NEW YORK (Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017) – Major League Soccer today announced the initial 60 NCAA DI college players invited to participate in the 2018 adidas MLS Player Combine. Top collegiate players from across the country will showcase their talents in front of representatives from all 23 MLS clubs in Orlando, FL from Jan. 11-17, 2018. All invited players will be eligible for selection in the 2018 SuperDraft presented by adidas which will take place on Friday, Jan. 19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia in conjunction with the United Soccer Coaches Convention.
Seven semifinalists for the 2017 Men’s MAC Hermann Trophy headline this year’s list of initial invitees. Wake Forest University forward Jon Bakero, who has totaled 10 game-winning goals in his career, is a third-team All-ACC honoree (2015), ACC All-Tournament Team honoree (2016) and NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team honoree (2016). Bakero joins Stanford University defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce as a MAC Hermann trophy finalist. Hilliard-Arce was named the Pac-12 Defender of the Year after clinching a third straight NCAA national championship. Leading Western Michigan was midfielder Brandon Bye, who was named the MAC Player of the Year with the help of 12 goals and five assists in just 17 games. Jon Gallagher of Notre Dame University makes the MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalists list just one year after being named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year with 14 goals and seven assists, while Louisville University defender Tim Kubel is a MAC Hermann trophy semifinalist for the second straight year. Dartmouth College defender Wyatt Omsberg was included in the 2017 College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer Preseason All-America lists. Omsberg was also named the 2016 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Rounding out the group is UNC Chapel Hill forward Alan Winn, who led the Tar Heels to the NCAA Men’s College Cup with 11 goals, second in the ACC along with .69 goals per game.
A mix of collegiate soccer head coaches and MLS Academy personnel will make up the Combine coaching staff. University of Wisconsin-Madison head coach John Trask, Indiana University head coach Todd Yeagley, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee head coach Kris Kelderman and East Tennessee State head coach Bo Oshoniyi will serve as the head coaches for the four Combine teams. The assistant coaches will be FC Dallas Academy Director Luchi Gonzalez, NYCFC Academy Director Rodrigo Marion, New England Revolution Director of Youth Development Bryan Scales and Solar Soccer Club Head of Soccer Operations, Executive Director of Coaching Elite Programs and Technical Director Adrian Solca.
2018 adidas MLS Player Combine NCAA DI College Participants
(Alphabetical by last name)