Former Wesleyan soccer star drafted by MLS team Minnesota United

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WVWC Mens Soccer
Matt Bentley

Former Wesleyan soccer standout Matthew Bentley is headed to the MLS.

Bentley, who transferred to Missouri State for his senior season, was selected by Minnesota United as the 88th pick in the 2020 draft on Monday.

The forward makes the move to Major League Soccer after helping guide Missouri State to an 18-1-1 record, with the team’s only loss coming in overtime in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Bentley scored 15 goals and tallied four assists in 20 games with the Bears and was named Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

“We are extremely proud of Matt for this fantastic and well-deserved honor,” MSU head coach Jon Leamy told the school’s website. “He has done exceptional things for us here at Missouri State both on the field and in the classroom. We will continue to support and cheer him on as he begins his professional career.”

The London native scored 14 goals in 12 games and was a third team All-American during his junior year at West Virginia Wesleyan College, despite missing much of the season to injury. He is tied for 26th on the WVWC all-time scoring list with 25 goals over his three seasons in the black-and-orange.

Minnesota United selected Bentley in the fourth round of the draft Monday, using a pick acquired in a trade from the Chicago Fire.

Debuting in the topflight United State professional soccer league in 2017, the Loons finished fourth last year in the Western Division with a 15-11-8 record. They fell in the first round of the MLS playoffs with a 2-1 loss to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the L.A. Galaxy.

Bentley’s new squad will open the 2020 season on March 1 at the Portland Timbers.