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The Gazette KCRG
Posted January 17, 2013
C.R.’s Christianson taken by Red Bulls in MLS SuperDraft

Ian Christianson

CEDAR RAPIDS – The race is on. Who will be the first soccer player from the Metro to play in a regular-season MLS game?

It could very well be Ian Christianson, who was taken in the second round of Thursday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls. The midfielder from Georgetown University was the 22nd overall pick.

“I guess this means I’m one step closer to playing in MLS,” Christianson said. “Something I’ve been dreaming about since I was 7, 8, 9 years old.”

Christianson graduated from Cedar Rapids Kennedy but never played prep soccer, concentrating solely on his Cedar River Soccer Association club and Chicago Fire youth development team. He started 26 games for Georgetown this past season, scoring a goal and notching two assists for a Hoyas team that lost in the NCAA national championship game.

One of his club teammates back home was Cedar Rapids Xavier grad Lance Rozeboom, who was a second-round pick of D.C. United in last year’s MLS Supplemental Draft. They are the first two former Metro preps to be drafted in MLS.

Rozeboom injured his knee and never ended up playing a regular-season game last season.

“It’s something where it’s not where you’re from,” said Christianson, whose brothers Gabe (Southern Illinois-Edwardsville) and Garet (Eastern Illinois) play Division I college soccer. “As long as you work hard and never give up … You can make it.”

Christianson has a full schedule ahead of him as he attempts to make New York’s 30-man roster. If he doesn’t, he’ll wind up on the club’s development squad.

The Red Bulls will train in Florida and Arizona before heading north in March.

“We saw him a bit down in Georgetown and he exactly fits the bill of what we need,” Red Bulls Coach Mike Petke told the team’s Website. “He fits the bill as well as somone we could develop into a future. We’re very shorthanded (at midfield). I think that he needs to learn a little bit, we need to bring him along nice, and he could be someone for the future for us.”

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