FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Last Thursday afternoon the New England Revolution made waves by selecting Steve Neumann and Patrick Mullins in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, two players considered by many to be the best attacking talents available.
The Revs continued down an offensive path in Tuesday afternoon’s third round by selecting Southern New Hampshire University forward Pierre Omanga, who led the national champion Penmen with 21 goals en route to being named the NSCAA Division II national player of the year.
Omanga, 25, turned heads at the MLS Player Combine, using his sturdy 6-foot-1 frame to unleash seven shots and register one goal. His performances in Lauderhill reaffirmed what the Revolution’s technical staff already knew about the Paris-born striker, having followed him closely during his time at SNHU.
“He’s a bigger-type forward; can play up top, can play out wide,” said General Manager Michael Burns. “We’ll see how he does when he comes in and gets integrated with our group in preseason. We spoke to him today and he seems pretty excited, which is always a good thing. But hopefully he’ll turn into a player that we think he can be and can provide some depth and another dimension to our attacking corps of players.”
Like second-round SuperDraft selection Alec Sundly – a midfielder out of the University of California – Omanga will join the Revs for preseason camp without a contract. Six roster spots remain open and contracts are there to be won in preseason, but the pair of unsigned rookies – like everyone in camp – will be looking to prove themselves with their performances in the coming weeks.
“I think they know it’s going to be a challenge for them to come in and they’ve got to fight for a roster spot,” said Burns. “Everyone’s playing for different things, and a lot of times when you draft guys in the third and fourth rounds, that’s exactly what they’re fighting for. So you see how they do when they come in, evaluate it after a few weeks and take it from there.”