Partida Joins Musovski In San Jose After 3rd Round Selection|
Jan. 21, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV senior midfielder Kevin Partida was selected 58th overall by the San Jose Earthquakes Sunday in the 2018 MLS Superdraft, becoming the second Rebel to be picked in this year's draft, and second by the Earthquakes after they made Danny Musovski their second round selection (30th overall). Partida was picked with the 12th pick of the third round, and this marks the first time in Rebel soccer history that two players have been selected in the same draft. The two Rebels, now professional teammates, make it four total players drafted by the MLS from UNLV in the past four years.
"It was exciting and it also caught me by surprise," said Partida on learning he was a third round selection. "I was trying to keep up with picks and then someone else found out and told me right before I saw it go up. I'm very excited I get to keep playing and very thankful for this opportunity. I've played with San Jose's PDL team a couple of years ago, so I've been around their organization and I know it's a good one to be a part of. They are also affiliated with the USL team in Reno (Reno 1868 FC), which is my hometown, so that's something I'm looking forward to also. It's exciting and funny that I was drafted by the same team as Danny. I joked with him earlier that he's on his own now, and now I'm going to be his teammate again, it will be good to have a familiar face around as we get started."
"For me, Kevin has been overlooked in his four years playing at UNLV in terms of accolades and awards," said UNLV head coach Rich Ryerson. "This shows he's been top class all along, being the third choice from San Jose and one of just five players from the WAC. He's been the engine, the workhorse and the leader of our midfield, he served as a senior captain and is one of the top players we've coached during our tenure at UNLV. It is also an honor for UNLV to be represented twice in the draft, and we wish our guys the best in this next chapter of their life. "
Partida, a native of Reno, Nevada, made a successful return to the field this past season after missing the 2016 season with a knee injury. He was the Rebels' leader and playmaker in the midfield, and started 20 of 21 games for UNLV this season while earning second-team All-WAC honors. He helped the Rebels to a 11-9-1 overall mark and a second-place finish in the WAC standings. In his career for the Scarlet and Gray, he picked up a three WAC All-Tournament honors (2014, 2015) and had six total goals and 18 points in his four years while helping the team to the 2014 WAC regular season and tournament championships as well as a trip to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Previous Rebels that were drafted before this season include: Victor "Boomer" Arbelaez as the 30th pick in 2005, also by San Jose, Rod Dyachenko as the 31st pick in 2006, Danny Cruz, 41st in 2008, Salvador Bernal, 72nd in 2015 and Bradley Kamdem, 58th overall in 2016.