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Former Huskies Shining At Start Of MLS Season

Tony Cascio celebrates his first career goal.

March 19, 2012

STORRS, Conn. - The 2012 MLS season is just two weeks in but Connecticut's two first round draft picks have shined in the early stages. Both Tony Cascio and Andrew Jean-Baptiste have excelled on the pitch and have scored for the Colorado Rapids and the Portland Timbers, respectively.

Both players earned starts in the opening game of the season and both players have found their way onto the score sheet with their first career goals.

“I was really happy for Tony when I saw he scored," said Jean-Baptiste.  "College soccer at UConn prepared us pretty well for the pros, as much as it could really.  As much as you prepare for this level, you don’t know until you get there what it’ll be like.  It’s a different level now.”

Cascio, drafted No. 14 by Colorado, has started both games for the Rapids this season. On Sunday, March 18 on NBC Sports, Cascio put home his first MLS goal to give Colorado a 2-1 victory on the road against the Philadelphia Union. CLICK HERE for the video.  The third video on the page features Cascio's goal.

CLICK HERE for Cascio's reaction following his first appearance in the MLS.

Andrew Jean-Baptiste, drafted No. 8 by the Portland Timbers as the first defender in the draft, started the season opener on ESPN2 against Philadelphia and headed home his first goal in a Portland Timbers uniform. Baptiste headed home a free kick into the bottom-left corner to even the score at 1-1. Portland went on to win, 3-1. CLICK HERE for the highlights. Jean-Baptiste's goal begins at 3:10 of the video.

“It’s a cherry on top of a nice cake,” said a joking Jean-Baptiste. "Considering the fact that I wasn’t planning to start, came in and had a slipup early, then came back and put one back in for the team… it couldn’t feel any better.  To top it off, we ended winning 3-1 to get on the right track to start the season,” added Portland’s center back.

Tony Cascio's First MLS Goal

Andrew Jean-Baptiste's First MLS Goal: begins at 3:10 of video