When University of Redlands men’s soccer coach Ralph Perez was asked two months ago if his top player Richie Marquez has a shot to make the Philadelphia Union squad, he answered yes without hesitation.
Well the veteran coach knew just what he was talking about.
That MLS club just signed the former Bulldog and Bloomington High School standout to a contract after a solid showing in the team’s training camp.
Marquez became one of three Union draftees to receive a contract out of the original eight who were selected at the SuperDraft, which took place in late January.
“Now that my dreams are finally coming true and I’m on the team, I’m extremely excited and thankful,” Marquez said. “The whole experience since getting drafted has been very humbling, and it has really made me appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given. The coaching staff here in Philadelphia is amazing, the city is beautiful, and the fans are awesome!”
Marquez was selected 44th overall by the Union as the only NCAA Division III student-athlete chosen in the SuperDraft.
As a Redlands student-athlete, Marquez cemented his legacy as one of the best to ever play for the Bulldog men’s soccer program. Beyond being named the 2013 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Player of the Year as a defender, he was honored by coaches around the country with D3Soccer.com Third-Team All-America honors. In addition, he collected National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Third-Team All-America laurels for his efforts during his junior season. He garnered First-Team All-SCIAC honors and NSCAA All-Region plaudits every year of his collegiate career.
Marquez is the third Redlands player to sign with an MLS team, following Ross Schunk ’09, who was drafted 47th overall by the Colorado Rapids in 2009, and Adam Acosta ’05, who signed with Real Salt Lake as a free agent in 2006.