Feb. 4, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State senior men’s soccer student-athletes Justin Cook and Sammy Tamporello were selected in Major League Soccer’s Supplemental Draft Friday. Cook, the 2004 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, was the third selection in the first round by the Chicago Fire, while Tamporello was selected 40th overall in the fourth round by FC Dallas. The four-round event Friday followed the MLS four-round SuperDraft held Jan. 14.

Cook (Winter Springs, Fla./Oviedo), a forward, and Tamporello (Richardson, Texas/L.V. Berkner), a midfielder, are the third and fourth Buckeyes drafted into Major League Soccer in the last three years. In the six-round 2003 MLS SuperDraft, Buckeyes Andy Rosenband and Jake Traeger were selected in the sixth round. After 48 players were taken in the 2005 SuperDraft last month, Cook became the 51st overall selection, making him the highest-picked Buckeye of the four to be drafted.

“We are very pleased for Justin and Sammy and wish them the best of luck,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “We hope very much that they are able to land spots on an MLS roster this summer. When you look at the type of season we had in 2004, it’s not a surprise to have players drafted. If you want a program that is nationally ranked you have to have professional-caliber players.”

A third Buckeye, senior Peter Withers (Portland, Ore./Jesuit), was on the draft board Friday but was not selected. Cook, Tamporello, Withers and senior teammate Eric Schwebach (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) were instrumental in leading Ohio State to a share of the 2004 Big Ten regular season championship and to the Round of 16 of the 2004 NCAA Tournament.

Cook, a 2004 third-team NSCAA/adidas All-American, was one of 66 collegiate seniors invited to the MLS combine, Jan. 8-11, becoming the first Ohio State soccer player to be selected for the combine. He was selected Ohio State’s captain last fall and went on to lead the Big Ten in scoring in conference games and set Ohio State records for shots in a career (191), shots in a season (71) and career assists (17, tie). Cook’s 33 career goals rank second all-time.

Tamporello, a skillful wing player for Ohio State, played in 73 matches as a Buckeye and started in 50. His 12 career assists rank tied for seventh on the Ohio State all-time list and he finished his career with seven goals.

### GO BUCKS! ###