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Meet Andre Shinyashiki, DU standout & Rapids first-round pick

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The forward from DU is excited to stay in Colorado and play for the Rapids.

MLS: SuperDraft Nuccio DiNuzzo-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend, the SB Nation soccer sites held a mock draft. I patiently waited in for the Colorado Rapids 15th overall pick and surprisingly snagged Andre Shinyashiki, the center forward from DU that Ives Galarcep called “one of the most highly sought after goal-scorers” in the entire draft. The main concern was that Shinyashiki is Brazilian, so he’ll require an international spot, and many thought that could potentially impact where he went in the draft.

But when it came to the day of the draft, the Rapids gave the Chicago Fire $100,000 GAM and their 15th overall pick in exchange for Chicago’s 5th pick and were able to get Shinyashiki. I talked to the newest ‘Pid right after he was selected and he said that he had “heard talks that they [the Rapids] wanted me. I knew of the interest and I know them well, but there was still a bit of surprise.”

The coaching staff were familiar with Shinyashiki not only because he played nearby, but because he was part of the Colorado Rapids U-23 PDL (now USL2) squad in 2017 and 2018, earning 18 goals in 26 appearances. He was a standout at DU, tallying 28 goals in 21 matches (including five hat tricks)—the most goals in NCAA Division I men’s soccer for 2018 and the most in a single NCAA soccer season in 20 years—in his senior year alone. He was also a runner-up for the Hermann Trophy and Top Drawer Soccer’s National Player of the Year.

Becoming a pro soccer player is a “dream come true,” the 22-year-old said. “I’m excited to play for the Rapids because it’s a club I’m familiar with and I get to stay home in Denver.” He’s also heard “a lot of good things” about the coaching staff and club from former DU teammates Kortne Ford and Sam Hamilton.

Rapids Executive Vice President & General Manager, Pádraig Smith, told 9News that they are “thrilled to get Andre. He’s driven, coachable, and wants to be a top-level player. We believe he’s the best player in the draft and we’re very lucky to get him with the 5th pick.”

Shinyashiki is frequently praised for his work rate and ability to out-hustle opponents, and should fit in well with Kei Kamara, Diego Rubio, and Niki Jackson.

Shinyashiki wrapped up our call by saying that he is “thankful for the opportunity and everyone who has helped along the way.”

Welcome to the Rapids, Andre!