The Revolution took Joshua Bolma with the fourth overall pick in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft Wednesday night.
New England, which initially held the 10th overall choice, dealt that pick, $200,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money and $50,000 in 2024 to San Jose.
With the choice, they tapped Bolma, a midfielder out of Maryland who earned First Team All-Big Ten honors as both a freshman and sophomore.
Bolma, a 5-foot-9, 135-pounder from Ghana, had two goals and eight assists in 20 games with the Terps last season. That’s on the heels of a campaign that saw him finish with four goals and four assists and Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.
Bolma does have New England roots; he starred at South Kent School in Connecticut, and helped lead that team to a High School National Championship.
“It’s just so special, so surreal,” Bolma said. “Just thinking about it, how it happened, not knowing what was going to happen. Then they traded up and they got me. It got me in a lot of different emotions. I’m just so grateful and that’s mostly what I’ve been feeling all night long.”
Bruce Arena, the head coach and sporting director of the Revolution, said the deal to move up came together quickly. There were two players in the top 10 they had their eye on, and moving up allowed them to get one in Bolma.
“The deals come together when you offer them some money and they make a decision, so that was pretty quick,” Arena said with a chuckle.
“Joshua Bolma is a really good, quick attacking player,” he added. “He can play in a number of positions. We’re going to try him as a No. 8 in the central midfield. It’s one area where we lack speed, is in the central part of midfield, and we wanted to get a player there that could offer us a little more quickness, and Joshua certainly does that.”
With the 39th overall pick, the Revs chose Victor Souza of Boston College. Souza was named All-ACC for two straight seasons, and started 10 games this past season for the Eagles.
With the 68th pick, New England went for defense, selecting Andreas Ueland out of the University of Virginia. The 2022 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, he was one of five Cavs to start all 19 games in 2022.
Souza and Ueland are a pair of center backs, a position Arena noted that needed to be beefed up this offseason.
“I think that’s an area we need to strengthen on our roster. We need some depth there. We could be better there. It was a position last year we had difficulty with,” Arena said. “We needed to strengthen the position and we drafted two players out of the college ranks with a good background [and] if they acclimate themselves quickly, [they] have a chance to help our team.”
Christopher Price can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.