NEW YORK – Creighton men’s soccer player Eric Miller signed a Generation adidas contract allowing the junior to enter the professional ranks through the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 16 in Philadelphia, Pa., Major League Soccer and adidas announced Thursday afternoon.
The contract signing by Miller wipes out his final year of eligibility at Creighton. The defender hopes to join Tyler Polak (2012) and Ross Paule (1997) as the third Bluejay to leave the program early and get selected in the MLS SuperDraft. Polak signed a Generation adidas contract prior to the 2012 SuperDraft and was selected No. 22 overall by the New England Revolution.
Players who join MLS as part of the Generation adidas program receive the opportunity to develop their game and hone their skills at the professional level. In addition to training and playing with one of Major League Soccer’s 19 professional clubs, Generation adidas players receive educational grants to further their college education. Generation adidas players do not count against an MLS team’s salary budget.
"My time at Creighton was a tremendous experience, and I can't imagine a better school or program to be a part of for the last three years," said Miller. "I really want to thank all the coaches, fans - especially the Jays' Army and Kommandos - and most importantly my teammates for everything they did for me while I was in Omaha."
Miller played every minute of the 2013 season for the Jays en route to claiming National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Great Lakes All-Region Second Team honors. The Woodbury, Minn. native scored three goals this season for Creighton, increasing his career total to four. Miller scored game-winning shots against Xavier and at Butler this season, the first of his career. He also assisted on a goal at William & Mary to finish the season with seven points for the Jays. Miller was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week twice during the season and also earned a spot on the conference’s weekly honor roll.
In three years at Creighton, Miller played 63 matches and amassed 12 career points with four goals and four assists. In addition to NSCAA All-Region honors in 2013, he earned CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team and Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Scholar-Athlete laurels for work off the field in 2012. That year he claimed All-MVC First Team and All-Tournament Team honors after collecting MVC All-Freshman Team honors following the 2011 campaign. Miller also started in two College Cups during his stay in Omaha.
Miller, who has spent time the last two offseasons as a member of the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team, is ranked No. 8 overall in the latest 2014 MLS SuperDraft Mock Draft released by TopDrawerSoccer.com on Dec. 27 and is the third-ranked defender on the list.
Five Creighton players, including current CU assistant coach Johnny Torres, have earned first-round SuperDraft selections in school history. That quintet includes Torres (5th overall - 1998), Richard Mulrooney (3rd overall - 1999), Brian Mullan (9th overall - 2001), Ethan Finlay (10th overall - 2012) and Andrew Duran (15th overall - 2012).
Creighton remains the only soccer program in the nation to have at least one player drafted (supplemental draft included) into MLS since the league began in 1996. With the selections of former CU players Jose Gomez and Andrew Ribeiro in the 2013 Supplemental Draft, 31 Bluejays have been drafted by MLS.