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Pol Planellas becomes first Pitt soccer player taken in MLS draft

The former Pitt midfielder went 24th overall to Los Angeles FC

MLS: MLS Super Draft Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pitt midfielder Pol Planellas became the first member of the university’s soccer program ever selected in the MLS SuperDraft on Friday, when he was taken by Los Angeles FC with the 24th overall pick at the start of the second round.

“Beautiful passer of the ball,” said Matthew Doyle of MLSsoccer.com during the broadcast. “He’ll play in central midfield, spread the ball around and make possession matter if he can make the team.”

Planellas enjoyed a brief but solid career with the Panthers, as he joined the team in 2017 and appeared in 14 games under head coach Jay Vidovich. Still, he managed to make an impact quickly, as he led the team with four assists, contributed a goal and earned third-team All-ACC honors after logging just 1,077 career minutes at Pitt.

Prior to his arrival in Pittsburgh, the Spanish midfielder honed his skills in FC Barcelona’s academy before earning a spot on Spain’s under-17 team and eventually joining the FC Barcelona reserve team.

“Coming to Pittsburgh was one of the best decisions I have made in my life,” Planellas said in a statement. “I will be grateful and proud forever.”

While Planellas is the first Pitt player to ascend to the MLS, he’s just the latest in a long line of athletes Vidovich has groomed for the professional ranks. In his career, the coach has sent 36 of his players from college to the pros. As Vidovich continues to build up the program, that will likely be a helpful selling point to note on recruiting visits.