AZ native George Malki drafted by Montreal Impact in MLS SuperDraft
By Garrett Cleverly @AZKicksit
Scottsdale native drafted by Montreal Impact with the 37th overall pick
PHOENIX - The MLS SuperDraft has always generated a wide range of emotion for collegiate players looking to extend their careers into the professional levels. Some players embrace the unknown on draft day while other players find ways to keep themselves busy. Arizona native Geroge Malki was doing something entirely different when the Montreal Impact selected him with the 37th overall pick.
“It was a really funny story, but I went with out with my college team this morning and when I came back I watched the first round of the draft and actually feel asleep,” said Malki. “I then got a call from one of our assistant coaches who was at Cal Poly two years ago and he’s at the draft and he’s like ‘congratulations you were drafted by Montreal’. I was sleeping. I had no idea and I was in shock. That’s how I heard and that’s what I woke up to.”
Malki is arguably the most decorated player to come out of Arizona, where he won six separate state championships as a member of Sereno Soccer Club and won two DII state titles at Pinnacle High School in 2008 and 2010. He probably would have won a third in his junior year if Malki didn’t accept U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program invitation.
However, for all the individual success Malki has achieved, he acknowledged that many people have helped him along the way.
“What really helped me is a guy named Petar Baralić. He has been my personal trainer out in Arizona since I’ve been 11 years old. I have to give him as much credit as I can for developing my technique and skill especially with my left foot. He’s the best trainer and I’m very fortunate to work with him and many other great coaches like Harry Demos, Brian O’Donnell, David Robertson, Jon Pearlman and Ron Gilmore.”
Malki was a four-year starter at Cal Poly and in his final season for the Mustangs he scored two goals, notched three assists and played in 21 matches.
A handful of days now separate Malki from his first taste of professional soccer as head coach Frank Koplas has called for preseason camp to kick off on January 27th.
“I am so happy and blessed to go play for such a great league that keeps getting better. I’m super thankful that Montreal drafted me and I hope I can go out there and help them win games.”