Jason Griffiths Makes MLS Debut

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Former Kentucky standout midfielder Jason Griffiths has been officially signed by the New England Revolution and Sunday night made his Major League Soccer debut, playing the final nine minutes of a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium.

A UK letterwinner from 2006-09, Griffiths was a third round draft pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by the Revolution. A native of Bracknell, England, Griffiths was announced Thursday as having officially signed with the Revolution, taking up an international roster spot. On Sunday, Griffiths was inserted in the game in the 81st minute with New England trailing the Fire 1-0.

Griffiths, who wore No. 8 during his career at Kentucky and will wear No. 16 for the Revolution, played in 65 games during his four-year UK career. Griffiths charted 12 goals and 10 assists (34 points), totaling two game-winning goals and going a perfect 8-for-8 on regular-season penalty-kick attempts. A two-time first-team All-Conference USA performer, Griffiths totaled three goals and one assist during 2009, serving as one of three team captains for the second consecutive season.  

“It was a disappointing result,” Griffiths said in a televised interview postgame. “But it was good to get on the field and try and get a goal there at the end. It was good to be there.”

“We’re pleased to bring Jason into the squad,” Revolution Vice President of Player Personnel Michael Burns said in the press release announcing Griffiths’ official signing on Thursday. “He’s a hard-working central midfielder who we believe can grow in our system.”

“It has been kind of hectic, graduating from Kentucky at the end of May,” Griffiths said when asked postgame about the last few weeks. “I played in the Benfica game (May 19) and then came back from my trial a week later. It is good to be here playing professionally and hopefully we can win some games and get rolling.”  

The Revolution return to action on July 2 at Real Salt Lake. Kentucky opens its 2010 season on August 23, traveling to Dayton for an exhibition match. The regular-season will open for the Wildcats Sept. 3 with the annual University of Kentucky Invitational Tournament.