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By Casey Christie / The Californian
BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Kory Kindle's new soccer team is the Colorado Rapids.
Kindle, a defender who played his fourth and final season with Cal State Bakersfield in the fall, was selected by the Rapids as the No. 25 pick overall in Thursday's Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
"I was in shock. I was in awe," Kindle said of his reaction when he heard his name announced during the telecast of the draft. "When my name was called, my mom jumped out of her chair and started screaming. My roommate said it was the coolest thing ever."
Kindle, 21, will travel to Denver on Saturday and said he will immediately report to the Rapids' headquarters where he'll undergo a physical.
"This hasn't sunk in yet," Kindle said Thursday afternoon at a press conference at the Icardo Center. "It will once I arrive in Denver and start going through training with the team."
Colorado, which won the 2010 MLS Cup and reached the Play-In Round in 2011, finished seventh in the nine-team Western Conference last season with a record of 11-19-4, missing the playoffs by six points. The squad is undergoing a makeover after several veteran players were released or traded after the 2012 season.
Kindle said training camp opens Monday.
"We'll be in Colorado for a week, then head to Tucson (Ariz.) for a week." he said. "They said they'd tell me more when I get there."
Kindle's goal is to land a spot on the 24-man active roster.
"I've seen a lot of MLS teams," Kindle said. "I know what teams have the better outside backs in the league. ...
"In Colorado, I feel I have a good chance to make the squad. I know it will take a lot of hard work. I definitely feel it's a great match."
Kindle is the second player in CSUB history to be chosen in the MLS draft. Joe Munoz, a standout on CSUB's 1997 Division II national championship squad, was drafted by the New York-New Jersey MetroStars in 1998.
Kindle and his CSUB teammate Gyasi Zardes, who recently signed an MLS Homegrown contract with the L.A. Galaxy, are the third and fourth CSUB players in the MLS, joining Munoz and goalkeeper Josh Wicks, who has played for the Galaxy and D.C. United.
Kindle said he doesn't expect to receive a contract offer from the Rapids until he's made the squad. That's different from the NFL, Major League Baseball or the NBA, whose drafted players sign contracts before they report to their teams.
"It's pretty interesting," he said. "You sign your contract after you prove yourself."
Kindle said he has no idea what financial terms to expect.
"I know the minimum salary in the MLS is $47,000. If you make the reserve team it's around $36,000," he said.
Kindle said he began thinking he might have a shot at the MLS two seasons ago after he was switched from forward to defender by CSUB coach Simon Tobin.
"Soccer, for me, took awhile to pick up," said Kindle, who was an excellent basketball player at Ventura High. "I feel honored and blessed to maybe make it my profession for a few years. It's a great feeling."
Kindle was one of three players selected by Colorado in Thursday's SuperDraft. The others were DeShorn Brown, a forward from Central Florida who was taken sixth overall, and midfielder Dillon Powers from Notre Dame who was the No. 11 pick.
Kindle, Brown and Powers were all at the five-day MLS Player Combine that ended Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"Brown was on my side on the last day of the combine," Kindle said. "Powers is a strong guy who handles the midfield pretty well. I'm excited to play alongside these other rookies."
Louisville defender Andrew Farrell was selected by the New England Revolution with the top pick. Connecticut midfielder Carlos Alvarez was taken by Chivas USA with the second pick. From East Los Angeles, Alvarez was with the U.S. Under-20 team in 2008 and Mexico's Under-20 team the following year.