Saidi Isaac's quest to earn a spot in Major League Soccer will be chronicled by MLS Magazine.
Issac, the 2006 Big South Conference Player of the Year, is one of three collegians the magazine will follow during league and team combines that lead to the MLS draft Jan. 18. The others are three-time All-American Andy Iro of UC Santa Barbara and Juliqan Valentin, a member of NCAA champion Wake Forest.
"We were looking for someone with experience on one of the national teams like Valentin and a player with Iro's credentials," magazine editor Scott Finch said Wednesday. "And, we wanted someone who might be under the radar from a smaller school.
"I heard about Saidi from his agent, Fauldin Pierre. I did some research and found out he was a very good player."
Finch said the magazine will be at newsstands in early February.
Issac, a 5-foot-9 forward from Nairobi, Kenya, was a three-year starter for Winthrop after transferring from Park University.
Isaac scored 46 goals, which places him fourth on the school's all-time list. The three players ahead of him -- Carlos Gonzalez (60), Frankie Griffin (59) and Tim Peay (47) -- all played for four years prior to Winthrop's jump to NCAA Division I.
Isaac, the 2007 BSC preseason player of the year, scored 12 goals that helped the Eagles to an 11-4-3 record. The first-team All-BSC selection was also nominated for the Hermann Award, collegiate soccer's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy.
Isaac will be in Washington starting Sunday, showing his skills to coaches and officials of D.C. United. The next big combine will be held Jan. 11-15 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Senior John Gilkerson, a 6-foot defender from Winchester, Va., will also travel to several combines over the next two months. Gilkerson, an All-BSC first-team selection, is ranked among the top 50 defenders coming out of college this year.
• PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Point guard Chris Gaynor was named BSC player of the week after he led the Eagles to wins over Old Dominion and Miami.
Gaynor, a 5-10 senior, had 11 points, five assists and four steals in the ODU win and a career-high 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the upset of 19th-ranked Miami.
Gaynor averaged 11.7 points, 4.3 assists, 3.3 steals and shot 56 percent in Winthrop's last three games.
• ACADEMIC SUCCESS -- Junior Ben Kieffner was named to the NSCAA/adidas All-South Region Academic second team.
Kieffner has a 3.8 grade-point average while majoring in economics. The junior defender from Edgewood, Ky., started 16 of 17 games and helped the Eagles' defense finish with a 0.68 goals against average.
• READY TO GO -- Seniors Kandrick Cooper and Jason Williams will make their 2007-08 indoor track debuts at Virginia Tech on Jan. 12.
Cooper, who holds the school records in the 60-meter (indoor, 7.83 seconds) and 110-meter (outdoor, 13.98) hurdles, missed the season-opener at Clemson because of a mild hamstring pull.
"I saw Kandrick last week and he came back early to get ready for this meet," coach Ben Paxton said. "He said he was feeling great."
Williams, the school's outdoor high jump record-holder at 6-feet-9, missed the first meet because of family issues.
"We're bringing 12 athletes back early so they can participate in this meet," Paxton said. "There are going to be very good teams there and we're anxious to see how we stack up."
• BOOK RULE -- Former Winthrop volleyball standout Beth Waggoner is working for the Big South as compliance/administrative assistant.
Waggoner is responsible for maintaining the league's national letter-of-intent database and all information related to the NCAA Special Assistance Fund and the NCAA Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund. Waggoner also works with Big South members on compliance reviews and interpretations.
Waggoner played at Winthrop from 2002-05 and was an All-BSC second-team and all-academic team selection as a senior.
Waggoner served as the chairperson for the Big South's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was a national SAAC representative.