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University of Kentucky star soccer player JJ Williams was projected to go higher in the draft but fell to the 18th pick on January 11.
JJ Williams was a huge reason for Kentucky’s historic success this year. They couldn’t have reached their first NCAA Elite 8 in school history without the help of JJ. He now owns two records at Kentucky, such as the single-season goals record (18) and the single-season points record (44).
He was a finalist for the nation’s most prestigious award in collegiate soccer. He is ranked third in the nation in goals and total points this year.
All of his accomplishments got him one of seven Generation Adidas spots, which means that players who sign to MLS deals before the SuperDraft do not count against MLS teams’ salary budget and are provided additional incentives for their personal development outside the sport.
With a historic season on his belt, he was projected as a top-five pick in multiple Major League Soccer mock drafts. He still got picked in the first round, which is a hard accomplishment. It was just a little disheartening to not see the projections come true.
Williams said, “I’m extremely thankful to the Columbus Crew. I promise you won’t regret this. Thank you and let’s get to work.”
Since, Williams made his first start on March 23, netting 36 minutes. Columbus’ prospect has struggled to see the field all season, playing in only three games.
Most recently, the Columbus Crew sent three players, including JJ on loan to Birmingham Legion FC for the weekend. The Birmingham Legion FC is part of the United Soccer League, the second division of American soccer.
Williams has looked like he has rekindled his fire by scoring two goals in his first appearance; The future is still bright for this talented rookie.