Punyed, Hines latest Men’s Soccer Stars to go Pro

Former St. John’s men’s soccer team midfielder Pablo Battuto Punyed and forward Walter Hines were selected in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft on Jan. 17.

 

Punyed was selected in the second round and the No. 32 overall pick by Sporting Kansas City. As a senior this past year
Punyed helped the Red Storm win the Big East Tournament and a NCAA Tournament berth. Punyed was named co-Big East Midfielder of the Year as he racked up four goals and three assists this past year. Punyed finished his St. John’s career with 10 goals and six assists in 84 games played.

 

In 2008, Punyed played in the Copa Chivas for the Under-20 men’s national team. Now he joins a Sporting KC team that was one win away from the MLS Cup this past season.

 

“I’m very pleased, very excited and very honored to be chosen by an established club like Sporting Kansas City,” Punyed told SportingKC.com. “I’m ready for the opportunity I’ve been given, and I’m ready to come in and provide a spark to the team.”

 

Hines was selected in the third round and the No. 49 overall pick by FC Dallas. Hines had his best year in his senior campaign for St. John’s as he netted six goals and an assist. Hines started every game this past fall and finished with two game-winning goals.

 

Hines, a third-team All-Big East selection and 2009 Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player, increased his goal scoring in each of his seasons with the Red Storm. He finished his collegiate career with 12 goals and 10 assists in 82 games, playing mostly as a center forward.

 

“Hines is an extremely quick flank player,” head coach of FC Dallas, Schelles Hyndman told FCDallas.com . “His speed allows him to excel in one-on-one situations and he is very good at getting in behind opposing defenses. He also has a strong work rate.”

In their four seasons together at St. John’s they helped the team to an overall 52-19-16 record. They reached three NCAA Tournaments, won two Big East Tournaments and one Big East regular season title.

 

“We are really happy for Pablo and Walter,” St. John’s head coach Dave Masur told RedStormSports. “This is a testament to the hard work and dedication they exhibited both at St. John’s and throughout their careers. We are excited to track their progress as they enter the next phase of their careers.”

 

St. John’s has now had 14 players drafted by the MLS. Punyed and Hines will join Connor Lade as rookies in the league next season after Lade signed a contract with the New York Red Bulls in Dec. 2011.