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Thoma taken in 2nd round of MLS draft

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Soccer > 2011 grad was selected by Portland

Former Los Alamos standout boys soccer player will have a chance to show his stuff in the professional ranks this year.
Andy Thoma, a 2011 graduate of Los Alamos High School, was taken in the second round of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft Thursday. He was the 24th overall selection Thursday and the second pick for the Timbers in the draft.
Major League Soccer is the top-level organization in the country. The MLS consists of 19 teams in both the United States and Canada.
The MLS held its combine in Florida last week for incoming college players.
Thoma, who is 21 years old, was a third-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America following the 2014 season with the University of Washington.
During his time at Washington, Thoma was chosen for multiple Pac-12 honors, including a second-team selection last year.
During his career at Los Alamos, Thoma not only was named the Class 4A Player of the Year, he also led the Hilltoppers to their first state title in nearly 25 years.
Thoma came up big in the postseason for the Hilltoppers. The Hilltoppers got an unfavorable No. 5 seed in for the 2010 playoffs, but pulled off three straight upsets, over Roswell, St. Piux and Belen to earn the title.
Thoma was nearly unstoppable for Los Alamos in the tournament, scoring a goal and earning two assist in the rout of Belen to earn the team’s first title since 1986.
Following his prep career, he signed to join the program at Creighton University, but following upheaval in the men’s soccer program at Creighton, ended up moving the University of Washington.
Last season, the Huskies advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament before bowing out.
Heading into the draft, Thoma was regarded by MLS pundits as a likely first-round pick but the Timbers were able to snag him in the second.
“I think you look at trying to find guys that can give you depth and guys that can fill a role,” Portland head coach Caleb Porter said of the team’s new acquisition on the Timbers’ website. “When you look at Andy Thoma, he’s one of the highest-rated left backs in the draft. He’s a guy that is another specialist — he’s left-sided, he’s an attacking back and he fits our system. Maybe he didn’t have as good of a combine as some of the others, which is why he might have fallen, but we do our homework and we don’t base all our decisions off the combine.”
Prior to the draft, Thoma was one of eight players that was given a contract by the MLS, meaning those eight would be guaranteed a roster spot on a team for the upcoming season.
Thoma played in the midfield during his career at Los Alamos, but at the collegiate level moved to fullback where he was a key component of the Huskies’ defense.
With his selection Thursday, Thoma bucked a trend somewhat, as the MLS draft, particularly in the first round, was offense-heavy with three forwards and two midfielders taken with the first five picks.
The Timbers had one of the top five picks Thursday. With that selection they took Notre Dame midfielder Nick Besler before picking up Thoma in the second round.
The top overall pick in the SuperDraft was Cyle Larin, a forward from Connecticut, who was taken by Orlando City.
Portland selected four players during Thursday’s draft, including Thoma. On the club’s website, the team said it was likely Thoma was going to be second or third on its depth chart heading into this year.
The Timbers will start their regular season in early March.
They begin preseason games Jan. 31.
In 2014, Portland finished with a record of 12-9-13, which placed the team sixth in the MLS’ Western Conference standings. The Timbers finished one point back of Vancouver for the fifth and final spot to advance to the MLS postseason.
Portland appears to be in need of depth in the back, as it gave up 52 goals in 2014, which was more than just two other teams in the 9-team conference.
The closest Portland will travel to Los Alamos this season will be May 30 when it plays the Colorado Rapids.
The last several months have been busy in terms of former Los Alamos athletes going into the professional sports ranks. In August, former Hilltopper basketball standout was signed to a free agent deal by the Cleveland Cavailers of the NBA.