It's pretty hard to stand out when you're one of nine brothers, but stand out, is exactly what 19-year-old Teal Bunbury did, during the recent MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia.
Bunbury, the 2009 Hermann Trophy award winner, honored so for being the best male collegiate soccer player in the nation, was selected fourth overall in the draft, by the Kansas City Wizards.
Of course, given Teal’s finishing ability on the pitch and the fact that he led the country with an NCAA-high 17 goals while leading Akron to the College Cup final this season, tells you all you need to know about why the Wizards whisked him off the draft board.
There is however one very poignant aspect to this story. Teal won’t be the first Bunbury to play for Kansas City. Ten years ago, his dad Alex played one season with the Wizards, thus making them the first ever father-son combo to play Major League Soccer.
"It's pretty much full circle, isn't it?" The elder Bunbury said. "I'm a man of faith, so I guess someone up there was making it happen for us. For a father to sit there and watch his son that he loves unconditionally join the team he once played for...words can not describe how I felt."
I guess the next question we need answered, is just how far from the tree does that apple fall when comparing their respective playing styles?
“I was a player who played with my back to the goal,” said Alex. “He can do that too, I would say he is a more natural goal scorer than I was, he has the ability to create his own opportunities.”
If that’s the case, then Junior should have no trouble passing dad on the Wizards all time goal scoring list. In just 24 appearances with Kansas City during the 1999-2000 season, dad found the back of the net four times.
Don’t however sell the old man short. While playing club soccer for Sports Martimo of the Portugese Liga Sigra, dad scored 59 goals in a 169 appearances. The elder Bunbury was also a mainstay of the Canadian National Team from 1986-1997 and is currently enshrined in Canada’s Soccer Hall of Fame.
"It's an amazing feeling, being able to say that my dad played for the Kansas City Wizards and now I'm going to as well," Teal Bunbury said. "I feel honored and privileged to carry on the Bunbury name in Major League Soccer."
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