Tim Kubick / For The Lantern
Former Ohio State men’s soccer standout Chris Hegngi was drafted No. 22 in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Supplemental Draft by the Portland Timbers.
The forward, who was drafted Jan. 22, scored 18 goals during his career and was second on the team with nine points last season.
A four year letterman, Hegngi started every game his freshman year and all but two his second season at OSU. The star forward tallied three goals and four assists in each of his first two years for the Buckeyes.
Despite the successes of his early career in Columbus, it wasn’t until his junior year that Hegngi might have started to show his worth.
Scoring nine goals and starting every game, Hegngi was voted MVP of the team by his teammates his junior year and was showered with accolades, including being named second team NSCAA All-Region and the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.
His 6-foot-2, 180 pound frame made him a prime target heading into his senior season for any MLS clubs looking to add a big man up front. A disappointing senior season where Hegngi only scored 3 goals and added 3 assists, however, caused him to fall off most teams’ radars.
Hegngi was passed up in the MLS Super Draft, but eventually the Portland Timbers selected him in the later Supplemental Draft.
The Timbers might need a physical presence that could help them improve on their atrocious offensive performance from a year ago, when they finished the season with a 8-10-16 record and an average of only 1 point per game, leaving them second last in their conference. Finishing near the bottom of the Western Conference in 2012, the Timbers only found the back of the net 34 times, the second lowest total in the league.
Having come up through the ranks of the D.C. United Youth Academy and played for his high school before arriving at OSU, Hegngi has years of experience that could help him find a position on the final roster for the Timbers.
With the selection, Hegngi joins other former Buckeyes in the professional ranks. He joins the ranks of former stars Matt Lampson, a current Columbus Crew player, and Roger Espinoza, a current Wigan Athletic player in the English Premier League, to leave OSU with hopes of succeeding in the MLS.