With the second pick in the MLS Draft, Real Salt Lake drafted a Utah native: Kyle Coffee, a forward from University ofd Washington.
Coffee, 23, has Utah ties: He played for La Roca FC and attended Syracuse High School, where he was a state standout.
From a University of Washington press release:
“Kyle is a fantastic player that has done it year in and year out here at UW,” said UW Head Coach Jamie Clark. “Real Salt Lake is getting a high character guy that can really play the game. He’s a crafty attacking player that will only play better when surrounded by professional players.”
From a Real Salt Lake press release:
“It’s an incredible feeling getting to be here with my family then getting the call to play for my hometown team,” Coffee said. “I’ve been to so many RSL matches in my life being from Utah. To be able to go to games as a kid and become a fan, to now being a part of it is surreal. I just can’t wait to get started.”
After redshirting his freshman year, he scored 15 goals over 67 collegiate games, with his senior season certainly his most productive. Despite scoring just four goals — his junior year saw six — he added seven assists, providing for the team in a way he never had.
One would imagine that Coffee will find himself playing for Real Monarchs in 2019, but the joy of the draft is that you don’t ever really know how things will shake out.
Interestingly, Coffee has experience playing high school football: in 2011 and 2012, he played as a kicker for Syracuse, playing four games and scoring six points. He was also named to the Deseret News 5A All-State team.