MLS prospects eager for second day at Combine

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The MLS Combine resumes today after a break in the action following a cold and rainy first day in Fort Lauderdale, and for some of the MLS draft prospects looking to impress, day two could not have come any sooner.

The first day of the combine displayed better soccer than most pundits have come to expect from day one, but for most of the MLS prospects, the games were difficult to play in for a myriad of reasons. Shaking off the cobwebs that come with being out of action for (at least) a month, as well as the miserable weather and the unfamiliarity with teammates, contributed to some rough first days on Saturday, and are reasons players are eagerly looking forward to the second round of games.

"I think now I kind of have an idea of every player, how they play, how the want the ball, so next game is definitely going to be better," said midfielder Dilly Duka, who had a quiet first-day performance. "We'll have a little more chemistry and connect more and hopefully we'll get by all that dirty, scrappy stuff."

Duka's words were a common refrain among the players, even from ones considered to have enjoyed good first days. One of those players was forward Teal Bunbury, who admitted to feeling a bit jet-lagged having flown into South Florida the day of the combine after winning the Hermann Trophy on Friday night in St. Louis, Missouri.

"Coming back from my flight my legs were a little heavy, but I went out there and tried to enjoy it and have fun," said Bunbury. "It's difficult the first game, you don't know everybody, but you go out there and do your best."

Bunbury was among Day One's best, and despite being a lock to get drafted, the Canadian-born forward is looking to shine on Day Two.

"I'm just keeping in perspective that you got to go out there and prove yourself, nothing is given to you, so I'm going to go out there next game and prove myself," Bunbury said.

Bunbury and Duka's team, Jabulani, play F50i at 3:45pm today, with the first game between Predator X and Condivo scheduled for a 2:00pm kickoff at Central Broward Regional Park.

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Think MLS should have the combine teams train for a week prior to the combine? Which players are you hoping have a better second day? Hoping your team lands either Bunbury or Duka?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to MLS prospects eager for second day at Combine

  1. Justin O says:

    “Teal Bunbury, who admitted to feeling a bit jet-lagged having flown into South Florida the day of the combine after winning the Hermann Trophy on Friday night in St. Louis, Missouri.”

    He felt jet-lagged from switching one timezone?

    (SBI-Seriously Justin? He flew from St. Louis to Fort Lauderdale the morning of the Combine, then played in a game in terrible conditions against players playing for their professional futures. All that and he still played well.)

  2. J_S_F says:

    The trip to Philly is really going to be strain!

  3. Mike says:

    Bring MLS to Miami.

  4. El Pibe says:

    Pro sports do not work in work in Miami. Everyone would rather go to the beach.

  5. Austin says:

    Off topic, but Segares was supposedly gone to Cyprus, but there wasnt any official word and he is still listed in the fire’s squad….did he leave or not?

    and El Salvadorian, Julio Martinez joined Chicago according to the Salvadorian press

    Iker Casillas also told the spanish press that he would like to come to MLS once he leaves Real Madrid

  6. Seriously? says:

    I think Justin was just being pedantic about the true definition of jet lag, as opposed to how many people use it now: being tired from flying. It supposed to mean that your body is used to being in a different time zone, it’s ‘body clock’ is lagging behind the time for the current location, and not used to being up or whatever.

    It’s a minor pet peeve of mine, when people fly up from Florida, to the Northeast, and complain of jet lag. You’re in the same time zone, it’s not jet lag, you’re just tired.

  7. Rich says:

    I have to agree with Justin on this one. While admirable that he took an early flight to make the combine on time, it was just three hours over one time zone. Hardly anything to be jet-lagged from, and certainly not heavy legs. At his age, he should be able to perform well after a cross-country red eye. Look at Jozy’s first game with Hull. Did he not play a Premier League game following a trans-continental flight?

    I don’t mean to knock Bunbury in any way, but flying from STL to FTL isn’t much of a hinderance.

