BERKELEY – Major League Soccer and the California Golden Bears announced today that junior defender Christian Dean will be forgoing his senior season and sign a Generation adidas contract with MLS, making him eligible for selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, Jan. 16. Dean is California’s first member of the Generation adidas class since goalkeeper David Bingham in 2011, and is the fourth in school history (Stefan Frei, Andrew Weideman and Bingham). Generation adidas players do not count against an MLS team’s salary budget. Players who join MLS as part of the Generation adidas program receive educational grants to further their college education.
“Christian had an excellent season,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “He has a tremendous upside in the very near future in MLS and his combination of skill and athletic ability are very rare. He follows a long list of great Generation adidas players from our program.”
Dean earned All-Pac-12 and NSCAA Far West first team honors for the first time in his career in 2013 and this season was an anchor alongside another likely first round pick, defender Steve Birnbaum in the Bears’ central defense, forming one of the best tandems in that position in the country. Dean started all 21 of Cal’s matches, scored one goal, posted four assists out of the back and was instrumental in Cal’s seven shutouts during the 2013 season en route to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
“I really enjoyed my time here at Cal,” said Dean about advancing his career to Major League Soccer. “I feel that I have gained another family from my time spent in Berkeley and I want to thank everyone here, my coaches and my teammates for helping me along the way.”
The East Palo Alto native started all 55 games in which he appeared over his three-year career at Cal. From his defensive position, he tallied one goal and notched six assists during his time in Berkeley. Dean is expected to participate in the MLS Combine in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. later this week alongside Cal teammates Birnbaum, Alec Sundly and Ryan Neil.