One of Hofstra’s most decorated soccer players in recent memory ended his collegiate career in historic fashion: Pride midfielder Joseph Holland was selected in last month’s MLS SuperDraft by the Houston Dynamo.
Holland, who was the 10th overall selection, was Hofstra’s first athlete to be selected in the SuperDraft. Back in 2000, Hofstra had midfielder Gary Flood selected in the second round of the MLS supplemental draft by the New England Revolution. Holland is also just the fourth member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) to be drafted in the first round since 2000.
“I’m very proud for him, for the program, and for Hofstra,” said Hofstra men’s soccer head coach Richard Nuttall. He continued, “Joey’s been a tremendous player over his four years here.”
After four years as a member of the Pride, Holland boosted his chances at getting his name called at the SuperDraft by turning in a very impressive showing at the MLS Combine, which was held on Jan. 6.
After the first nine picks were called, Holland heard his name called by the Houston Dynamo. During its first two seasons in the league in 2006 and in 2007, The Dynamo won the MLS Cup back-to-back.
“I do believe that he has what it takes to succeed in that league,” Nuttall said. “It’s all about how he adapts to a different environment,” he continued.
Holland’s road to the MLS began back in his hometown of London, England. He made his way to Hofstra in 2012, and promptly burst onto the scene with six goals and two assists. As a result, he earned himself the title of CAA Rookie of the Year.
After a year away from the program, Holland returned to Hofstra in 2014. He picked up right where he left off, and earned himself a spot on the All-CAA first team with two goals and a CAA-leading nine assists.
The Englishman rose even higher in his junior season, being crowned 2015 CAA Player of the Year as Hofstra won the CAA Tournament and advanced on to the NCAA tourney for the first time since 2006.
Holland was the heart and soul of Hofstra’s charge to the championship, leading the team in all major offensive statistical categories with 25 points on eight goals and nine assists.
In the conference championship against the University of Delaware, Holland put an exclamation point on his remarkable season. He shot a beautiful goal on a free kick that sailed over the goalie and hit the back of the net as time expired in the first half. The goal, which would be featured later in the day on ESPN’s Top 10 plays segment, would slam the door shut on Delaware and propel Hofstra to a 2-0 CAA title victory.
Even as his goal-scoring output dipped this past season – which was Holland’s last in blue and gold – his presence was felt all over the field.
Holland moved into third place all-time in assists at Hofstra with eight more, bringing his career total to 28.
The MLS begins its season on March 3, and many members of the Hofstra community will be watching with pride as Holland closes the door on a brilliant Hofstra career and opens a new one into the world of professional soccer.