CARY, N.C. — After being selected 77th overall by Sporting Kansas City in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, Jamil Roberts decided to finish his final season with Marshall University Thundering Herd in dramatic fashion.
For the first time in school history, Marshall won the NCAA College Cup Championship behind Roberts’ sudden-death overtime goal in the 98th minute against the University of Indiana.
Roberts’ championship winning goal follows another game-winning strike he delivered in the semi-final round against the University of North Carolina.
“To bring that bit of joy in such a difficult year back to Huntington, to put a smile on their face – that makes it all worth it for me,” Roberts said after the match.
The 22-year-old England native is the first player to score a game-winner in the semifinal and championship matches in the NCAA College Cup since SKC star Graham Zusi did in 2008 with the University of Maryland.
The Thundering Herd entered the tournament as the unseeded and defeated Fordham, No. 1 Clemson, No. 8 Georgetown, UNC and No. 3 Indiana for the title.
Georgetown won the College Cup in 2020, Clemson (1984, 1987) and UNC (2001, 2011) have won twice and Indiana has eight titles (1982, 1983, 1988, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2012).
“This is the best way to finish this incredible season. I’ve got to keep this momentum going once I join up with Sporting,” Roberts said.
Roberts ends his career in Huntington, West Virginia with the second most assists (20) and sixth most goals (19) in Marshall University history.
The forward was named the College Cup’s Offensive Most Outstanding Player and now will join Sporting Kansas City alongside a group of forwards boasting Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi and Khiry Shelton.