On January 21, Minnesota United selected forward Justin McMaster and defenders Nabilai Kibunguchy and Sean O’Hearn with the 17th, 18th and 38th picks in the 2021 SuperDraft. These SuperDraftees were key players and made a huge impact at their Universities. Let’s dive into who the 2021 SuperDraftees are and what they have accomplished thus far in their soccer careers.
McMaster was born on June 30, 1999, in Kingston, Jamaica. After playing in the Philadelphia Union’s Development Academy for their U15 and U17 sides, McMaster attended Wake Forest University where he played four years of soccer while majoring in Communication. During his freshman year, McMaster appeared in 20 games off the bench, tallying two goals and three assists. He started eight games as a sophomore, appeared in 18 and notched six goals along with four assists. In his junior year, he scored four goals — including two gamewinners — over the course of 19 games. His senior season was cut short by an ACL tear, but over his whole college career, he made 58 appearances with 12 goals and eight assists.
McMaster also brings experience on the international stage, having played in the 2013 Concacaf U15 Championship and the 2015 Concacaf U17 Championship for Jamaica. He was also called up for a U18 National Team camp in 2016.
This talented 21-year old has the skills and mentality that Minnesota United is seeking in a SuperDraftee. The Loons are ready for McMaster and are looking forward to seeing what the winger can do in training camp.
The Justin McMaster Mixtape Vol. 1 pic.twitter.com/fxes2aJH3k— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) January 22, 2021
Kenyan-American defender Nabilai Kibunguchy was the 18th overall pick for Minnesota United. Kibunguchy played four seasons at UC Davis as a defender while majoring in Managerial Economics. He worked his way up from appearing in four games his freshman year to starting all 20 games his senior year, racking up a total of 52 appearances in his collegiate career.
Kibunguchy debuted in the season opener against San Jose State his freshman year and earned spots on the 2017 Big West All-Freshman Team and the 2017 Big West Conference First Team. The defender was also number 17 in the 2017 Top Drawer Soccer Top 100 Freshman. During his sophomore year, Kibunguchy appeared in 14 games and started 11, where he tallied up a goal and an assist. Kibunguchy appeared in 14 out of 21 games in his junior year, but really came into his own in his senior year. He started all 20 games and played a key role anchoring the Aggies’ backline, making it one of the toughest units to score on. He was named to the 2019 All-Big West Conference First Team and also earned Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
In addition to earning honors as an Aggie, Kibunguchy has also made international appearances for the U.S. U19 Men’s National Team. Kibunguchy played in the Slovakia Cup, where he helped the U.S. win the title with a 2-1 win over Russia in the finals. His grit and tenacity are qualities the Loons hope he carries into his rookie season.
The Nabilai Kibunguchy Mixtape Vol. 1 pic.twitter.com/Ot2s5wuyIr— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) January 23, 2021
The Pennsylvania native was the final pick for Minnesota United. O’Hearn is from Georgetown University, where he played as a defender his freshman, sophomore and junior years.
O’Hearn was a starter his freshman year, appearing in 18 games and starting in 17. The defender was part of a backline that tallied eight shutouts during the 2017 season, earning a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team. In 2018, for O’Hearn’s sophomore year, he started in 20 games and during his junior year, O’Hearn started in 24 games for the Hoyas. That backline posted 13 shutouts for the season and he assisted on four goals. On September 10, O’Hearn was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. Unfortunately, O’Hearn was not eligible to play his senior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The defender ended his career with 62 games, 61 starts and five assists.
At the end of November 2020, O’Hearn signed with USL League One side New England Revolution II. In 2021, he’ll be hoping to make an impact in training and provide always-needed depth for MNUFC.