NEW YORK – Jon Bakero and Ema Twumasi have signed contracts with Major League Soccer and will enter the 2018 MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 19, the organization announced Friday.
A sophomore at Wake Forest, Twumasi is one of six members of the 2018 Generation adidas class. Generation adidas is a joint program between MLS and adidas that is dedicated to developing exceptional domestic talent in the U.S. and Canada in a professional environment. Each year, a handful of top domestic collegiate underclassmen and youth national team players are signed by the league and placed in the SuperDraft. Generation adidas players do not count against an MLS team's salary budget.
Jack Harrison was also a Generation adidas signee when he became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 SuperDraft following his freshman season.
Twumasi, an All-ACC selection, finished second on the team in goals (10) and points (27), and was also tied for third with seven assists.
“Wake Forest, my coaches and teammates, and my family the Kirkpatricks have put me in a position to succeed in life, both on and off the field," Twumasi said. "The school and the men's soccer program have aided my development both as a player and as a man. I look forward to making the school, program, and all those who have helped me over the last two seasons, proud. I can't wait to watch the Deacs continue competing for trophies at Spry. Believe me when I say I will miss the chance to play with my brothers in front of the best fans in college soccer. Go Deacs!”
Bakero is one of three college seniors who also signed with the MLS, committing to enter the SuperDraft in two weeks.
This season, Bakero led all of Division I with 46 points on 16 goals and 14 assists, marks which rank in the top five in program history.
“Going to Wake Forest was without a doubt the best decision of my life," Bakero said. "I want to thank the coaches, administration, the fans and my teammates for making my experience so special. I wouldn't be where I am without them. I'm excited to follow and watch this team - my family - continue to grow, develop, and win championships. I can't wait to be back cheering you on from the Hill. Go Deacs!”
Bakero and Twumasi become the third and fourth Deacs to commit to joining the MLS this offseason, as well as the eighth and ninth in three seasons under head coach Bobby Muuss.