Major League Soccer today announced the fifty-four NCAA DI college seniors invited to participate in the 2013 adidas MLS Player Combine.
Two MAC Hermann Trophy Finalists, 15 All-Americans and eight Men’s College Cup Final Four participants are among the players that will take the field in Fort Lauderdale from January 11-15. All invited players will be eligible for selection in the 2013 SuperDraft presented by adidas that will take place on January 17 in Indianapolis (12 p.m. ET).
A committee of NCAA Division I coaches from every conference, as well as MLS representatives, selected the invitees, all of whom completed their college eligibility this season. Generation adidas signings, non-collegiate players, and additional college seniors will be announced in the coming weeks.
Ryan Finley and Jose Gomez, two of the three Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy finalists, are among those looking to impress the 19 MLS clubs.
Despite coming off the bench in every match throughout his senior season, Finley, a forward for Notre Dame, tallied 21 goals, including six multiple-goal games, and earned the 2012 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year award.
Gomez, a creative attacking midfielder from Creighton, claimed one of three finalist spots after being overlooked in the preliminary MAC Hermann Trophy watch list at the start of the season. The Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year started every game for the Bluejays in 2012, leading the team to the Men’s College Cup semifinal.
The Division I Men’s All-America teams will again be well represented at the MLS Combine. Fifteen of the invited seniors were named to All-America teams: five First Team selections, five Second Team selections and five Third Team selections. Three of those 15 players, Ashton Bennett (Coastal Carolina, forward), Carlos Alvarez (Connecticut, midfielder) and John Stertzer (Maryland, midfielder) are repeat All-Americans.
Eight players that participated in the 2012 Men’s College Cup Final Four this past weekend are among the Combine invited player list: two players from Creighton (Jose Gomez, Andrew Ribeiro), three from Georgetown (Tommy Muller, Jimmy Nealis, Ian Christianson), two from Maryland (Taylor Kemp, John Stertzer) and one for the 2012 Men’s College Cup Champion Indiana (Luis Soffner).
Here's a preliminary list of 2013 MLS Combine invites:
DEFENDERS: Taylor Kemp (Maryland), Danny Wenzel (Wake Forest), Jordan Gafa (North Carolina), Brenton Griffiths (South Florida), Jimmy Nealis (Georgetown), Tommy Muller (Georgetown), Eric Schoenle (West Virginia), John Gallagher (Penn State), Kofi Opare (Michigan), Joe Franco (Cal State Northridge), Shaun Foster (Hofstra), Andrew Ribeiro (Creighton), Kory Kindle (CSU Bakersfield), Dylan Tucker-Gangnes (Washington)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Bekker (Boston College), John Stertzer (Maryland), Colin Murphy (Boston College), Jonathan Mendoza (Stetson), Donald Smith (Charlotte), Paolo DelPiccolo (Louisville), Greg Cochrane (Louisville), Leston Paul (South Florida), Ian Christianson (Georgetown), Carlos Alvarez (Connecticut), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame), Marc Cintron (Providence), Machael David (UC Santa Barbara), Paul Wyatt (James Madison), Tommy Nelson (SMU), Uwem Etuk (West Virginia), Jose Gomez (Creighton), Blake Smith (New Mexico), Ryan Hollingshead (UCLA), Fernando Monge (UCLA), Ben Fisk (Washington), Dan Delgado (San Diego)
FORWARDS: Will Bates (Virginia), Luke Spencer (Xavier), Ryan Finley (Notre Dame), Ashton Bennett (Coastal Carolina), Don Anding (Northeastern), Yannick Smith (Old Dominion), Devon Sandoval (New Mexico), Emery Welshman (Oregon State), Coleton Henning (Furman), Chris Thomas (Elon), Erik Hurtado (Santa Clara)