The Washington Diplomats used their first pick in the North American Soccer League draft on a 17-year-old high school senior yesterday while two area residents were among the first five players chosen in the entire draft.
The Dips did not have a first-round pick but used their slot in the second round -- the 43rd pick in the draft -- to draft Ed Hawkins, a mid-fielder-forward from Washingtonville, N.Y. Hawkins, 5-foot-7 1/2 and 148 pounds, was an All-America his senior year and opted for the pros instead of college.
Locally, Darryl Gee, a senior at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, was the second player taken in the first round, chosen by the Minnesota Kicks immediately after the Cosmos made Don Ebert, the star striker for NCAA champion Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, the first pick in the draft. The Cosmos acquired that priority from Los Angeles in last week's trade of forward Gary Etherington, a Northern Virginian and fullback Santiago Formosa for Aztec striker Angelo DiBernardo and midfielder Larry Hulcer.
The fifth player chosen was Ray Vigliotti, a midfielder from the University of South Carolina, by the Portland Timber. The former all-star player at Laurel High School, led the Gamecocks into the qualifying round of the NCAA tournament.
Ebert, a member of the U.S. Olympic team, will sign an amateur contract with the Cosmos so that he can retain his amateur status.
The Dips used their picks on the third and fourth round to draft players with two years of college experience. On the third round they chose defender Carmine Posillico, 5-foot-10, 160 pounds from national junior college champion Mercer (N.J.) County Community College. Posillico, 19, is labeled a player with tremendous skills with the ball.
On the fourth round the Dips took Steve Byrd, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound forward from Old Dominion, who decided to pass up his final two years in college to turn pro. Byrd played for the Annandale Boys Club briefly while in high school.
Two other local players were chosen on the fourth round. Luis Calderon, who led American University to the NCAA quarter-finals, was chosen by the New England Tea Men and George Washington goalkeeper Geoff Brown was selected by the San Diego Sockers.