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MLS announces 2018 Combine Invitees

Published: December 21, 2017
Major League Soccer today announced the initial 60 NCAA DI college players invited to participate in the 2018 adidas MLS Player Combine. Top collegiate players from across the country will showcase their talents in front of representatives from all 23 MLS clubs in Orlando, FL from Jan. 11-17, 2018. All invited players will be eligible for selection in the 2018 SuperDraft presented by adidas which will take place on Friday, Jan. 19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia in conjunction with the United Soccer Coaches Convention.
 
A committee of MLS coaches and NCAA Division I coaches from every conference selected the invitees, all of whom completed their college eligibility this season. Further invitees including Generation adidas signings, non-collegiate players, and additional college seniors will be announced in the coming weeks. 
 
Seven semifinalists for the 2017 Men’s MAC Hermann Trophy headline this year’s list of initial invitees.
Wake Forest University forward Jon Bakero, who has totaled 10 game-winning goals in his career, is a third-team All-ACC honoree (2015), ACC All-Tournament Team honoree (2016) and NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team honoree (2016). Bakero joins Stanford University defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce as a MAC Hermann trophy finalist. Hilliard-Arce was named the Pac-12 Defender of the Year after clinching a third straight NCAA national championship. Leading Western Michigan was midfielder Brandon Bye, who was named the MAC Player of the Year with the help of 12 goals and five assists in just 17 games. Jon Gallagher of Notre Dame University makes the MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalists list just one year after being named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year with 14 goals and seven assists, while Louisville University defender Tim Kubel is a MAC Hermann trophy semifinalist for the second straight year. Dartmouth College defender Wyatt Omsberg was included in the 2017 College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer Preseason All-America lists. Omsberg was also named the 2016 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Rounding out the group is UNC Chapel Hill forward Alan Winn, who led the Tar Heels to the NCAA Men’s College Cup with 11 goals, second in the ACC along with .69 goals per game.
 
A mix of collegiate soccer head coaches and MLS Academy personnel will make up the Combine coaching staff.  University of Wisconsin-Madison head coach John Trask, Indiana University head coach Todd Yeagley, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee head coach Kris Kelderman and East Tennessee State head coach Bo Oshoniyi will serve as the head coaches for the four Combine teams. The assistant coaches will be FC Dallas Academy Director Luchi Gonzalez, NYCFC Academy Director Rodrigo Marion, New England Revolution Director of Youth Development Bryan Scales and Solar Soccer Club Head of Soccer Operations, Executive Director of Coaching Elite Programs and Technical Director Adrian Solca.
 
2018 adidas MLS Player Combine NCAA DI College Participants
(Alphabetical by last name)
 
 
Name School Pos.
Marcelo Acuna Virginia Tech FW
Pablo Aguilar Virginia MF
Rafael Andrade dos Santos VCU MF/FW
Will Bagrou Mercer FW
Jon Bakero Wake Forest FW
Pau Belana Akron MF
Tristan Blackmon Pacific DF
Arthur Bosua Columbia FW
Cory Brown Xavier DF
Brandon Bye Western Michigan FW/DF
Jefferson Caldwell Virginia GK
Pol Planellas Pittsburgh DF
George Campbell Maryland DF
Paul Christensen Portland GK
Harry Cooksley St. John's MF/FW
Manuel Corderio Akron MF
Niko De Vara Akron DF
Eric Dick Butler GK
Justin Fiddes Washington DF
Markus Fjortoft Duke DF
Sam Gainford Akron FW
Jon Gallagher Notre Dame FW
Giovanni Godoy UC Irvine FW
Mamadou Guirassy NJIT FW
Tomas Hilliard-Arce Stanford DF
Brian Iloski UCLA MF
Jordan Jones Oregon State FW
Ken Krolicki Michigan State MF
Tim Kubel Louisville DF/MF
Christopher Lema Georgetown MF
Ricky Lopez-Espin Creighton FW
Ben Lundgaard Virginia Tech GK
Carter Manley Duke DF
Paul Marie FIU(m) DF
Andre Morrison Hartford DF
Christopher Mueller Wisconsin FW
Daniel Musovski UNLV FW
Michael Nelson SMU GK
Wyatt Omsberg Dartmouth DF
AJ Paterson Wright State MF
Frantzdy Pierrot Coastal Carolina FW
Afonso Pinheiro Albany FW
Matias Pyysalo UCF FW/MF
Alex Roldan Seattle MF
Jake Rozhansky Maryland MF
Albert Ruiz Florida Gulf Coast FW
Rafael Sanchez Saint Mary's (CA)(m) DF/MF
Leon Schwarzer San Francisco MF
Mark Serbers Wisconsin DF/FW
Oliver Shannon Clemson MF
Nate Shultz Akron DF
Drew Skundrich Stanford MF
Graham Smith Denver MF
Lucas Stauffer Creighton DF
Mac Steeves Providence College FW
Mohamed Thiaw University of Louisville FW
Brian White Duke MF/FW
Ben White Gonzaga DF
Alan Winn North Carolina FW
Jason Wright Clemson FW
 
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