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Lewis edges closer to MLS dream

Photograph by Akil SimmonsIn the genes: Lewis has been signed by the MLS ahead of its SuperDraft next week at the LA Convention Centre

Zeiko Lewis has moved a step closer to playing professional football after being signed by Major League Soccer yesterday.

The Bermuda forward is among five college players snapped up by the league ahead of next week’s MLS SuperDraft at the LA Convention Centre.

The SuperDraft is an annual event, in which the MLS teams select players who have graduated from college or otherwise been signed by the league.

Lewis, who plays for First Division side Young Men’s Social Club, is among 53 Division I collegiate players invited to take part in the adidas MLS Player Combine in Los Angeles, which runs from January 8 to 12.

All of the players involved in the five-day camp are eligible for selection in the SuperDraft.

Lewis, 21, is the grandson of former North American Soccer League professional Fred “Pinks” Lewis and son of Troy Lewis — a former top local player himself.

His great uncle, Eversley Lewis, was signed by Scottish side Aberdeen and also had stints with Hamilton Steelers of the Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League and Canadian National Soccer League side Toronto Hungaria in the 1960s and 1970s.

Reggie Lambe, the Carlisle United midfielder, and goalkeeper Freddy Hall were the previous Bermudian players to play in the MLS, both for Toronto FC.

Khano Smith, the former Bermuda captain, was the first islander to play in the league after signing with New England Revolution in 2005.

During his first stint at Revolution, Smith played in two successive MLS Cup finals, losing both to Houston Dynamo, and lifted the US Open Cup and SuperLiga trophy.

Bermuda players Jonté Smith, Lejuan Simmons, Drewonde Bascome and Shayne Hollis have all attended the MLS Player Combine in previous years.

Lewis thrived during his collegiate career, earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference accolades in all four seasons he played at Boston College.

He earned All-ACC First Team honours as a senior and was a three-times second team member. He also won ACC Freshman of the Year honours in 2013. As a senior, Lewis led Boston College with seven goals, five assists and 19 points and ranked sixth in the ACC in points, eighth in goals and ninth in assists.

Lewis thrived in the postseason, scoring all four of Boston’s goals in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.

He scored three times in the ACC Championship, leading his college to the semi-finals, and then scored the only goal in a 1-0 opening-round win against Fordham in the NCAA Tournament. Lewis finished his career as the all-time assist leader at Boston College with 27. He also ranks sixth in career points [63] and tenth in goals [18].