Today’s news:

SJU soccer stars Matteo, Joseph picked in MLS Super Draft

For St. John’s soccer players Jeff Matteo and Shalrie Joseph, the news they’ve been long awaiting finally arrived Sunday as the two were selected in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft.

Matteo, a four-time All-Big East selection and the 2001 Big East Midfielder of the Year, was picked by the Columbus Crew in the second round as the 20th overall selection.

Joseph, a two-time All-Big East selection and third-team All-American this year, was drafted 14th overall by the New England Revolution in the second round.

“You always think about a pro league and you always want to be chosen,” Matteo said. “It’s definitely something I hoped for. It feels really good. We’re both really happy.”

Matteo and Joseph, who both graduated from St. John’s in December, became the third and fourth St. John’s players, respectively, selected in the MLS draft. Current Red Storm assistant coach Jesse Van Saun was the first St. John’s player picked, also by the Revolution in the second round of the 1997 draft.

Former St. John’s All-American Stefani Miglioranzi was a third round pick by the Chicago Fire in 1998, but instead opted to play for Portsmouth FC in England’s First Division.

It appears Matteo and Joseph may follow in Miglioranzi’s footsteps. The two trained with Italian third division club Monza, located near Milan, for two weeks. According to sources, Matteo and Joseph are just waiting for a contract offer from the club.

Maspeth resident Hemir Niebles was also picked in the MLS SuperDraft, selected 12th overall by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the second round.

The Colombian-born 22-year-old who was one of the top midfielders in the Premier Development League, had 10 goals and 12 assists for the Brooklyn Knights. He also trained at the prestigious Tahuichi Aquilera Academy in Bolivia and played with Destroyers in the Bolivian first division in 1999 and 2000.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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