MLS SUPERDRAFT: Federal Way's Wenzel, Fisk go undrafted Thursday
By CASEY OLSON
Federal Way Mirror Sports editor
January 17, 2013 · Updated 2:12 PM
A pair of Federal Way natives went undrafted during Thursday's Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft. Danny Wenzel and Ben Fisk, who both spent time at Bellarmine Prep High School in Tacoma, were not selected in the two-round draft held in Indianapolis, but could still land with an MLS club as free agents or play in another professional league in the United States or abroad.
Both Wenzel and Fisk were two of just 54 NCAA Division I college seniors who participated in the 2013 adidas MLS Player Combine in Florida earlier this month. Wenzel was an all-league defender for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in North Carolina and Fisk starred in the midfield at the University of Washington.
Wenzel has endured plenty during his soccer career. During his high school days, Wenzel was identified as one of the best young players in the United States. He was selected on the U.S. under-15 and under-17 national teams. In 2007, Wenzel played at the 2007 under-17 World Cup in South Korea.
During that time, Wenzel lived, trained and took high school classes in Florida at the prestigious IMG Soccer Academy, which allows an athlete to finish four years of high school in an accelerated two and a half years, while giving them elite-level instruction in the sport.
Wenzel also was invited to train with 1860 Munich, a German professional team. He was identified by German scouts at the CONCACAF U17 Qualifying Tournament in Jamaica, which the United States won.
As a freshman at Wake Forest in 2008, Wenzel started 20 games and was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman Team and also earned All-Freshman honors from Top Drawer Soccer, Soccer America and College Soccer News.
But during his sophomore season, Wenzel suffered a devastating knee injury that caused him to miss the 2009 season and threatened his soccer future. But he returned to finish his final three years of eligibility at Wake Forest.
Over his career, Wenzel played in 75 games and made 59 starts for the Demon Deacons. In that time, he scored six goals and recorded six assists for 18 points.
According to MLS.com, scouts questioned whether Wenzel is dynamic enough to play at the next level.
Fisk had an impressive career for the Huskies after transferring from Cal Poly after his sophomore year. He was co-captain of the 2012 team that finished second in the Pac-12 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's second round. Fisk was named to the All-Pac 12 first-team after scoring three goals. He was also named to the Pac-12's All-Academic first-team.
According to MLS.com, scouts call Fisk a "warrior defensive midfielder" and a "tenacious little guy in the middle of the park."
The Seattle Sounders FC made a pair of picks during the 2013 MLS SuperDraft and selected Indiana University forward Eriq Zavaleta with the 10th overall pick and Brown University's Dylan Remick with the 35th pick.
Last year, Federal Way High School graduate Kelyn Rowe was selected third overall by the New England Revolution after playing two seasons at UCLA. During his rookie season, Rowe finished with three goals for the Revolution.Contact Federal Way Mirror Sports editor Casey Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 925-5565 ext. 5056.