NEW YORK (Wednesday, Dec. 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.
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.
· Media interested in covering the 2017 adidas MLS Player Combine and/or the 2017 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas should contact Christa Mann (Christa.Mann@MLSsoccer.com) to request a credential.
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2017 adidas MLS Player Combine NCAA DI College Participants
(Alphabetical by last name)