“Obviously every soccer player in Division I wants to go pro, so that’s obviously in my mind,” said graduating midfielder of the Boston University men’s soccer team, Michael Bustamante, after his final home game against Binghamton University on Oct. 24.
A few months after that game, Bustamante’s dream may come true. From Jan. 11 to Jan. 15, Bustamante will have the chance, along with 71 others, to show his talents in Lauderhill, Fla., at the Major League Soccer Player Combine.
If his skills match those he displayed during his illustrious tenure at BU, Bustamante might have a shot at making a Major League club. He would be the sixth Terrier ever to be drafted into the MLS.
“We’re proud of what he has accomplished,” said BU coach Neil Roberts. “He came back from an injury and graduated college. In high school he wasn’t even sure if he was going to college, and now he has an excellent chance to be drafted.”
While at BU, Bustamante received numerous accolades. He was the first Terrier to be named to the America East All-Conference First Team four times. He also won America East Midfielder and Rookie of the Year in 2008 and became only the fourth BU men’s soccer player to be awarded the All-Northeast Region title four times.
“He was a talented player from day one,” Roberts said. “We just wanted to give him the opportunities.”
Bustamante’s highly decorated career culminated in a strong senior year this past fall. After an injury sidelined him for the entire 2011 season, Bustamante was allowed to return in 2012 and he posted strong numbers.
Coming off of the injury, Bustamante was tied for second on the team with 10 points, netting three goals and dishing out four assists. The four assists added to his impressive collegiate total, giving him 27 for his career at BU, placing him ninth all-time in assists for BU.
“In a difficult year for us, he played different positions and was dangerous,” Roberts said. “He was a leader and someone you could depend on.”