By FRANCO PANIZO
The second day of the MLS Combine is complete, and as expected, there were much better performances from a team and individual standpoint.
The weather conditions improved in Ft. Lauderdale and so did the level of play, with some of Day One's top performers continuing to impress.
Midfielder Tony Tchani continued to deliver the goods, as did defender Ike Opara, who only played the second half of Condivo's 2-1 victory over Predator X. F50i forward Teal Bunbury and Jabulani midfielder Drew Yates also enjoyed strong second day showings.
One player who did well during Monday's matches after being quiet on Day One was midfielder Austin da Luz. The Wake Forest product delivered some deadly crosses and also had a pair of precise long passes. Along with his sharp passes from distance, da Luz also showed off an ability to take his opponents 1-v-1. He credited his performance, as well as the day's overall play, to the better understanding the players had with one another.
"Everyone settled down a bit and found a rhythm, and that made the game better," said da Luz.
While da Luz had a good day, his teammate, midfielder Corben Bone, did not play as well as he would have hoped. Bone felt that the day's overall play improved, but that he did himself no favors by trying too hard.
"I think I got a little away from myself. I started to play too tricky, and for the third game I will probably go back to the basics," said Bone. "Pass and move is the best thing you can do here, and not do any of the tricky sutff I tried today. That kind of got me in a rut."
Other players who struggled on Monday were Jack McInerney, Kevin Tangney and Andrew Wiedeman.
As for other lesser-touted players that impressed, Eric Alexander looked good as did Dilly Duka, who was among Monday's best. Duka bounced back from a slow first day by terrorizing U-17 USMNT defender Zac Herold, and wreaking havoc against Jabulani's back four. Duka also demonstrated some bite to his game, a surprising trait considering his size.
Duka and the rest of the prospects have one final shot to leave lasting impressions on MLS coaches on Tuesday, before finding out their fates in Thursday's MLS Draft.
What do you think of some of these Day 2 performances? Happy to hear Duka impressed? Think Bone will see his stock plummet? How do you rate da Luz?
Share your thoughts below.