A post on the SoccerByIves blog loosed information late Saturday morning positing that Eriq Zavaleta – star of Indiana’s 8th national championship soccer team – had signed a deal with generation Adidas and intended to make himself eligible for this year’s MLS Draft.
Zavaleta later confirmed the news on his personal twitter account (@_Air_Riq_).
Zavaleta led the Hoosiers’ offensive attack during the 2012 season as he scored 18 goals over the course of the year, a figure that doubled Nikita Kotlov, his next most proficient teammate. His 18-goal mark lead not only his team, but his conference as well, as he finished third nationally in that category. Zavaleta’s jump to the professional ranks followed a season that produced several individual accolades: Unanimous All-B1G First Team selection; unanimous B1G Offensive Player Of The Year; B1G All-Tournament Team Selection; NSCAA Third-Team All-American; College Soccer News First-Team All-American.
His most important work came in the postseason though, as he caught fire at just the right time for the #16 seeded Hoosiers. He scored the game-winner in a 2-1 double overtime win at #1 seed Notre Dame and sent IU to the College Cup over # 9 seed UNC in quarterfinal with his 18th goal of the season – again on the road. He saved the best for last though, as he assisted on the goal that toppled Georgetown to give Indiana its eighth NCAA title.
“I’ve been dreaming of this day since I can remember,” Zavaleta said. “Thank you, Hoosier Nation for your incredible support! I will miss y’all. #bestfans“
Information from IUHoosiers.com and SoccerByIves contributed to this report.