Christian Duke helped both Orlando City (USL Pro) and Kansas City (MLS) win a league championship
Dec. 17, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Former Torero standout Christian Duke has done more winning in the past 12 months than most soccer players accomplish in a lifetime. After playing a vital role in USD's run to the Elite Eight last fall, Duke helped lead Orlando City to a USL Pro League Championship in September, and then was a part of Sporting Kansas City's MLS Championship squad earlier this month.
"I have been fortunate enough to be a part of three very successful teams," Duke said. "I think it's very good for me going forward because I've been at the top, and to get back or stay at the top, I know what it takes."
Duke, whose father Chris played for Coach Seamus McFadden from 1985-88, grew up in the Kansas City area and played for the Sporting KC Academy while in high school. After a stellar career at USD, his hometown team drafted him with the 14th pick of the MLS Supplemental Draft.
"It was always a big dream of mine growing up to play for my hometown team, so when they had asked me to come into preseason with them before the draft took place it was a surreal moment," Duke said. "Then they drafted me and that was the moment I realized that this was a dream come true."
After signing with Kansas City, the club sent him on loan to their USL Pro affiliate, the Orlando City Soccer Club. "Once I was told I was going on loan, my coach wanted me to take it as a positive experience, rather than a negative because of the playing time and competitive environment Orlando City had." Duke said. "So, I went down there with the mindset that I was going to do everything in my power to get better every day and it took extra time on my own after training, but it's completely worth it."
Duke shined for Orlando City, making 21 starts at midfield and being named the team's top rookie as he helped them win their second USL Pro Championship in the past three years.
"I had a very good experience down in Orlando," Duke said. "It was a challenge to make the starting lineup week in and week out, which is something a player wants. It makes you better and that's what I was down there for. Playing in front of 20,000 plus [fans] was also an amazing experience for the final."
After Orlando City's season ended, Duke rejoined Sporting Kansas City for their run to the MLS Cup, where they beat Real Salt Lake in a shootout in front of their home crowd. Although he never appeared in a match for Kansas City, Duke got a first-hand experience of the highest level of American professional soccer.
"The atmosphere was unbelievable. It felt as though I was a part of the game with all the hype and commitment we put into every training session leading up to the game," Duke said. "Then during the game, having that chance to be a part of the best MLS team in the league made me so anxious and fighting and screaming for us to pull off the win."
Duke was resigned by Kansas City and will be staying in the area in the offseason to train with the academy and his teammates. However, it is still unknown whether he will be suiting up for them or heading back to Orlando.
"We'll have to see what the coaches have planned for me in this upcoming preseason but I would be happy with either place because of the way both clubs are run," Duke said. "Either place will allow me to get better and grow as player."
2015-16 Highlight Video
All the top plays from 2015-16
Jordan Angus - Male Torero of the Year
Angus reflects on his time at USD
Malina Hood - Female Torero of the Year
Malina Hood looks back at her USD career
NCAA Tournament Preview
San Diego faces Vanderbilt in first round
2016 Celebration of Excellence
Behind the Scenes at the COE
Toreros Participate in Linda Vista Parade
Toreros Participate in Linda Vista Parade
Men's Tennis senior Day
The Toreros host LMU and Pepperdine Saturday and Sunday
Softball WCC Preview
The Toreros host Saint Mary's Saturday and Sunday
2016 San Diego Crew Classic
The Toreros show speed against the nation's top crews
The Torero Baseball Experience
Kris Bryant & Brian Matusz reflect on their time at USD
MBB Senior Night
Jito Kok and Duda Sanadze prepare for the final home game
USD Baseball Season Preview
Season starts at No. 3 Vanderbilt February 19
USD Softball Season Preview
Season starts February 12
USD travels to No. 9 UCLA Friday
Toreros Host Kentucky Saturday
USD looks to defend home court against No. 22 Kentucky
Toreros Host Pepperdine & LMU
USD returns home after four-game road trip
Toreros Team Up with PYBL
Men's Basketball hosts annual clinic for Challenged Division
Men's Tennis 2016
USD opens at home vs UC Irvine and UCSD Saturday
Preview of USD women's basketball WCC opener vs. BYU.
City Championship Highlights
Relive the Toreros' Upset over SDSU at Petco Park
Toreros to Host Hope International
The 9-1 Toreros will host Hope International in their final game before WCC play
Toreros Stun Aztecs at Petco
Postgame reaction and press conferences
Toreros Return Home
USD will host Bethesda before Sunday's City Championship at Petco Park
Men's Basketball Season Tickets
Starting as Low as $99
Pono Keni and Coach Lindsey talk about Saturday's Senior Day game against Butler
Coach Fisher and forward Maya Hood talk about Tuesday's home-opener against CSUN
Coach Smith and Brett Bailey preview the season opener at USC
Jonah Hodges and Dale Lindsey talk about Jonah's return and preview Davidson game
San Diego Fall Classic Preview
Coach Dagman previews the San Diego Fall Classic
USD's Women's Basketball team will start their season at Nevada this weekend
USD Men's Basketball - The Origins (1955-1973)
A Glance at the Beginnings of Torero Hoops
Coach Lindsey and Jeff Starr preview Campbell
Coach Lindsey and Jereke Armstrong talk about the season so far
WCC Media Day
Behind the scenes with Men's and Women's Basketball at WCC media day
Dale Lindsey and Anthony Lawrence on USD's 45-14 win
Anthony Lawrence and Coach Lindsey preview game vs. Warner
Torero Community Service
USD Athletics helps out at Father Joe's Village in downtown San Diego
Men's Basketball Camp Update
Kok and Carter talk about the upcoming season
Toreros host Bulldogs for Homecoming game
Toreros look for 4th straight win
Pack the Stadium Night
ITA All-American's Preview
Petronijevic, Angus, & Vittek Prepare
USD Looks to Extend Home Win Streak
Toreros First True Road Game of 2015
CSUN and UCSB Preview
Toreros Look to Extend Win Streak
Aztec Invite Recap
Both Squads Finish Second
Toreros Take on Cross-town Rival
Highlights from 45-21 win
2015 Home Opener
Previewing Western New Mexico
Volleyball Tournament Preview
A preview of the USD Tournament
Men's Soccer Season Opener
Previewing No. 16 Cal
Training Camp Update
Coach Lindsey Recaps the First Two Weeks
2015 WSOC Preview
A brief preview of the 2015 Toreros.