By DARRELL LOVELL
Teams looking for a dynamic forward in the MLS Super Draft have two more options. Thursday Major League Soccer announced the addition of forwards Kekuta Manneh and University of Central Florida’s Deshorn Brown as the sixth and seventh members of the 2013 Generation Adidas class.
Both forwards will be at the MLS combine, which starts Friday, to show off what they can do in front of coaching staffs from around the league.
Manneh, 18, could have the most to show off. From reports the 5-foot-9 Gambian striker is an elusive attacker showed at the PDL level with the Austin Aztex, after a strong youth career, to be able to beat back lines and make opposing teams pay. Still, the speedster is young and will need to show at the combine he can perform against qualify, physical competition.
Still, Manneh offers the type of upside that a team could take a chance on early in the draft considering GA contracts do not count against the salary cap.
Brown was a goal scoring revelation in his junior season at UCF with 13 goals in just 16 games. While Manneh is elusive, Brown offers out-and-out speed. The Jamaican striker showed at the NCAA level to be able to punish teams who have a temptation to push their line the field, something many teams covet.
Manneh and Brown join Virginia Commonwealth’s Jason Johnson and Eriq Zavaleta (Indiana University), MF Mikey Lopez (University of North Carolina) and DEFs Andrew Farrell (University of Louisville) and Walker Zimmerman (Furman University). All besides Zimmerman – who is injured – will participate in the combine.
COMBINE PARTICIPANTS ADDED
In addition to Manneh and Brown, MLS added 13 players to the combine roster to drive the total number of participants to 72.
Of the 13 additions, nine come the NCAA senior class: Brian Fekete (University of Tampa), Michael Bustamante (Boston University), Charlie Rugg (Boston College), Dylan Remick (Brown University), Jack Bennett (St. John’s University), Ryan Clark (Monmouth University), Lebogang Moloto (Lindsey Wilson College [NAIA]), Stephen Okai (University of Mobile [NAIA]), and Drew Beckie (University of Denver).
Also added to the class were four youth internationals – MF Franco Donado (Colombia), MF Junior Padilla (Honduras), MF Stefano Pinho (Brazil) and FWD Kevin Mercado (Ecuador) – who will arrive in Florida Friday to try and impress the MLS coaching contingent.