West Florida Soccer Star Keith Savage Drafted by Major League Soccer

The Argonauts third all-time leading goal scorer, jump-started his workouts minutes after getting the call.

Jan. 18, 2008

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Team ChivasUSA picked Gulf Breeze native, and UWF Soccer Standout Keith Savage, with the first pick in the fourth round of the 2008 MLS superdraft, on Friday afternoon. The draft which took place at the Baltimore Convention Center picks the top players in the world, and team ChivasUSA traded for pick 43 with the San Jose Earthquakes, in order to take the 6-2, 185 lb, midfielder/forward.

The West Florida four year offensive standout, got the call about an hour after he watched the first round on ESPN. "I wasn't expecting a call today, only the first four rounds were today, and I thought I might get a call later this week when the other rounds took place," said Savage. "I recognized coach (Preki Radosavljevic), as soon as he told me who he was, because he had played with my dad (Bruce Savage) on the USA National team. He told me he was excited to tell me that they drafted me, and to get in shape quick." Keith did just as requested, and headed out for a running workout before calling all his friends.

"I am pretty excited, I just graduated in December, so this is perfect timing," explained Savage. "I was watching the first round to see if anybody I have played against or knew was drafted, and not much later I got the call." Only the first round was televised on ESPN, so athletes had to watch online or wait for the phone call to find out if they were drafted. Savage had a good idea that he might be drafted based on his success last month at the MLS combine.

Savage was the second Division II player to go in the draft, which is a major achievement. West Florida Head Coach Bill Elliott was excited about the news. "I am thrilled for Keith, he has worked extremely hard every single day, and is very deserving. It is awesome for a D-II player to go to a major league in anything, so that speaks volume for the respect Keith has earned, and Keith will represent West Florida very well," explained Elliott.

The four year UWF standout was a three time All-GSC Award winner, and was the freshman of the year in 2003. Savage scored 47 goals in his Argonaut career (3rd best All-time), and recorded 25 assists (2nd best All-time). The Midfielder/Forward earned NSCAA/adidas All-America honors in 2006, and was awarded the NCAA Division II South Region Most Outstanding Player in 2006. Savage was a big part of the 2007 team that was ranked as high as 3rd in the nation, and set a UWF record with 18 straight wins.

The Club Deportivo Chivas USA team finished the 2007 regular season with the top record (15-7-8) in the MLS Western Conference. Savage reports to Southern California on February 4th. Chivas USA plays their home games at the Home Depot Center in Southern California near Los Angeles. The Home Depot Center represents the largest investment in amateur athletics ever made at $150 million. It is also designated as an official U.S Olympic Training Site and is Southern California's legacy to sports as the nation's most complete training facility for Olympic, amateur and professional athletes.

Keith Savage scored 47 goals in his UWF career, and will now play in the MLS.