Tony Alfaro thought something special was about to happen when he was the only NCAA Division II player invited to Major League Soccer's player combine ahead of this week's SuperDraft.
And that hunch paid off Thursday when the Cal State Dominguez Hills defender was selected by the Seattle Sounders in the first round of the draft.
A 6-foot-2 left-footed center back, Alfaro was Division II All-American and entered the draft as one of the most technical central defenders available.
"He's a player we think is solid," Sounder Coach Sigi Schmid told reporters. "He's got good size. He's a good header of the ball and he's a guy who likes to organize and talk."
Alfaro's selection in the first round also adds luster to Dominguez Hills' growing reputation as a soccer power. Alfaro, a team captain as a senior, is the fourth Toro to be chosen in the MLS SuperDraft but the first since Kei Kamara in 2005.
Kamara had a breakout season for the Columbus Crew last season, sharing the league scoring title while leading his team to the MLS Cup final.
A Santa Barbara native, Alfaro, 22, was an All-American as a senior, when he played a team-high 1,954 minutes. He appeared in 75 games during his four years at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
"We are extremely proud of Tony and excited that he was drafted," Dominguez Hills' Coach Joe Flanagan said. "With the success of Kamara, Alejandro Covarubias playing with the Galaxy, Trey Mitchell signing with MLS and now Tony getting drafted, it shows how strong our soccer program is."
Dominguez Hills has made 13 appearances in the Division II championship tournament, winning two nationals titles.
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