Graye excited to know new home for 2011
You cannot blame Jordan Graye if his head
is still spinning a little bit. The 23-year-old has spent most of his life –
and his soccer career – on the east coast, from youth soccer with the D.C. United Academy to college soccer at the University of North
Carolina to his first professional season with
So being selected by the Portland Timbers
in the MLS Expansion Draft Nov. 24, then being traded to Houston a few weeks later was sure to leave him
feeling a little unsettled.
“Everything’s been up in the air,” Graye
said from his native Washington, D.C. “I haven’t gotten too settled on a team,
because I didn’t know where I was doing to end up. I was playing it by ear, but
it looks like Houston
is where I’m going to end up, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Graye spent five years at North Carolina, redshirting the 2006 season, and played
with Corey Ashe, Tyler Deric, and Dynamo
Academy product Alex
Dixon. So when informed of the impending trade to Houston, he had good sources to quickly
request a scouting report.
“I already talked to Corey a little bit,
and he’s excited too,” Graye said. “I’m glad to be going to Houston, because I think this is a better
opportunity for me to play. I want to start.”
Graye began his college career as an
outside midfielder but saw time at outside back in his redshirt sophomore
season of 2007. He became a regular starter at the back for the Tar Heels in
2008, helping UNC to back-to-back appearances at the NCAA College Cup in 2008
Drafted by D.C. United in the fourth
round of last year’s MLS SuperDraft, Graye found himself in the starting lineup
much of the season. Starting as a rookie, however, was not all roses, as D.C.
struggled to a 20-loss season and a league-worst -26 goal differential.
“I played in a lot of games last year, and
I got a lot of experience for a younger player,” Graye said. “I played a lot of
the season for D.C., and we went through a lot of adversity because we were
Graye was in the lineup for five of D.C.
United’s six wins, including road wins at Toronto
near the end of the year, and said he felt the squad learned a lot and improved
by the end of the season.
“I feel like we got some things together,
and each player took it upon himself to figure out what it takes to win in this
league,” Graye said. “I learned a lot last season, and I’m trying to bring it