Virginia Cavaliers Forward Will Bates was drafted fifth overall in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft by the Seattle Sounders.
At Virginia, Bates finished seventh in the program's history in goals (46) and tied for third for game-winning goals (15). He finished ninth for total career points (105). This past season, he was named First Team All-ACC for the second time and was on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.
Bates had a strong showing at the combine, despite playing the first two days out wide, and certainly out of his conversation. But on Day 3, he had a chance to play in the center channel and came up with an assist and a drawn penalty.
MLSsoccer.com described Bates as being "built like a tank, standing six feet tall and weighing in at 185 pounds."
Were it not for questions surrounding his torn ACL, Bates would likely have gone in the SuperDraft, held last week, according to most pundits.
Bates becomes the 46th Cavaliers to move on to play in the MLS. Virginia ranks second only to UCLA in producing the most MLS players. Last year, former Cavalier standout defender Hunter Jumper was selected as the No. 28 pick of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by Chicago Fire. Follow SB Nation's Sounder at Heart for more on Seattle.
Will tweeted his elation upon hearing the news:
Thankful for the opportunity. Excited for the future. Ready for the challenge. Just gotta keep grindin!— Will Bates (@WillBates10) January 22, 2013
They don't lie! Seattle got the best fans!!! Appreciate all the love— Will Bates (@WillBates10) January 22, 2013
For your viewing pleasure, here are highlights of some of Will's best goals this season: