The Colorado Rapids drafted Dan Gargan, a Georgetown senior midfielder, on Friday in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft.

The Rapids selected Gargan in the fourth round with the 43rd overall pick.

“To be drafted by Colorado was a great plus,” Keith Tabatznik, Georgetown men’s soccer head coach, said. “There is a new coach there this year [Fernando Clavijo] so there’s kind of a new start for the whole team, so he’s kind of going in at a very good situation.”

Gargan, who said he could not bear to watch the draft, learned of the news in a phone call from Tabatznik.

“I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen, so I tried not to watch it and not think about it as much as I could,” Gargan said.

In his pursuit of playing professional soccer, Gargan took part in the MLS Player Combine, held from Jan. 8-11 in Los Angeles. A panel of coaches from the MLS and every division of collegiate soccer selected the participants. Coaches from all 12 MLS teams as well as MLS general managers attended the combine.

“I thought that Dan raised his stock when he was out there. I think a lot of coaches had good comments about him,” Tabatznik, who coached one of the teams at the combine, said. “They thought that he did well, and I think he definitely helped himself there.”

Gargan also participated in a workout with the Columbus Crew. There, Gargan met John Murphy, who was then a coach with the Columbus Crew but was recently hired to be an assistant coach with Colorado.

“[Murphy is] a really nice guy and a great coach. I found out that he was going to be out there [in Colorado], so that was obviously the team that I wanted to go to,” Gargan said.

Gargan has had an impressive career at Georgetown, serving as team captain for both his junior and senior years. At the end of this season he earned a spot on the All-Big East second team, and the year before he was chosen for the third team as Georgetown’s 2003-04 team MVP. He was also selected to the All-South Atlantic third team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America the past two years. Gargan’s 40 career points ranks 17th in Georgetown’s record books. This year Gargan was the Hoyas’ second highest scorer with 15 points off four goals and seven assists.

“I think that the biggest thing with Dan . [is] that he came in as a great athlete playing soccer and now he’s leaving as a soccer player who’s also a great athlete,” Tabatznik said. “I think there’s a big difference there . This is what he needed to do to be able to get to this stage.”

Although being drafted to play a professional sport is a great opportunity, with it comes serious commitments and sacrifices. Gargan became a member of the Rapids last Friday, and already on Tuesday he had to leave Georgetown for a voyage to Ecuador and iami with his new team. He will be gone for nearly a month on the trip.

Gargan said the coaches will decide on his roster status by his performance during the trip. When they return, he will have a few days to go home and pack his things so that he can move to Denver immediately, he said. The Rapids’ preseason schedule extends through February and March, with the regular season starting on Apr. 2.

Leaving school in the middle of his last semester at Georgetown, Gargan is negotiating with his professors to make up the assignments that he will miss and fulfill the obligations of his classes.

“I’d like to finish if I could and graduate with my class,” Gargan said.

Gargan became the fourth Georgetown soccer player to be drafted by the MLS, following Phil Wellington (C ’95), Brandon Lieb (B ’97) and Eric Kvello (B ’99).

“I think Dan is the type of player that could really make it in the MLS and have a very good career there,” Tabatznik said.

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