Jan. 21, 2007
BERKELEY - Former California men's soccer player Steve Purdy signed a professional contract with 1860 Munich, a Second Division German club, and later joined former Golden Bears teammate Nick Hatzke in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft last week, with Purdy going fifth to the Los Angeles Galaxy and Hatzke going 13th to the defending MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo.
Purdy joins former Kansas City Wizard Josh Wolff, another recent signee by the German club, and U.S. defender Gregg Berhalter, the Lions' captain, with 1860 Munich, correctly called TSV 1860 München. He won't play for the Galaxy anytime soon, though the L.A. club will hold his MLS rights for the next two years.
Hatzke, a midfielder also from San Jose, will join former Cal teammate Eric Ebert in Houston, which selected the latter with the 52nd pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft.
This marks the third straight year in which MLS teams drafted Cal players, a span that encompasses Cal head coach Kevin Grimes' first three recruiting classes and nine former Bears. The six other Bears are Calen Carr (Chicago Fire, SuperDraft), Tyson Wahl (Kansas City, SuperDraft) and Eric Kronberg (Kansas City, SuperDraft), who were drafted in 2006, and Troy Roberts (Los Angeles, SuperDraft), Mike Munoz (Chivas USA, Supplemental Draft) and Noah Merl (San Jose Earthquakes, Supplemental Draft) who were drafted in 2005.
"We're very happy to see that Steve and Nick are both starting their professional soccer careers very soon," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "The second half of the German season will begin in a few weeks, and Nick Hatzke will be joining Houston in seven to 10 days.
"We are very proud as a program that we had three more additional players drafted in the MLS this year. Having nine players drafted in the last three years is a significant statement of where our program is and how we are developing our players."