PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 23, 2009) – Former Rutgers men’s soccer player Dilly Duka signed a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer, it was announced. The 5-9 midfielder from Montville, N.J. will continue to train as he awaits the 2010 MLS SuperDraft in St. Louis, Mo.
“My family and I are really excited right now,” said Duka. “It’s an honor to now be known as a professional player and have a signed contract [with the MLS]. It’s a pretty exciting time and I feel good right now.”
Duka gives a great deal of credit for his success to his experience with the Rutgers program and the coaching staff including head mentor Bob Reasso.
“I knew when I committed to Rutgers in high school that coach [Bob] Reasso was a well respected coach,” said Duka. “He has a lot of say when it comes to speaking on players’ behalf to other coaches. I know he had a lot of say on me getting on the national team so, me going to Rutgers overall was a great decision and led to where I am right now, signing a professional contract.”
“We’re absolutely delighted for Dilly that he signed a contract with the MLS,” said Reasso. “He was an outstanding player for us and did a great job representing our country [with U20 U.S. National Tea] and I’m sure he will be very successful in the MLS as well.”
Duka was selected to the U.S. U20 National Team in January and competed with the squad during the qualifying round in March. His talent was realized immediately as he tallied a goal and two assists in his first international match, a 3-0 win over Jamaica. In five matches during the qualifying tournament, Duka earned four starts and also helped the United States clinch its berth to the World Cup by converting on his penalty kick in the victory against host nation Trinidad and Tobago.
During the World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, Duka earned a start in the 3-0 U.S. win over Cameroon. He assisted on the game’s second goal and added the third score of the match. Despite the Americans being eliminated in pool play, Duka’s performance caught the eyes of many on the professional level.
“The past year has been a pretty great year for me,” said Duka. “First in January, getting picked to the [U.S.] national team then going to qualifiers in March and doing well. Then to training with the team over the summer and playing in the World Cup in September, everything happened so fast.
“Now signing a professional contract and having to wait two more months [for the draft] to actually be on a professional team, I can’t wait. I’m really excited right now. I’m going to continue training on this off time and try to have a good first year.”
During his time at Rutgers, Duka led the team in scoring and was a 2008 All-BIG EAST selection. An outstanding talent on the pitch, he led Rutgers with eight goals, adding an assist in 2008. For his career, he played in 36 games, making 35 starts, and scored 10 goals and dished five assists.