3 Rough Riders Selected in 2024 MLS Super Draft

Written by Michael Lewis, Front Row Soccer

The Long Island Rough Riders enjoyed a pretty memorable night on Dec. 19, and they didn’t have to play a game to celebrate.

That’s because the Rough Riders men had three players selected in the MLS SuperDraft on Tuesday.

They were:

* Syracuse University midfielder Joergio Kocevski, who was taken at No. 21 overall by Orlando City SC

* Hofstra University forward Ryan Carmichael, who was chosen by Inter Miami CF as the 24th selection of the first round

* University of Pittsburgh midfielder Filip Markovic, who joined Kocevski on Orlando City as the 54th overall choice (second round)

All three players competed for the Rough Riders (12-1-1) this past summer as the team won the Metropolitan Division title and qualified for the USL League Two playoffs.

“Two players in the first round and three in the top 54, it says a lot about the group we had last year,” Rough Riders General Manager Tanner Sands said. “I don’t want to overlook the individuals and what they’ve put into their whole life. Geo, Ryan and Filip, we knew they were caliber players and they showed it time after time. The draft was just part of their story and really excited to see because all three of them deserve it, without a doubt.

“We look for a certain type of player. It’s two-fold. One, what are they like on the field? Do they fit our culture? Second, they’ve got to be difference makers. These three define both those points. There are great people who love the game of soccer and they’re also just unbelievable players. So, it’s not surprising to us to see them all drafted where they were.”

After acquiring the 21st pick from the Colorado Rapids, Orlando grabbed Kocevski. In his four years at Syracuse, Kocevski played in 71 matches and recorded seven goals and 18 assists. Last season he was named Atlantic Coast Conference co-midfielder of the year, becoming the first SU player to win the award.

As the team captain, Kocevski registered one goal and 12 assists in 21 games for Syracuse this season. The 12 assists are the most by a senior in the program’s history and the third most in a season. In 2022, he played a vital role, helping the Orange become the NCAA Division I national champions, ACC tournament champions, and ACC Atlantic Division regular season champions.

Carmichael, who hails from Armagh, Northern Ireland, was a United Soccer Coaches second team All-American this past season and was a three-time All-Atlantic Region first team selection. He led the Pride and the CAA in scoring in 2023 with 17 goals and five assists for 39 points. The 17 goals and 39 points ranked second in the nation.

He also was a first team All-Coastal Athletic Association pick and was an All-CAA Championship selection. Carmichael finished his career ranked second all-time at Hofstra in goals (46) and points (110)

Mirkovic was a mainstay in the Panthers midfield the past four seasons, helping lead the squad to three Elite Eights and a pair of Final Fours. He appeared in and started 16 matches for Pitt this season while leading the team with nine assists. Those nine assists were the third most in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 15th most in the NCAA this season.

The Manhattan, N.Y. native enjoyed the best game of his Pitt career in a 5-1 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson University as he tied a program record with four assists, including one on the game-winning goal. He concluded his Pitt career with a program-record 28 assists and 46 points in 75 matches.

Mirkovic also performed with the Wrexham Dragons at The Soccer Tournament, a 7 v 7, winner-take-all tournament in Cary, N.C. last summer.

“It’s always interesting to see how a draft goes and I think this draft was a little different with all of the underclassmen, it was something we’re not used to and I think was the most unexpected draft in years. But we got the players that we wanted,” Orlando City EVP of soccer operations and general manager Luiz Muzzi said in a statement. “[Our scouts] recognize players, we’re not just watching the College Cup Final, we’re actually going around for four months and going to the colleges. We feel good about what we got … time will tell, but we’re extremely happy with what we got.”


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