Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
Former men’s soccer defender Ryo Shimazaki was selected in the third round of the MLS Superdraft by the Columbus Crew on Monday afternoon, the fifth Ram to be drafted in five years.
Siad Haji was the second overall pick in the 2019 MLS Superdraft, becoming the highest-drafted player ever selected from VCU.
Shimazaki was named First Team All-A-10 this season, as well as receiving A-10 Player of the Week honors once.
This season, Shimazaki anchored the backline for coach Dave Giffard’s squad, starting all 18 matches. He logged a career-high four goals and an assist in his final season in Richmond, while recording 12 shots on goal.
The Kawasaki, Japan, native helped the Rams extend their A-10 tournament run this season, converting a penalty kick in the 90th minute against George Mason in the quarterfinal.
Shimazaki was a mainstay in the Rams’ starting lineup, as he started the final 56 games of his career, dating back to his sophomore season. He logged seven career goals and six assists in his four years in Richmond.