Three Aztex Taken in First Round of MLS Superdraft

Three Austin Aztex Players Drafted Early in First Round of 2013 MLS SuperDraft
Kekuta Manneh taken with 4th overall selection by the Vancouver Whitecaps
AUSTIN, Texas (Jan. 17, 2012) — The Austin Aztex had three players selected within the first 11 picks during the first round of the 2013 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, which was held on Thursday, Jan. 17 in Indianapolis. Kekuta Manneh, Blake Smith, and Dillon Powers were drafted during the first round and represent the first players from the current Austin Aztex squad to make it to MLS.

“A primary purpose of the Aztex is to develop players for the next level,” said Aztex Director of Operations Ric Granryd. “To have three players drafted in the top 11, who have represented our club in our first year, is an extraordinary privilege.”

Manneh, the 18-year-old Lake Travis High School student, was chosen by the Vancouver Whitecaps with the fourth overall pick. Manneh stood out last year as a 17-year-old forward who scored 10 goals in the regular season for the Austin Aztex. Manneh earned a spot on the PDL Southern All-Conference team and was the first forward selected in the draft.

Smith was chosen by the Montreal Impact with the 8th overall pick. He joined the Austin Aztex and immediately added an extra scoring threat to head coach Paul Dalglish’s attacking system. The dangerous forward scored in the top five of every skill test during the 2013 MLS Combine. Smith, a native of Boerne, Texas, played four years at the University of New Mexico.

Powers, a central midfielder, was chosen by the Colorado Rapids with the 11th overall pick. The midfielder played all four years at the University of Notre Dame and was a two-time team captain for the Fighting Irish. In two games for the Austin Aztex in 2012, Powers led a dominant midfield and helped the Aztex outscore their opponents 13 to 1.

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Admin is the site editor for He has been active as a trainer, director and administrator in Austin area soccer since 1989. He is a former collegiate head coach and state ODP team coach. A proud father of three average soccer players, he currently is working with a small recreational association to implement a comprehensive player development and coaching education program.

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