East Lyme's Logan Gdula selected in first round of MLS Draft

Chicago — Wake Forest's Logan Gdula, a player with local ties, was drafted in the first round (No. 13 overall) of Major League Soccer's SuperDraft on Friday by FC Cincinnati.

Gdula, a 5-foot-11, 160-pound defender, was one of five players selected by the expansion team, and second behind UCLA midfielder Frankie Amaya, who was chosen No. 1 overall.

Gdula was born in Norwich, graduated from Bacon Academy in 2015 and currently resides in East Lyme. He didn't play high school soccer at Bacon, opting to play club soccer for Oakwood Academy in Portland.

FC Cincinnati makes its MLS debut on March 2 at the Seattle Sounders and will make its home debut on Sunday, March 17, at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium against the Portland Timbers.

Gdula, primarily a right back at Wake Forest, attended a four-day MLS Combine in Orlando, Fla., which ended Wednesday, then flew to Chicago for the first day of the draft to hear his named called.

"At the combine, I connected with them," Gdula told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Talking about their style of play and what they want to do ... and was definitely very interested and very intrigued with what they had to say.

"I think the type of fullbacks they brought in, I fit the same mold as a Greg Garza or an Alvas Powell, so I definitely see where they're going with that trend and I think my style of play does fit perfectly with what they're trying to do."

Garza, an MLS all-star in 2017 and a member of MLS Cup champion Atlanta United in 2018, was traded to Cincinnati in December. Powell, a member of the Jamaica National team, is a six-year MSL veteran who joined Cincinnati in a December trade from Portland.

Gdula, 22, played all four seasons at Wake Forest and was a three-year starter for the Demon Deacons, who lost a penalty kick shootout to Stanford in the 2016 NCAA Division I championship game.

He had two goals and 14 assists during his 77-game career (60 starts), starting all 21 games at right back during his senior season when he scored one goal (in a 3-2 win over No. 6 Virginia) and added five assists.

Gdula helped Wake Forest post 46 shutouts over four seasons as the Deacs finished with a 73-11-7 record, the most wins during that four-year period in Division I.

Gdula told media members Friday he has never been to Cincinnati, but is looking forward to being part of an expansion team in the MLS.

"I think it's intriguing," he told the website CincinnatiSoccerTalk.com. "I like making history. I like being part of history.

• Gdula wasn't the only player with local teams to be drafted on Friday. UConn defender Jacob Hauser-Ramsey was selected in the second round (No. 42 overall), by the Colorado Rapids.

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