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Milestone for @Pitt_MSOC, as Planellas becomes school's first @MLS pick

Senior midfielder Pol Planellas was the first pick in the second round (24th overall) of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas in Philadelphia Friday, Jan. 18, to the Los Angeles Football Club.

Planellas becomes the first Pitt men’s soccer player to be drafted to a MLS club team and is the third SuperDraft pick in Club history as LAFC kicks off its inaugural season in March of 2018.

“Coming to Pittsburgh was one of the best decisions I have made in my life,” Planellas said. “I will be grateful and proud, forever.”

Planellas is the first student-athlete to be drafted to the MLS at the University of Pittsburgh under second-year head coach Jay Vidovich and is the 36 professional player Vidovich has developed.

“I’m very excited for Pol [Planellas],” Vidovich said. “It’s a great opportunity for him. A great opportunity to work with a fantastic coach and an ambitious club starting their inaugural season. It’s just exciting. He’s a tremendous young man, a tremendous player, and I hope he’s ready for the opportunity he’s going to have to basically tryout for the team. It’s just the start, so congrats to him. I’m excited for the program as well.”

Prior to hearing his name announced in Philadelphia, Planellas participated in the 2018 adidas MLS Player Combine in Orlando Jan. 11-17.

Planellas’ time was short in Pittsburgh as the Barcelona native spent just one season with the Panthers and brought international experience to the pitch as a midfielder. A native of Barcelona, he made 12 starts, logging 1,077 minutes. An All-ACC Second Team selection, Planellas finished with six points after recording four assists and one goal.

In addition, last month, Vidovich also mentioned to Pittsburgh Soccer Report that some other players, who were seniors a year ago were also preparing for potential shots at playing professionally — particularly center backs Mauriq Hill and Bryce Creegan.
Creegan, a Dallastown, PA native, who was Pitt’s captain the past two seasons, saw his 2017 senior season cut short by a knee injury against his former school, Akron. Vidovich said Creegan is currently working with Pitt’s medical staff in rehabbing from injury, and hopes to play his way into the professional ranks.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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