MLS team drafts Temple men’s soccer starting goalkeeper

Simon Lefebvre recorded eight shutouts in two seasons with the Owls.

Senior goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre celebrates senior night at the Temple Sports Complex on Nov. 5, 2019. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

On Thursday afternoon, D.C. United selected Temple goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre with the 21st pick in the 2020 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. This is the first time a Temple men’s soccer player has been selected in the first round, according to Temple Athletics.

Lefebvre has been a key player for the Owls, as he started every game for the past two seasons.  

In December, Lefebvre participated in the 2019 Adidas MLS College Showcase, an opportunity for teams to scout collegiate prospects. 

“The goal of our program is to bring in players that can succeed for our program, but that also have professional aspirations as well as professional potential,” coach Brian Rowland said. 

Midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez was the first Temple player drafted by an MLS team. He was a third-round selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.

Lefebvre played all 1704 minutes in goal this past season while recording 56 saves and leading his team to an 8-8-2 record. In his senior season, he only allowed 22 goals in 18 games for a goals-against average of 1.16.

Lefebvre notched American Athletic Conference Second Team honors this past season and completed his career with Temple with a goals-against average of 1.21, which was the fifth-best in program history.

“I think he’s got a lot of things that make him a very, very good prospect for them,” Rowland said. “Obviously, he’s very big, you can see how big he is, which certainly checks some boxes.”

Lefebvre is 6 feet 9 inches, the tallest player selected in the first round.  

“But for being as big as he is, he’s very quick, he’s an excellent shot-stopper, he’s…very athletic for someone his size,” Rowland added. 

Rowland said Lefebvre can be an asset in the attack from the back of the field.

Lefebvre is the second Temple player this year to advance to the professional level along with forward Lukas Fernandes. Fernandes signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Soccer Club in December 2019.

“I think it speaks volumes to the player first and foremost,” Rowland said. “[Fernandes] having signed a pro contract and [Lefebvre] being drafted in the first round, I think it just shows you some of the individual success and the team success we’ve been able to have this year, that we’ve been doing the right things.” 

Lefebvre graduated in December with a degree in adult and organizational development. 

Lefebvre could not be reached for comment. 

D.C. United made a trade with the Philadelphia Union for the draft pick used to select Lefebvre. The club finished 13-10-11 in the 2019 season. It lost to Toronto FC in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. 

“I think D.C. made a great pick. I think he’s gonna do really well,” Rowland said. 

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