While Duke may be in the offseason, several former Blue Devils are competing in the MLS. The Blue Zone breaks down the performances of some key alumni:
Thorleifur Ulfarsson, Houston Dynamo FC
After seeing relatively little action in the opening games of the season, Ulfarsson has come into his own recently. The 2021 ACC Offensive Player of the Year earned his second start of the year May 10 and made the most of his time on the pitch. Scoring the lone goal in the Dynamo’s U.S. Open Cup victory over Sporting Kansas City, the forward played 85 minutes with a 59.1% passing accuracy. However, the Kopavogur, Iceland native returned to the bench once more in Houston’s 1-0 loss to Seattle Saturday.
While Ulfarsson is still finding his footing at the professional level, his college accolades speak to his potential for success. A MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist and First-Team All-American, the Blue Devil legend left his alma mater with 19 goals and two assists in 24 games. His nose for the goal proved to be an asset for Duke, and if he can earn the minutes to show his prolific scoring ability, he will undoubtedly develop into a talent for the Dynamo in the coming years.
Jeremy Ebobisse, San Jose Earthquakes
Ebobisse has continued to be a stalwart presence for the Earthquakes thus far, earning the starting nod in all 12 games of the regular season. With five goals and two assists to his name thus far, the Paris native most recently found the back of the net April 29, in a 2-2 tie against Austin. He also added an assist to his resume May 6, in a 2-1 win over LAFC. As a consistent presence up front for San Jose, the former Blue Devil has managed a 76.2% passing accuracy along with eight shots on target this year. He even received a nod to the Team of the Matchday April 17 for his two-goal performance against Sporting Kansas City in a dominant 3-0 win for the Earthquakes. Ebobisse will look to maintain his starting job in the coming weeks as he helps San Jose climb the Western Conference ranks.
Peter Stroud, New York Red Bulls
Arguably one of the best Duke players in program history, Stroud has continued to make himself known at the professional level. Having played several games with the senior squad, the Chester, N.J., native recently earned a start in the Red Bulls’ U.S. Open Cup match against DC United. Playing all 90 minutes, the midfielder achieved an 82.6% passing accuracy that was reminiscent of his consistent control of the pitch during his collegiate days. Following up on that performance, Stroud played 27 minutes as a sub in his team’s 1-0 win against New York City FC. With his domination of the midfield, the former Blue Devil has seemingly cemented his spot at the professional level. If he can continue to be a paragon of consistency and strength at his position, he has a bright future with the Red Bulls.
Shakur Mohammed, Orlando City
While the MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist has yet to see any action at the professional level, Mohammed is still paving his way in the MLS Next Pro Playoffs League. The Kumasi, Ghana native also received a call up Saturday for Columbus’s game against Orlando but did not get any time on the pitch. The midfielder may not be receiving playing time yet, but he is only in his first season in the big leagues. If his prolific scoring at Duke is any indication, Mohammed has a bright future ahead of him. With patience and practice, he could very well be one of the next great offensive talents in the MLS.
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Mackenzie Sheehy is a Trinity first-year and Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.