Not only is competing at a College Cup a chance to leave a mark on a program, but it is also the opportunity for aspiring pro prospects to show what they can do at a high-pressure situation.
It isn’t the case of make-or-break – a bad performance in a College Cup game shouldn’t overshadow a player’s ability – but considering the national broadcast, and number of scouts in attendance, it can happen.
Here’s a look at who helped and hurt their pro stock over the weekend in Hoover:
GK Luis Soffner, Indiana: Goalkeepers have a hard time cracking the draft, but few players managed to put in a better performances across two games. The fifth-year senior had shutouts in the last three games, and at the very least, his performance should secure him an invite to the 2013 MLS Combine.
D Taylor Kemp, Maryland: While no one was flawless defensively in the wild 4-4 shootout between the two teams – and Kemp missed one of the PKs in Maryland’s failure to advance – for a player who battled injuries all season, getting 110 minutes in front of pro scouts was a win for the left back.
D Tommy Muller, Georgetown: So how does a defender impress conceding five goals in two games? Muller’s inclusion here is based more off his shift against Indiana, where he coped extremely well with a very talented forward in Eriq Zavaleta. Muller is a guy set up for success at the pro level if he can stay healthy.
MF John Stertzer, Maryland: It’s hard to overanalyze a high scoring game such as Friday’s game, but a matchup between Hoya midfielder Ian Christianson and Stertzer saw the former come away looking like the better pro prospect. Stertzer’s side adopted a more direct approach in trying to overcome a couple of deficits, bypassing Stertzer in the midfield for good chunks of the game.
MF Andrew Ribeiro, Creighton: Friday night’s game was disappointing for the Bluejays in many ways, as they looked out of ideas and hopes of a comeback were given a huge blow when Ribeiro limped off injured. He tried to gut it out, but couldn’t compete at a high level, and missed the rest of the game, also striking a blow to a chance to perform at a national level.
MF Jose Gomez, Creighton: It’s a bit harsh to lump Gomez into this group, as he was the one player who looked capable of making something happen in the final third for the Bluejays. But some of the credit here should go to Indiana, as they shut down the midfield maestro, denying him the chance to make an impression on observers who might not have seen him play all that often this season.