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MLS announces initial combine invite list

Published: December 14, 2016
Major League Soccer today announced the initial 53 NCAA DI college players invited to participate in the 2017 adidas MLS Player Combine. Top collegiate players from across the country will showcase their talents in front of representatives from all 22 MLS clubs in Los Angeles, CA from Jan. 8-12, 2017. All invited players will be eligible for selection in the 2017 SuperDraft presented by adidas which will take place at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT on Friday, Jan. 13 at the LA Convention Center in conjunction with the NSCAA 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 2016 Men’s MAC Hermann Trophy headline this year’s list of initial invitees. University of Denver defender Reagan Dunk was named a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist in each of the past two seasons, leading Denver to the best goals against average in the country (0.48) en route to an appearance in this year’s College Cup. Besting Denver in the College Cup semifinals was Wake Forest University midfielder Jacori Hayes, who led his team with eight goals, narrowly missing out on a national championship with a runner-up finish. Indiana University’s Tanner Thompson was named to the NSCAA All-America First Team while garnering Big Ten Midfielder of the Year honors. Wuilito Fernandes guided UMass-Lowell to the school’s first ever America East Championship with 11 goals and an NSCAA All-America First Team selection. Butler University forward David Goldsmith was named NSCAA All-America Second Team, finishing second in the Big East with 12 goals and winning the conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year Award. Providence College midfielder Julian Gressel shared the Big East Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors with Goldsmith after finishing the season with 15 goals, tied for fourth best across the entire NCAA. Rounding out the group is Vermont forward Brian Wright who led the Catamounts to the NCAA Tournament behind 40 points, second in the NCAA, and 12 assists, tied for a national best.
 
Additionally, representing two-time defending NCAA champion Stanford University at the Player Combine is defender Brian Nana-Sinkam, the team captain and a 2016 All-Pac 12 First Team selection.
 
A mix of collegiate soccer head coaches and MLS Academy personnel will make up the Combine coaching staff.  Columbia University head coach Kevin Anderson, Seattle University head coach Pete Fewing, University of Denver head coach Jamie Franks and East Tennessee State head coach Bo Oshoniyi will serve as the head coaches for the four Combine teams. The assistant coaches will be CASL Director of Classic Dan Popik, Michigan Rush Director of Coaching Brian Doyle, Sporting Kansas City Academy Director Jon Parry and Beachside of Connecticut Soccer Club Founder and Technical Director Mickey Kydes.
Player School
D Lalas Abubakar  Dayton
D Michael Amick UCLA
M Kwame Awuah Connecticut
D Brandon Aubrey Notre Dame
F Nazeem Bartman South Florida
D Kyle Bjornethun Seattle
F Brandt Bronico Charlotte
F Russell Cicerone Buffalo
D Suliaman Dainkeh Maryland
D Michael DeGraffenreidt Louisville
F Guillermo Delgado Delaware
F Nick DePuy UC Santa Barbara
D Francis de Vries Saint Francis (PA)
D Reagan Dunk Denver
M Jack Elliot West Virginia
F Wuilito Fernandes Massachusetts-Lowell
GK Alec Ferrell Wake Forest
F David Goldsmith Butler
F Jorge Gomez Sanchez Temple
M Julian Gressel Providence
M Sam Hamilton Denver
F Niko Hansen New Mexico
M Jacori Hayes Wake Forest
M Joseph Holland Hofstra
D Walker Hume North Carolina
M Daniel Johnson Louisville
D Aaron Jones Clemson
GK Eric Klenofsky Monmouth
D Austin Ledbetter SIUE
F Zeiko Lewis Boston College
M Connor Maloney Penn State
M Napo Matsoso Kentucky
D Billy McConnell Indiana
GK Jake McGuire Tulsa
M/F Lindo Mfeka South Florida
GK Robert Moewes Duke
D Brian Nana-Sinkam Stanford
F Chris Nanco Syracuse
D Jakob Nerwinski Connecticut
D Chris Odoi-Atsem Maryland
M Evan Panken Notre Dame
D Danilo Radjen Akron
D Robert Sagel Penn State
M Eddie Sanchez Portland
GK Auden Schilder Washington
D Justin Schmidt Washington
D Colton Storm North Carolina
M/F Christian Thierjung California
M Tanner Thompson Indiana
D Felix Vobejda UCLA
D Jordan Wilson Kentucky
F Brian Wright Vermont
M Chris Wehan New Mexico
 
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