Defender Nick Downing To Forgo Final Year Of Eligibilty
Jan. 18, 2001
College Park, Md. - Maryland defender Nick Downing (Redmond, Wash.) has opted to forgo his final year of college eligibility to enter the Major League Soccer Draft this spring. Downing anchored a defense this past fall that held eight opponents scoreless and gave up only 1.28 gpg.
"Nick has grown tremendously in his time at Maryland and has added a great amount to this program during his three years," commented head coach Sasho Cirovski. "He was an instrumental part of this team in two trips to the NCAA tournament, as well as a semifinal appearance in 1998. Nick has always had a first-class professional attitude, but he adds a much higher level of maturity to his game that will undoubtedly lead to a successful professional career. On a personal note, I'd like to thank Nick for the extremely considerate and mature manner in which he handled his decision. We wish Nick all the best in his pursuits and are excited to follow his career in MLS."
Downing, a first-team NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region selection, was a Hermann Trophy candidate for the past two years, and was consistently among the top defenders in the country. A 2000 honorable mention All-American by College Soccer Online, Downing finishes his career with 13 assists, including seven in his junior year with Maryland.
"Maryland was probably the best experience for me, not only as a player but as a person. I think I grew a lot in those two-and-a-half or three years that I was there," said Downing from his home in Washington. "As far as my decision to leave early, it was a dream of mine that Sasho (Cirovski), Jeff (Rohrman, Maryland assistant), and John (Pascarella, Maryland assistant) have been really supportive of, so hopefully I can make them proud at the professional level."
Maryland finished the 2000 season at 10-9, narrowly missing an NCAA berth despite numerous setbacks from injury. In a year with seven season-ending injuries to major impact players, the Terps still managed a winning campaign and return 15 players for the 2001 season.