first West Virginia players to earn draft selections since the New York Red Bulls selected former midfielder Joey Piatczyc (2014-18) in 2019.
Caldeira starred for WVU men’s soccer in 2023 starting in 23 of 24 games and tied for first on the team with 12 goals along with Tsukada. He scored six goals in the first seven games, including a hat-trick against then ranked No. 1 Marshall in a 5-2 victory at home on Oct. 18. He finished 2023 with College Soccer News All-America First Team, United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team, United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region First Team and All-Sun Belt First Team honors.
Tsukada tied for the most goals on the Mountaineers with 12, while also led with nine assists and 33 points, sixth-most in Division I. He scored a goal in three straight games in the NCAA Tournament, in a 1-0 win over Louisville in the Second Round, in a 2-1 win over Vermont in the Sweet 16 and then 3-1 victory over Loyola Marymount in the Elite Eight.
He finished with numerous accolades, including United Soccer Coaches All-America Third Team, College Soccer News All-America Second Team, TopDrawerSoccer Best XI Second Team, United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-South Region First Team, United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region First Team, All-Sun Belt First Team, Sun Belt All-Tournament Team.
Lee kept nine clean sheets in 24 matches started in 2023, while allowing just 23 goals for a 0.96 goal-per-match average and making 66 saves with a .742 save percentage. Great with his feet, Lee also had two assists in the win over Marshall back in October. He received United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region Second Team and All-Sun Belt Second Team honors for his play this past season.
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