MLS Combine Day 3 Rewind

MLS Combine 2011 Logo

By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The 2011 Major League Soccer Combine came to a close on Tuesday afternoon, and only a small portion of the players ended it with impressive performances.

Jalil Anibaba, A.J. Soares and Michael Tetteh had some of the more promising efforts on a day that ended with Jabulani defeating AdiPower, 2-1, and AdiPure playing to a scoreless draw with AdiZero.

There wasn't much quality in either match, as the fatigue picked up from playing three games in four days was apparent for many of the MLS hopefuls. The AdiPure-AdiZero match was especially lacking in quality, with poor finishing being exhibited throughout.

"Today was the last game and a lot of legs are tired," said University of California midfielder Hector Jimenez. "I still think everybody showed up and played and had a good time, but definitely the legs are starting to kick in from playing three games this week."

Jimenez had one of the better chances of the 0-0 draw, but he missed on a bouncing rebound from close range in front of an empty net in the second half.

That miss wasn't as bad as Brayan Martinez's flubbed opportunity. Having received a pass from the left flank in front of an empty goal, Martinez opted to take a touch on the ball instead of one-timing it in, and his subsequent shot was blocked off the line by Indy Smith.

Anibaba ended his combine with another solid outing for AdiPure. He helped keep an offense led by the combine's Golden Boot winner Joao Plata (three goals) and Will Bruin in check, and he continued to distribute the ball well.

In the first game of the day, Jabulani defeated AdiPower courtesy of goals from Alex Caskey and C.J. Sapong. AdiPower struck back just before halftime with a goal from Ryan Kinne, who received a pass from Michael Tetteh.

After quiet performances in AdiPower's first two games, Tetteh was finally able to make his presence felt, getting down the left flank on several occasions. His assist on Kinne's goal was especially impressive, as he played a one-two with Marlon Ganchozo before beating a defender and releasing a cross.

"I was able to get forward a lot and I had the assist on the goal, which is something I do a lot," said Tetteh, who is considered to be the best left back prospect in the draft. "Finally today I was able to get involved with the attack and put a couple crosses in, so I was happy with that."

Soares also looked good in the match, capping off his combine with another sturdy performance. Paolo Cardozo played well during his time on the field as well.

The players have done all they can to impress the coaching staffs and will now hope to hear their names called at the MLS SuperDraft, which will be held in Baltimore on Thursday.

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What do you think of the final day of action of the MLS Combine? Who do you think helped their stock? Who do you think hurt their stock? Which player(s) do you hope your team drafts?

Share your thoughts below.

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10 Responses to MLS Combine Day 3 Rewind

  1. GusG says:

    I like Meran a lot, Anibaba is legit, Rooney is a good player, and Plata is a handful on the wing. AJ Soares will be a good MLS player in my opnion, and Ryan Kinne could be a sleeper. Sarkodie didn’t have the biggest combine, but I think will be a very good pro. 1 guy that was ok in the combine but i really like his body of work is Ampai from Akron, he is quality on the ball.

    Goalkeeping in general was a very strong “meh”. Suspect positioning, not very good distribution, shady decision-making, you can tell a lot of those guys are “shotstoppers” and not necessarily goalkeepers. Like Ives stated, i think you have Zac MacMath a clear #1, with Jeff Attinella as #2a and Diego Restrepo as #2b. Restrepo helped his stock by not even being there lol.

  2. James says:

    Soares was NOT impressive. Warshaw was very involved, showed leadership, and distributed on par or better than anibaba.

  3. shaq says:

    Ives, what players not at the combine do you think have a chance at being drafted?

  4. Thor says:

    OT but Spector played well today in the Carling Cup he assisited on 2 goals. Played in CM and out on the wing when they were down to 10 players. Good win for them 2-1

  5. The Second Gunman on the Grassy Knoll says:

    From what I remember of last year’s combine, I seem to think there was much more excitement about a lot more players. Don’t know if that’s because the overall performances were better last year, or the talent was just that much deeper.

  6. T. Allen says:

    It is obvious that you never played Keeper as Attinella was good but does not get down well and Restepo comes out negatively on crosses plus other factors which is why no invite!!
    Keepers must have a defense in front of them and with little time for chemistry, the best aptitude is in trying to position the back line!
    Maurer showed the most maturity in administrating this facet and indistribution and has the status of surpassing three all Pro MLS Keepers and 2 Keepers of the year in US in his College stats!
    As you said there is much more to “Keeping”, the just shot blocking!

  7. Naboo says:

    from what i have watched i’m a bit disappointed in the quality of the matches. it’s so hard to judge these fellas knowing theyve never played together and under that amount of pressure with tired legs..however the cb from UNC impressed me today…he was horrible in the VCU vs. UNC match last year

  8. GusG says:

    I was keeper groing up and played the position in college, that’s why i like to give my opinion on that position. I agree with you, communication with the backline is critical, specially in these all-star type of settings since all players are new to each other. I also agree that this is not an ideal setting to evaluate players.

    Now, as far as Attinella, he was the best of the bunch there but unfortunately didn’t get much to do. I disagree in your assessment, i saw him getting down low on shots very quickly and with good reaction time.

    In Restrepo’s case, I’ve seen him play several times as I live in NC and got to watch him last year when UVa played Wake, UNC, and when they played in Cary for the ACC and Nat. Champs. I thought he managed his box very well, and had great decision making when it came to crosses. His distribution is superb with both feet, positioning is excellent and prob has the best reactions of any of the draftable keepers. His “weakness” in MLS eyes is height, even though that doesn’t seem to bother Nick Rimando or Jon Busch, and Restrepo is 2-3 inches taller than both those guys.

    As far as Maurer goes, he was ok at the combine, nothing special. I haven’t seen enough of him to formulate a strong opinion one way or the other, but i really have no clue what “has the status of surpassing three all Pro MLS Keepers and 2 Keepers of the year in US in his College stats!” means. If you’re going the stats route, you might want to look up Steinlage (sp) from Michigan State and Restrepo.

    Just my opinion, you are entitled to yours and I respect it.

  9. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Did most of the GA class skip last year? I forget.

  10. adub says:

    i like joao plata and corey hertzog but then again so did everyone else