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Bucks Headed On To MLS
Barson, Caldwell sign homegrown contracts

Michigan Bucks News Release --

Friday, February 1, 2013

PONTIAC, Mich. -- Four former Michigan Bucks players signed with Major League Soccer or heard their name called at the recent MLS SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft. Heading the list were former University of Akron first team All Americans Chad Barson and Scott Caldwell, who were both signed to MLS homegrown contracts.

Caldwell also starred for the Bucks for three seasons after being a part of the New England Revolution youth initiative while growing up in suburban Braintree, Massachusetts. Barson, a native of Lewis Center, Ohio played three seasons for the Bucks after growing up in the Columbus Crew youth academy system.  Both Barson and Caldwell signed contracts and joined their respective MLS clubs earlier this month.

University of Michigan center back Kofi Opare (Niagara Falls, Ontario) was selected in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft with the 24th overall pick by the current MLS champion the LA Galaxy. Opare also spent portions of the last three seasons with the Bucks alongside Barson and Caldwell. The Bucks finished the 2012 season as the PDL Regular Season Champions and made it to the Elite Eight final in each of those three seasons. Opare's selection kept the Bucks PDL record streak of having a player selected in the MLS Super Draft for 15 consecutive seasons, dating back to the team's first selection (Jeremy Aldrich to Miami Fusion) in 1999.

Rochester Hills native, Dan Withrow was selected in Tuesday's Supplemental Draft with the 28th overall pick by the Columbus Crew. The goalkeeper from Marshall University was a back-up to PDL Goal Keeper of the Year Mitch Hildebrandt for the Bucks in 2011, but did see action in three matches, allowing no goals on the season.

The Michigan Bucks have now sent 49 players to Major League Soccer since 1999, including several standouts including Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Jacob Peterson (Sporting KC) and Pat Noonan, who just retired from the LA Galaxy to take a role as assistant coach to Bruce Arena for this upcoming season.

The Bucks open their 14-game regular season PDL schedule on Friday, May 18th on the road at the Chicago Inferno and open their home schedule with their sixth annual trip to the Canton Cup, where they will play the River City Rovers at Independence Park in Canton as the highlight of the Canton Cup Memorial Day Youth Soccer Tournament on Saturday, May 26 (12 p.m. kickoff).

The only open tryout for this year's spring season will be held on Saturday, May 4 from 2-4 p.m. at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac. Tryouts are open to the general public. All details and registration information will be up on the Bucks web site within two weeks.


Mark you calendars for the three upcoming Michigan Bucks spring events that have become some of the most popular soccer events of the season. The annual Michigan Bucks Challenge Cup will be held on Saturday, March 23 from 1-6 PM at Ultimate Soccer Arenas. Tickets to the event will allow all fans to see three great games featuring University of Michigan vs Notre Dame, Oakland University vs. Notre Dame and Oakland University vs. the Michigan Bucks.

On Monday, April 1 to Friday, April 5 the Bucks will host their annual Spring Soccer Camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for boys and girls from ages 6-15 at Ultimate Soccer Arenas. On Saturday, April 6 the Bucks will host the College Tripleheader that will allow all fans to see three college games (men and women) for one price between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Ultimate Soccer Arenas.

These three games will feature Michigan vs Michigan State (men), Oakland University vs Michigan State (women) and Oakland University vs. Bowling Green (men). Tickets and registration for all three events will be finalized within the next week.

Visit the Bucks home page at for further updates and future links to purchase tickets or to sign up for spring camp. Questions can be directed to the Bucks office at 248-334-7460. 

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