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Stars into pros: Clemson loses trio to MLS

Toby Corriston
Ousmane Sylla (10) and Brandon Parrish (11) proved themselves as great leaders and playmakers for the Tigers over the past four years. Pictured celebrating Sylla’s goal in the national championship against Notre Dame.

Another season of men’s soccer has come and gone, and the Clemson Tigers are National Champions for the second time in three years, thanks to a squad studded with standout defenders, skillful dribblers and top-ranked attackers.

Great talent increases the risk of players going professional, of course, and Clemson is no exception, as United lost three valuable players to the 2024 MLS SuperDraft in December: midfielders Ousmane Sylla, Nathan Richmond and Brandon Parrish. The trio earned Clemson a tie for second in the nation with most overall draftees.

Parrish was selected first out of the three, taken with the 36th overall pick by D.C. United. Racking up four goals for the Tigers this past season, he ended his career as a two-time national champion and a dominant factor in their overall success.

Sylla, the winner of the 2024 College Cup MVP and Mac Hermann Trophy, was selected 55th overall by the Houston Dynamo after putting up a historic season with the Tigers. He recorded 13 goals, 10 assists and 36 total points for the team, as well as the game-winning goal against Notre Dame in the College Cup final.

Wrapping up Clemson’s selections, Charlotte FC nabbed midfielder Nathan Richmond with the 70th overall pick. With 19 points in his 30 career games, he has been a constant presence for United. His ball skills, footwork and technical savvy, combined with his rapid shooting, contributed greatly to his success. Richmond will join former Tigers Hamady Diop and George Marks.

While the Tigers will be without a few of their former superstars next season, they do not lack talent, especially in their younger players. Freshmen Pape Mar Boye, Arthur Duquenne and Remi Okunlola have made their presence known this past fall and are set to step up as potential starters next season. Additionally, the Tigers will have plenty of time to scout and recruit fresh talent ahead of the upcoming season.

With a dominant season to boost them, Clemson United looks forward to a bright future playing out in 2024.

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Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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