Park Hill soccer alum signs with MLS' Union

A 2011 Park Hill High School graduate signed to play professional soccer with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer last week. The Union selected Raymond Lee in the third round of the MLS Superdraft in January. Lee, who played collegiately at St. Louis University, signed his deal March 3. “I want to thank the Philadelphia Union for giving me this opportunity,” Lee said in a statement released by the team. “I will continue to work hard with teammates and the coaching staff to do everything I can to improve as a player.”

While at Park Hill, Lee earned Class 3 all-state honors as a midfielder three times from the Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association — honorable mention as a sophomore and first team after his junior and senior seasons. He was the MSHSSCA offensive player of the year in 2010 after leading the Trojans with 12 goals and 26 assists in a season that ended with a state quarterfinal loss to powerhouse Rockhurst on penalty kicks. Lee finished with 33 goals and 58 assists while at Park Hill.

At St. Louis, Lee continued his midfielder role. He played in 74 games for the Billikens — starting 67. His 14 goals ranked third on the team during his four-year career, and he added six assists — four in his senior season.

Lee was a second team All-Atlantic 10 performer in 2014 and helped carry the Billikens into the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

“Both Ray and (fellow draftee Eric Ayuk Mbu) have worked hard during preseason and have earned this opportunity,” Philadelphia technical director Chris Albright said in a team release talking about two of the team’s draft picks signed. “We’re excited to have them in our group, and both should have bright futures here in Philadelphia.”

The Union drafted Lee as a defender and will likely switch him to fullback at the pro level.

Lee played club soccer for the Sporting Kansas City Academy and trained with the first team and reserves. He was a member of the United States Olympic Development Program team that played in the 2010 games in England.

Lee did not feature on the 18-man roster for the Union’s season opener against Colorado on Saturday, March 7. The match finished in a 0-0 tie.