Jeremy Ebobisse, WJ grad drafted into MLS


Andrew Resnick, Head Sports Print Editor

   It is no question that Montgomery County has been a hotbed for incredible athletic talent for years. Producing athletes such as 8-time NBA All-Star and former NBA MVP Kevin Durant and 5-time Olympic gold medalist and 9-time World Champion swimmer Katie Ledecky, it is no question that this suburb of Washington, D.C. has been home to some of the world’s most premier athletes. Now, 2014 WJ grad Jeremy Ebobisse is looking to start his own rise to the top of the soccer world as a newly drafted MLS player.

Ebobisse was one of the top soccer players in the area during his reign at WJ, where he was named to the All-Met honorable mentions in 2011 and 2012. Current junior soccer goalkeeper Jake Steinberg takes pride in the fact that Ebobisse and he played for the same school.

   “It’s really cool to say that ‘that guy went to our school,’” Steinberg said. “You take a little bit of pride in that, it’s pretty neat to have a kind of connection like that.”

   Ebobisse graduated WJ a year early in 2014 in order to take his talents to Duke University, where he performed well above expectations. In just his sophomore season on the Blue Devil squad, Ebobisse became the top scorer on the team, was named captain of the team and was added to the 2015 ACC all-conference third team. After his sophomore year, he left college to spend last summer and fall playing for the Charleston Battery in a minor professional league. In addition to his already impressive resumé, Ebobisse was also invited to play for the United States men’s under-20 team on multiple occasions, a squad with only 24 players invited to be on its active roster.

   “It is really impressive that [Ebobisse] was invited to play for the U-20 team,” Steinberg said. “Playing on the team exposes him to so much better soccer playing in international competition against much better skilled players, it only enhances the already amazing skills which he has.”

   This January, Ebobisse’s talents were recognized by many teams in MLS. With a very impressive showing at the MLS combine, Ebobisse was most analysts prediction for the first overall pick in the draft. He eventually was drafted to the Portland Timbers, a team who won MLS Cup in 2015 and who traded up six spots in the draft in order to pick Ebobisse.

   “It will be interesting to see how Jeremy [Ebobisse] does in the MLS. I’d want to see if he makes a significant impact,” Steinberg said. “Because a lot of these college players coming into the league now don’t have as much experience and are not as talented as some of the veteran players.”

   As Ebobisse prepares to kick off his professional career in March, there is already a lot of support from students at his former school. When asked what he would say to Ebobisse as the countdown to his highly anticipated career comes closer, Steinberg said:

   “Good luck, work hard, train hard, take advantage of your opportunities and make an impact; we’ll all be watching.”

   Containing such raw talent and finesse, Ebobisse should find with his skillfulness that the sky’s the limit for him. Whatever the team, wherever the league, the future looks awfully bright for this WJ grad.