How important, for better or worse, is the MLS Combine in relation to a player’s draft prospects?
Eighteen of the 21 players who were first round selections at the 2015 MLS SuperDraft participated in the combine, and it took to pick No. 8 for a non-combine player to be selected (Clement Simonin of NC State).
All five of the Generation Adidas players aren’t heading to the combine. Outside of those five, you’ll see most of Jan. 14’s draftees coming from the Combine.
The 2016 Combine will pit four squads of 15 players against each other for matches on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday. Full rosters are here.
A disclaimer: the MLS Combine is far from ideal. Many players won’t be playing in their natural positions, and most have been out of game action for a month or more.
We’ll list the draft order below, and won’t bother you with a mock draft at this point. But here are some names to monitor over the next five days, ones who could make big moves under the bright lights.
Brandon Vincent, D, Stanford — Jordan Morris is a stud, sure, but his college teammate could honestly be the No. 1 overall pick if Chicago sees it close and personal this week.
Callum Irving, GK, Kentucky — The Canadian backstop played with the Whitecaps Academy before starring for the Wildcats.
Neco Brett, F, Robert Morris — A bit mercurial and undersized, you cannot ignore that Brett scored 15, 14 and 13 goals in his last three seasons in Moon. The Jamaican born striker has speed to burn and a classy touch.
Patrick Hodan, M, Notre Dame — Has a legitimate chance to be a 10-year vet in the league. A solid leader who was invited to Andreas Herzog’s U-23 College ID camp in the summer.
Kyle Fisher, D, Clemson — After a College Cup season with the Tigers, Fisher is poised to be a first year contributed in Major League Soccer.
James Moberg, M, Washington — Big and coming off a season-ending knee injury, the 6-foot-2 senior has a chance to show off the promise of elite playmaking he showed in his first three seasons (6, 9 and 6 assists).
Thomas Sanner, F, Princeton — 6-foot-4 forwards with noses for goal don’t grow on trees, and Sanner is the Tigers’ third-all-time leading scorer with 32 in 64 games.
- Chicago Fire
- Colorado Rapids
- Philadelphia Union
- New York City FC
- Real Salt Lake
- Philadelphia Union
- Orlando City
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Toronto FC
- New England Revolution
- Sporting KC
- L.A. Galaxy
- D.C. United
- Montreal Impact
- Seattle Sounders
- Vancouver Whitecaps
- FC Dallas
- New York Red Bulls
- Columbus Crew
- Portland Timbers