Schillo Tshuma, a member of two College Cup squads at Maryland, will forgo his final two years of NCAA eligibility to enter the MLS draft.
The Zimbabwe-born forward was The Post’s 2011 fall All-Met player of the year from Alexandria’s Episcopal High School. He signed a Generation Adidas contract and is expected to be chosen in the first round. Tshuma, a quick and crafty attacker, had six goals and one assist this fall while appearing in 25 of 26 matches. As a freshman, he posted 10 goals and two assists.
Tshuma is the second non-senior from an elite area program to leave school recently: Virginia freshman midfielder Jordan Allen signed a homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake after helping the Cavaliers advance to the national semifinals. (Tshuma is available in the draft because he is not affiliated with an MLS youth academy.)
Generation Adidas players are particularly appealing because, like homegrown signings, they do not count against an MLS team’s salary cap.
Meantime, Maryland freshman goalkeeper Zack Steffen (Philadelphia Union) is planning to return to College Park, while sophomore defender Mikey Ambrose (FC Dallas) is weighing options. The program is awaiting a status update on sophomore forward Christiano Francois, a five-goal scorer in 2012 who sat out this season for academic reasons.
As expected, Terrapins senior forward Patrick Mullins, the nation’s leading scorer with 19 goals, signed with MLS this week and will be among the top picks in the Jan. 16 draft in Philadelphia. D.C. United will choose first, but may opt for a defender.
Maryland, which has sent a wealth of talent to the pro level the past dozen years, lost to Notre Dame last month in the College Cup final. In 2012, the Terps advanced to the semifinals.
Georgetown senior forward Steve Neumann, who led the Hoyas to the 2012 College Cup final and recorded 20 goals and 19 assists his last two seasons, joined Mullins in signing with MLS. He is also projected as a first-round pick.
Other non-seniors to sign with MLS this week: Connecticut junior goalkeeper Andre Blake, Louisville midfielder Marlon Hairston and Creighton junior defender Eric Miller. All are available in the draft. More college players are expected to sign in the coming weeks.