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Mobile's Okai Selected 31st In MLS SuperDraft

January 18, 2013
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Story by Matthew Hicks, Mobile Sports Information

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Mobile's (Ala.) Stephen Okai was selected 31st overall by the Philadelphia Union in the 2nd round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft Thursday.

"Okai is a very interesting player in that he has a lot of upside," UMobile coach Roy Patton said. "He still has a couple of floors to go up and I think he'll do that pretty quick."

Okai, the 2012 Select Sport America-NAIA Men's Soccer National Player of the Year was a three-time NAIA All-American with the Rams in four seasons. He earned 1st-Team AA honors in 2010 and 2012 as the Rams made deep runs at the NAIA National Championship. In 2010, the team advanced to the Round of 4, and last season, the team was runner-up.

In 77 games with the Rams, the Accra, Ghana native tallied 20 goals and 26 assists while patrolling the midfield. He posted 10 goals and 9 assists this season after posting 6 goals and 11 assists in 2011.

"He's got a full bag of clubs as a player, he can pass, dribble and finish," Patton said. "A lot of people I talked to commended his on-field leadership. He's like a coach on the field and he makes very quick and very good decisions. He plays at a high tempo, which is a prerequisite for playing in the pros."

Okai's former teammate on the 2010 and 2011 teams, Deshorn Brown, was selected 6th overall in the draft by the Colorado Rapids.

The Union open the 2013 season March 2 at 3 pm against Sporting KC.

Okai is the 6th Ram to join the MLS.