Sunday was the first of three match days for the Major League Soccer combine, a prelude to the 2017 MLS SuperDraft on Friday.
In honesty, players should only see their stocks rise from solid performances, as the Combine matches are a mishmash of high-flying talent often shoehorned into positions or formations.
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For example, players who work best at center back are often moved to fullback, where they can be hassled by electric wingers. And a large number of wing prospects with terrific ability up top sometimes fall to a more defensively-responsible outside position.
The biggest shakeup in terms of the draft happened off the field, as Akron freshman Jonathan Lewis signed a Generation Adidas contract making him available for selection on Friday.
Lewis, to put it bluntly, is a stud. The 19-year-old winger posted 12 assists for the Zips and only got better as the year progressed.
Lewis finished the season with two goals and six assists in his last 9 games, including a goal against Ohio State and an NCAA tournament assist versus Villanova.
There could be a trickle down effect here for attacking players. For example, Lewis could slide ahead of Abu Danladi on a draft board. In the case of our mock today — done solely for fun and frivolity — either Danladi or Lewis would be available for Columbus at 5, which would perhaps leave them looking for a defender at 9. So while we had them going Lalas Abubakar (CB) and Russell Cicerone (FW) on our first mock, it’s changed a bit.
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On the field, it was impossible not to notice Louisville’s Daniel Johnson. We had him at 15 to Colorado, but any questions about the American attacker would’ve been answered on Sunday. Another star match this week would make it hard for Atlanta United to pass him the home state kid at 8.
The West Ham Academy product played at Maryland before starring with Louisville, where he unleashed this bullet.
The second match was difficult to analyze thanks to some rough play in the midfield. Brandt Bronico raised his stock, and consensus Top Five pick Abu Danladi showed a flash or two. English striker David Goldsmith finished two chances that make teams think deeper.
Notre Dame defender Brandon Aubrey had a tough day in the opener, but it’s hard to believe anyone’s going to eschew years of strong play based on one performance. Still, another game like this could lead teams to wait on selecting him.
- Minnesota United — Jeremy Ebobisse, FWD (Duke)
- Atlanta United — Miles Robinson, DEF (Syracuse)
- Chicago Fire — Jonathan Lewis, FWD (Akron)
- Houston Dynamo —Lalas Abubakar, DEF (Dayton)
- Columbus Crew — Abu Danladi, FWD (UCLA)
- San Jose Earthquakes — Jackson Yueill, FWD (UCLA)
- Vancouver Whitecaps — Brian Wright, FWD (Vermont)
- Atlanta United — Brandon Aubrey, DEF (Notre Dame)
- Columbus Crew — Reagan Dunk, DEF (Denver)
- Portland Timbers — Shamit Shome, MID (FC Edmonton)
- Chicago Fire — Daniel Johnson, MID (Louisville)
- DC United — Chris Odoi-Atsem, DEF (Maryland)
- Real Salt Lake — Adonijah Reid, FWD (Canada U-20)
- Sporting KC — Napo Matsoso, MID (Kentucky)
- Colorado Rapids — Russell Cicerone, FWD (Buffalo)
- Seattle Sounders — Francis De Vries, DEF (St. Francis PA)
- New York Red Bulls — Eric Klenofsky, GK (Monmouth)
- FC Dallas —Jorge Gomez Sanchez, FWD (Temple)
- Montreal Impact – Julian Gressel, MID (Providence)
- New England Revolution — Jacori Hayes, MID (Wake Forest)
- Toronto FC — Liam Callahan, DEF/MID (Syracuse)
- Seattle Sounders — Justin Schmidt, DEF (Washington)