With Duke in the offseason, some former Blue Devils are kicking off their 2023 campaigns in the MLS. The Blue Zone takes a look at some alumni who have started the season off strong:
Thorleifur Ulfarsson, Houston Dynamo FC
Ulfarsson, now in his sophomore season with the Dynamo, has seen minutes in several of Houston’s regular-season competitions thus far. He started one match, playing 59 minutes, and has subbed into three more, averaging 21.7 minutes as a substitute. While Ulfarsson is yet to score a goal on the season, he put up a shot on target against Cincinnati and has helped his team to a 3-3-1 record as the Dynamo sit just above the play-in slots through seven matches.
Jeremy Ebobisse, San Jose Earthquakes
Ebobisse, the fourth pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, has been an impactful striker for the Earthquakes this season. He has started in all eight of their games so far and has scored the squad’s second-most goals, racking up four. In San Jose’s most recent game against Sporting Kansas City, Ebobisse picked up his first brace of the season, scoring on a penalty in the 40th minute and then tapping another into the net in the 51st. Ebobisse has played a major role as a striker and target man and will look to help the Earthquakes hold onto a fifth-place position in the Western Conference.
Peter Stroud, New York Red Bulls
Stroud, who grew up in the Red Bull program before coming to Duke, signed a contract through 2025 in January. Already, the speedy midfielder has had an impact. He started his first game against Atlanta in early April and played 89 minutes with a 76.9% pass accuracy rating. Stroud has also played in the MLS’s NEXT League, which is designed to be the last step for players aiming to play at the highest level. With New York Red Bulls II, he has started and played 90 minutes in every appearance this season. Stroud is a quick, agile midfielder with a high athletic upside, so look for him to see more minutes in the coming years as he develops.
Shakur Mohammed, Orlando City SC
Mohammed, who was the second overall pick in the most recent SuperDraft, is yet to see minutes at the highest level. That being said, he has made appearances as a sub in the aforementioned NEXT League. Much like Stroud, he will be a project player with solid potential as he develops and adapts to playing at a higher level.
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