Herd soccer star drafted

Drafted in round three of the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, former Marshall winger Jamil Roberts will begin his professional soccer career at Sporting Kansas City. 

“Wow. I’m still in shock,” Roberts wrote in a statement on Twitter. “I’m absolutely delighted to be drafted by such an amazing club.” 

Taken No. 77 overall, Roberts was unable to play his senior season in the fall after fall sports at Marshall were postponed to the spring.  

Roberts announced on Twitter that after conversations with Sporting Kansas City and Marshall soccer he will be able to play his senior season this spring, and once the season ends, he will head to Kansas City.

Nevertheless, it is clear Roberts’ performance in his first three seasons with the Herd were enough to impress Sporting Kansas City. In his first three years, Roberts scored 14 goals and assisted 15 others. With 10 assists and eight goals coming in the junior season alone, Roberts earned a spot on the 2019 All-Conference USA Second Team. 

Roberts also helped the Herd to a 2019 Conference USA championship win and a berth in the NCAA tournament.   

But before he was winning conference championships and NCAA tournament games, Roberts was a kid from Langport, England who played for Plymouth Argyle FC’s U18, and before heading to the Huntington, West Virginia, he attended Ivybridge Community College in Ivybridge, England. 

Appreciative of his background, Roberts thanked his family for believing in him, saying that getting drafted was for them.  He also thanked Sporting Kansas City for “taking a chance on a kid from Langport.” 

The 22-year-old Roberts joins a soccer club that has had a good deal of success since its founding in 1995, winning the MLS cup in 2000 and 2013 and the U.S. Open Cup in 2004, 2012, 2015 and 2017.  

Roberts will be joining a competitive roster, of which he said that he will give his best effort in order to help his new team get over the top.  

“I promise to always give everything for the shirt and the city,” Roberts said. “I can’t wait to get started.” 

Grant Goodrich can be contacted at [email protected].