Just over three years ago, Ousseni Bouda capped a spectacular career at the Millbrook School by scoring every Mustang goal in a 5-1 victory over Pingree for the 2018 NEPSAC Class C title.
Now, Bouda, 21, is set to begin his professional career after being chosen by the San Jose Earthquakes in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft Tuesday. Bouda, born in Burkina Faso, entered Millbrook on the Right To Dream program in 2015, earning the Gatorade Player of the Year award in 2018. Bouda totaled 61 goals (18 games) in his senior season and had 156 career goals (82 matches) at Millbrook, then played two years at Stanford University, missing the 2020 season with an injury.
Bouda, who also competed for Black Rock FC (Great Barrington, Mass.), was taken with the No. 8 selection, extending a streak of players with New England ties taken in the top 10 to 11 consecutive years. Canadian midfielder Mohamed Omar, from Berkshire School and Black Rock FC via Notre Dame, was selected No. 23 by the Colorado Rapids.
The Revolution grabbed goalkeeper Jacob Jackson (Loyola Marymount) with the 24th pick. Jackson compiled eight shutouts in 17 games last season and holds the school record by blanking six straight opponents and totaling 560 successive shutout minutes, set in 2019. Jackson played for the San Diego Surf Academy, San Diego SC, Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) High School, and Real Salt Lake Academy. In the second round, the Revolution took defender Ben Reveno, who played at Caifornia-Irvine and UCLA.
The Revolution have utilized several players from the draft in building a contending team, including seven starters last season. In the starting lineup in the Eastern Conference semifinal, only league Most Valuable Player Carles Gil, leading scorers Gustavo Bou and Adam Buksa, and US national team goalkeeper Matt Turner did not come through the draft for the Revolution.
But judging by last year’s MLS Cup final, the draft has lost relevance as young players opt to turn pro early, either via joining MLS academies or going overseas. When New York City FC defeated the Portland Timbers on penalty kicks in the final, only one starting field player (ex-UConn midfielder George Fochive of the Timbers) had gone the collegiate route.
Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at email@example.com.