PHILADELPHIA — On Jan. 11, Chris Donovan officially entered the pro ranks of soccer after being drafted in the third round by the Columbus Crew. The Crew used the 68th overall pick to select the former Drexel forward. Donovan joins alumni Jeff Parke as the only other Drexel men’s soccer player to be drafted.
Donovan had a career full of accolades at Drexel which includes being named the 2021 CAA Men’s Soccer Player of the Year, along with a plethora of other honors following his senior campaign. The two-time All-CAA First-Team selection had 30 career goals with 13 assists, for a total of 73 points over four years.
Donovan reported to Columbus for the preseason where he was released, which may have been a blessing in disguise. Donovan signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Union II, the Philadelphia Union affiliate in the MLS NEXT Pro. The Paoli, Pa. native played high school soccer at Conestoga before choosing to stay close to home and join the Dragons for his collegiate years. He even played for West Chester United to stay in shape between college seasons.
Donovan becomes one of the many players that are benefitting from the new opportunities the MLS NEXT Pro brings. The new league is in its inaugural season this year with hopes of increasing soccer talent in North America.
Donovan, who wore the number 7 for the Dragons and now the number 40, has already made an impact for the Union II. He has appeared in seven games, including five starts, and has scored three goals and assisted on another. The season wraps up on Sept. 18, and you can see Donovan in action for the Union II at Subaru Park in Chester, Pa.
Chris Donovan against UNCW on Sept. 11, where the Dragons won 2-0. One of those points came courtesy of Donovan. (Photo: Sideline Photos)