PHILADELPHIA - University of Dayton standout Isaac Kissi was drafted by Club Deportivo Chivas USA in the third round of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft Thursday. The announcement was made at the annual NSCAA convention in Philadelphia. Kissi was the third pick of Chivas USA and the 42nd overall in the SuperDraft.
"I was actually following the Draft Tracker on my computer at home and I heard my phone go off and it was a strange number. A voice said it was Kevin [Esparza, Chivas USA Team Administrator and Assistant Coach] and he said 'we're about to draft you, how do you pronounce your [last] name?' I kind of lost my words right there. I was like 'oh my God, I can't believe it. My dreams are right here, right in front of me, I'm about to get drafted.' So I pronounced my last name for him, and he said 'well, you just heard your name in the speakers. We just drafted you, so get yourself ready to come to LA.'
"I'm so blessed. Soccer has been everything to me," added Kissi. "I am very overwhelmed right now and I can't even describe the feeling of being drafted. I want to thank so many people - everyone who stuck by my side, my coaches, my teammates, my co-workers (Kissi worked with UD's Campus Planning environmental safety department)."
Kissi becomes the sixth Flyer to move on to Major League Soccer, the highest professional level of the sport in North America, and he is the fifth to be drafted.
"I am extremely proud of Isaac's accomplishment of being drafted. His growth over the last two years has been exceptional," said UD Head Coach Dennis Currier. "This also is a tribute to our support staff surrounding our men's soccer program who has worked extremely hard in assisting Isaac's development both on and off the soccer field."
The son of Samuel and Comfort, Kissi has come a long way since the University of Dayton men's soccer program discovered him in Brong-Ahafo, Ghana. To help him pursue his dreams of playing soccer, his mother sold some of her possessions so she could afford to buy Kissi soccer cleats.
"I came from a poor background, but my parents always worked very hard to put their children through school," said Kissi. "My brother graduated from college, my sister is a sophomore in college back home and now this for me. They really pushed us to succeed."
And succeed he did. Kissi led the Flyers to the 2008 Atlantic 10 Tournament title, the 2008 NCAA Tournament and to the 2009 Atlantic 10 regular season championship. Kissi had a breakout senior year and dominated opposing defenses. He was named First Team NSCAA Mid-Atlantic All-Region, First Team All-Atlantic 10 and was selected to the 2009 TopDrawerSoccer.com Men's College Soccer Team of the Season. Despite missing four games with a dislocated shoulder, he led the Flyers with 45 shots, 19 shots on goal (tied for lead), nine goals and 22 points.
"Isaac has played a major role in our back-to-back conference championship seasons at Dayton and the continuation of UD's winning tradition," said Currier. "We are confident he will be an excellent professional soccer player."
Kissi finished his three-year career at Dayton with 15 goals (including three game winners), six assists, 36 points and he was named to two all-tournament teams (2008 Atlantic 10 Championship and UNCW Courtyard by Marriott Invitational).
Kissi travels to Los Angeles on Jan. 24 to report for a team physical and to begin training.
Founded on August 2, 2004, as Major League Soccer's then-eleventh team, Los Angeles-based Club Deportivo Chivas USA has achieved remarkable success in just four seasons in MLS. In 2009, the Mexican-owned club finished fourth in the Western Conference, qualifying for the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. Chivas USA plays at The Home Depot Center - a world-class soccer stadium and multi-sport facility located on the campus of California State University.
The other Flyers to be drafted include; Mark Schulte (Tampa Bay Mutiny, 2000), Denny Clanton (Chicago Fire, 2004), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire, 2005), and Dasan Robinson (Chicago Fire, 2006).