The last day of the MLS Combine was a good one for a variety of reasons. You had teams talking trade, prospects doing their best to make one last impression and two games that offered some good glimpses of quality play that helped end the Combine festivities on a good note.
So who impressed on the final day? Here are the players who did well, and some who didn’t help themselves:
George Josten– With so many teams needing goal-scoring help, Josten surely boosted his draft stock with a pair of good goals. He moved well, combined well with teammates and finished at a rate that other prospects could only have dreamed of.
Ricardo Pierre-Louis– The most exciting forward prospect at the Combine finally found the net after teasing spectators for two days. His sweet turn and finish with a left-footed blast was the highlight but he played well throughout the day. He should be a early to mid first round pick, unless some team in desperate need of forward help reaches for him.
Roger Espinoza enjoyed his best day and showed the flashes that made him one of the stars of the College Cup final. He still looks like a long-term project but he gave more coaches a reason to consider him as a potential second to third round pick.
Peter Lowry is smooth, active and a difference maker in the attack. He had no goals on Tuesday but continued to play well for the White Team, which enjoyed another romp. I can’t imagine he’ll last beyond the top half of the first round.
Eric Brunner scored a nice goal and looked steady in the back. His stock has recovered from a slow start to the Combine and I think he’s a late-first, early-second round possibility.
Yomby William had another good day and I can’t imagine him being any worse than the third or fourth best central defender on display this weekend. He’s tall, fast and aggressive and left some calling him a poor man’s Andy Iro. I say the gap between the two isn’t all that wide.
Xavier Balc certainly passed the ball well but still hasn’t shown an ability to finish, which became glaringly obvious when he missed an absolute sitter on Tuesday. Balc clearly has good vision and a nice passing touch but still looks a tad slow and didn’t come close to scoring a goal all weekend.
Andy Iro was used some at left and we were reminded that, while he is imposing physically, he really doesn’t have great feet. Iro talked up his play at fullback as an example of his versatility but any MLS coach would be insane to use him at fullback, ever.
El-Hadj Cisse missed a wide-open net from point blank range and continues to look a step slower than teams would like from a forward/winger.
Lukasz Tumicz had a good first day but has really tumbled since. On Tuesday, he struggled to impress and missed some good opportunities.
Casey Latchem had some coaches wondering what he was doing in the time since the College Cup final. He looked out of shape, though his Tuesday was better than his first day. He has some ability but didn’t help himself here, not when the rest of the goalkeepers looked so good.
Maximilliano Damiano is one of the foreign players invited to take part in the Combine. He isn’t available for the draft, but even if he were, I wonder if he would be taken. Damiano looked awful all weekend and saved his worst for last on Tuesday.
That’s all for now. The next Mock Draft is coming soon so stay tuned.