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
It was another solid week for Ulfarsson, the 2021 ACC Offensive Player of the Year. While he did not play any minutes in the Dynamo’s recent 1-0 victory against Inter Miami, he continues to see consistent first-team selections. Ulfarsson is still relatively new to the league, and there is a lot of optimism about his upside moving forward. He was listed by MLS.com writer Jonathan Sigal as one of the most impactful players out of the college SuperDraft, and also received honors as a top young player several times in soccer writer Charles Boem’s weekly list of the best young stars. Ulfarsson is yet to see consistent minutes, but the MLS world is abuzz with discussions of his potential as an effective striker in the years to come.
Jeremy Ebobisse, San Jose Earthquakes
Ebobisse continues the trend of Duke strikers in the MLS, and played a complete game against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. While he failed to find the back of the net in 90 minutes, he passed with a 91.7% accuracy rating and produced one scoring attempt. Additionally, the Bethesda, Md., native drew two fouls. He has started every game this season and has scored four goals thus far. The Earthquakes dropped their game against Real Salt Lake, but will look to bounce back against a tough Austin team April 25.
Peter Stroud, New York Red Bulls
Stroud, the 2022 MAC Hermann Award runner-up, did not see any minutes in the Red Bulls’ lone match this week. He played in the squad’s academy growing up, and will continue to push to become a consistent piece for the Red Bulls. Look for his speed and athletic upside to work to his advantage as he continues to develop in the New York Red Bulls II squad and spends more time at the highest level. The Red Bulls sit at 1-3-5 and 13th place in the Eastern Conference.
The 2021 ACC Freshman of the Year and 2022 MAC Hermann semifinalist is still seeing consistent minutes in the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. Most recently, Mohammed subbed in to play 40 minutes against New York City FC II, committing three fouls and passing with 81.3% accuracy. The skilled, speedy midfielder was an important part of a strong Duke squad in his two years with the team, and he will continue to see minutes in the developmental pipeline as he adapts to the professional level.
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