  8. Austin says:

    Dan Marino, Dontrelle Willis, D-Wade, Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, Eric Wynalda, Carlos Valderrama, Pablo Mastroeni….

    Some of the greatest names in sports have been through that city and you are seriously going to say something ignorant like that?

  9. Austin says:

    forgot Shaq in there too

  10. JoeW says:

    Justin O, you need to read between the lines.
    1. He’s out of season.
    2. He travels to St. Louis.
    3. Given the result of the event in St. Louis, do you think ANY partying was involved afterwards? Perhaps, just a tiny bit? Involving some alcohol, staying up late?
    4. He arrives in Florida and immediately plays with a bunch of guys he hasn’t played with previously in lousy weather.

    For me, “jetlagged” is code for “I didn’t feel like my body was working like I last remember it”. That could mean “hungover” or “tired” or “out-of-shape” or “didn’t bring my A-game.” No need to make a mountain of just 1 time-zone.

  11. Hood Rich says:

    Exactly. Who wants to sit in 90′ heat and see 22 guys standing around. They sure aren’t going to be running in that sort of heat. I’d rather be at the beach checking out chicas!

    LOL !

  12. Easy Answer says:

    Stop making excuses. By the way, the kid is just 19 years old.

  13. OmarVizquel says:

    Dude, didn’t you already post this on like 5 other threads?

  14. OmarVizquel says:

    Then technically he’s not a “kid,” but whatever… ;-)

  15. Javier says:

    Training before the Combine would be a great idea. Not only would it make the Combine more useful, but it would also give teams a better feel for the players before the draft.

  16. ahm says:

    not saying i completely agree with el pibe but not all pro sports have been perfect in miami. baseball in particular has struggled to get any fan base except for when the marlins make a playoff run every 3 or 4 years. willis has become one of the worst contracts in baseball history and sapp and lewis played at U Miami which has a rabid fan base but isn’t a pro sport. i don’t think it’s cause everyone wants to go to the beach but it’s not the slam dunk some people think it is

  17. jig says:

    hahahah yeah, seriously dude, we get it.

  18. wilbur06 says:

    malawi 3. algeria 0.

  19. patrick says:

    ray lewis and warren sapp were in college, entirely different ball game. Dontrelle willis’ team struggled to bring in 10,000 fans. The others played for a team that failed. Those examples did NOT help your case

  20. Josh D says:

    No excuse for the US to bottle it then : )

  21. baquito alyeska says:

    Jay,

    From one Razorback fan to another, I recommend you try using twitter and the hashtag #usmnt to get your vid out there.

    Using comment sections as free ad space is considered bad form.

  22. WK says:

    so Mwanga goes to philly at #1, who does NY select- Opara, Bunbury, Tchani, Duka?? Quakes need help everywhere, and popular opinion has them selecting Bone who seems to be very versatile all across the midfield, but it sounds like Tchani dominated the first half on saturday and then they rested him the 2nd half. sounds like a guy that’s having no problem w/ the college elite should be able to make the jump into MLS straight-away. also a great player to have.

  23. Sean says:

    Is there anyway to watch the combine games online?

  24. frank from sf says:

    i grew up in miami and el pibe is right. besides the dolphins no sports team really draw well. people would rather chill @ the beach rather than roast for 2 -3 hrs. under the sun. it’s a fact. plus those players you mentioned have nothing to do w/ being from s. florida, except maybe r. lewis and he doesn’t even play in miami.

  25. Justin O says:

    Well, I was just poking fun, but yes, jet lag refers to the body’s adjustment to a new time zone – generally several hours different from one’s point of origin. It doesn’t mean just being tired from flying. That’s just called being tired. You do not get jet lag switching one time zone.

    And if he was really feeling the effects of such a short flight, I would question his fitness. As someone much older who crosses oceans for a living, someone his age, a potential professional soccer player no less, shouldn’t be signifcantly impacted by a flight of that length.