A Lexington soccer icon is taking his talents to Major League Soccer.
Former Kentucky Wildcats Soccer star, Aimé Mabika, was selected by Inter Miami CF with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft earlier on Thursday.
— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) January 21, 2021
During his time as a Wildcat, the 6-foot-6 graduate of Henry Clay High School was named the C-USA Player of the Year and C-USA Co-Defensive MVP back in 2019 as a redshirt junior and started all six matches in 2020 as a redshirt senior before the season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mabika was a star on defense during his time in the blue-and-white, earning C-USA All-Freshman Team honors in his redshirt freshman season before being named to the United Soccer Coaches All-America third team as a redshirt sophomore. He made 62 total appearances across four seasons for the ‘Cats and scored 10 career goals.
Here’s what the official MLS website had to say about Mabika as a prospect, who had him ranked as the seventh-best draft-eligible player a few days before the Draft.
Scouting Report: Size is the obvious thing to see about Mabika, who is listed at 6-foot-6. He moves relatively well, but will need to prove that he can handle facing better players in MLS. He’s good enough with the ball to play for a team that likes to possess, but if he struggles to handle the speed of the game, getting picked by a team that sets a deeper defensive line could benefit him.
On Tuesday, Mabika released a two-minute video officially announcing his intentions to enter the MLS SuperDraft, and he thanked the Big Blue Nation for the support he’s received over the last four seasons.
“One thing I do know is I will forever be grateful and hope I made everyone who played a role, minuscule or crucial, in helping me arrive to this bittersweet moment, proud,” Mabika said. “I pushed each and every day, practice, game, and season, to ensure I left the program in a better place than I found it: mission accomplished.
“Many thanks, BBN. I’m ecstatic to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a professional athlete. Six out.”
A letter to the BBN as I enter the MLS Superdraft and pursue my life long dream of becoming a professional athlete! pic.twitter.com/iBxEuSVm4P
— Aimé Kaleka Mabika (@TweetsbyAime) January 19, 2021