Jan. 12, 2007
BERKELEY - Former California midfielder Eric Ebert was selected by the defending MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft conducted Friday in Indianapolis, where it was held in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) convention. Houston drafted Ebert with the 52nd and last overall pick, which was also the 13th pick in the fourth round. Ebert concluded his college career this past fall, when he helped the Golden Bears win their first Pac-10 title and reach the third round of the NCAA College Cup.
"This is an exciting day for Eric and for our program," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "He's going to the MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo and he'll be playing for a team and a system that fits his style perfectly. Houston has been known to be a great ball-possession team and very creative and attack oriented, and I think Eric has the attributes to have a successful career playing for Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear.
"With the MLS Supplemental Draft just around the corner, we're looking for [former Cal midfielder] Nick Hatzke to get an opportunity to play in MLS this coming season as well."
Former Cal All-American defender Steve Purdy, who was likely to be a first-round pick in the MLS SuperDraft, is close to signing a contract with 1860 Munich of the Second Bundesliga, the second division of professional soccer in Germany.
A 20-game starter for Cal in 2006, Ebert scored eight points (3 goals, 2 assists) and one game-winning goal, the latter coming in a 1-0 victory over Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 8). The midfielder from Irvine, Calif., who tied as Cal's fifth-leading scorer in his senior year, also earned a spot on the All-Pac-10 first team this season. He was All-Pac-10 honorable mention in 2005.
The 6-0, 175-pound Ebert tallied 12 goals, collected five assists and scored 29 points in four years at Cal. The Irvine, Calif., product played in 80 games, starting 64, as a Bear. He missed just one start over his last three seasons, starting all 20 games in 2006, all 21 games in 2005 and 19 of 20 games in 2004. As a freshman in 2003, Ebert started four of 20 games.
His brother, Ian Ebert, was a freshman on the 2006 Bears squad. Their father, Don Ebert, played professional soccer for the New York Cosmos (NASL), St. Louis Steamers (MISL) and L.A. Lazers (MISL) and was the captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team. Don Ebert is now the head coach at Concordia University in Irvine.
The Dynamo, formerly the San Jose Earthquakes, won the MLS Cup last November in its first year playing in Houston. Grimes, as a player, spent early 1996 with the club's first MLS incarnation, the San Jose Clash.