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Ex-Lobo Venter’s draft status is on the rise

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Former New Mexico standout Kyle Venter, a three-time All-American, will be back in Philadelphia today as he begins the next phase of his soccer life.

Venter, who led the Lobos to the College Cup semifinals in the City of Brotherly Love last season, has been invited to Major League Soccer’s 2014 SuperDraft being conducted today at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Ex-UNM men’s soccer standout Kyle Venter, right, has seen his MLS draft status rise. (Journal file)

Ex-UNM men’s soccer standout Kyle Venter, right, has seen his MLS draft status rise. (Journal file)

The 2014 draft begins at 10 a.m. and will be televised by ESPNews.

The 6-foot-3 centerback made an impression at the MLS Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., earlier this month, raising his draft status.

According to mlssoccer.com: “Venter has looked like the most pro-ready field player in the entire Combine, dominating both in the air and on the ground, marshalling his backline and looking much healthier than last month at the College Cup when an ankle knock slowed him down badly.”

Former ESPN and Fox Sports analyst Ives Galarcep, at soccerbyives.net, predicts Venter, a native of Aurora, Colo., will go to Colorado with the 11th pick. Topdrawersoccer.com has Toronto FC taking him at No. 15, while Bleacherreport.com has him going 16th to Houston.

Former Lobos Michael Calderon and Michael Kafari also attended the MLS Combine and could hear their names called.

The first two rounds of the four-round draft will be today. The other two rounds will take place on a conference call Tuesday. The MLS has 19 teams.

The Lobos have made an impact on the draft in recent years. Last year, Blake Smith was taken eighth overall by Montreal, while Devon Sandoval was selected 29th by Real Salt Lake. In 2012, Michael Green and Lance Rozeboom were drafted. Justin Davis and Euan Holden were taken in 2010 and Mike Graczyk in 2008.

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