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MLS releases list of Draft Combine invitees

Marcus Tracy (   

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Major League Soccer released the list of 65 players it has invited to the 2009 MLS Player Combine, set for January 9-13 at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Leading the list is Wake Forest All-American and top 2009 MLS Draft prospect Marcus Tracey, a forward who is expected to be one of top two picks in the draft if he signs with MLS.

The list does NOT include Generation adidas players as the list of players to sign with MLS through Generation adidas is still being finalized. Several top college standouts have been linked to potential Generation adidas deals, including Wake Forest's Ike Opara and Maryland's Omar Gonzalez. Generation adidas players and players from Division II and Division III will also be added in the coming weeks.

Here is the current list of 65 invitees:

GOALKEEPERS (7): Chris Brown (Boston College); Evan Bush (University of Akron); Steward Ceus (University of Albany); Alec Dufty (University of Evansville); Neal Kitson (St. John’s University); Milos Kocic (Loyola College); Sean Milligan (Dartmouth College)


DEFENDERS (20): Lyle Adams (Wake Forest University); Calum Angus (Saint Louis University); Trevor Banks (Old Dominion University); Darius Barnes (Duke University); Rhett Bernstein (Brown University); Matt Besler (Notre Dame University); Evan Brown (Wake Forest University); Oscar Castillo (University of Connecticut); Chris Clements (University of Tulsa); AJ Delagarza (University of Maryland); Paul Gerstenberger (Boston College); David Hertel (Michigan State University); Wes Knight (College of Charleston); Otto Loewy (Winthrop University); Yohance Marshall (University of South Florida); Ryan Mirsky (Southern Methodist University); Babjide Ogunbiyi (Santa Clara University); Kyle Russell (Coastal Carolina University); Seth Sinovic (Creighton University); Jack Traynor (Notre Dame University)


MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS (39): Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe (George Mason University); Quincy Amarikwa (University of California-Davis); Brandon Barklage (Saint Louis University); Josh Boateng (Liberty University); Graciano Brito (Quinnipiac University); Pav Castenada (Duke University); Aaron Clapham (University of Louisville); Raphael Cox (University of Washington); Sam Cronin (Wake Forest University); Dylan Curtis (University of California-Davis); Doug DeMartin (Michigan State University); Jokul Elisabetarson (University of North Carolina-Greensboro); Michael Fucito (Harvard University); Andrei Gotsmanov (Creighton University); Mike Grella (Duke University); Alex Grendi (University of Pennsylvania); Juan Guerra (Florida International University); Jeffrey Harwell (Southern Methodist University); Bryan Irwin (University of Portland); Richard Jata (Campbell University); George John (University of Washington); Keum Sung Kim (Loyola University); Michael Lahoud (Wake Forest University); Ryan Maduro (Providence College); Patrick Murray (Furman University); Kyle Patterson (Saint Louis University); Nick Perra (University of California-Santa Barbara); Chris Pontius (University of California-Santa Barbara); Matt Poole (University of Virginia); Akeem Priestley (University of Connecticut); Daniel Revivo (Winthrop University); Tosaint Ricketts (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay); Brad Ring (Indiana University); Chris Salvaggionne (University of North Carolina-Charlotte); Jordan Seabrook (University of South Florida); Marcus Tracy (Wake Forest University); Nick Zimmerman (James Madison University); Graham Zusi (University of Maryland)



What do you think of the group? Which players do you see being first-round picks? Which players are you surprised to see missing from the list?


Share your thoughts below


  1. Excuse me, but what about the upcoming Hermann Trophy winner, Steve Zakuani of Akron. 20 goals in 2008. Oh, oh, I guess this is old material.

  2. Disappointing and hard to believe no-one from North Carolina was invited. They beat Wake 1-0 in the NCAA semifinal and lost 1-0 to Maryland in the final. Brian Shriver (forward) is a prolific scorer and was first team all-ACC; Mike Callahan (midfield) has fantastic ball sense and field vision; he was second team all-ACC, second team all-America, and UNC’s captain. Jordan Graye and Ryan Adeleye are both very strong on defense. Graye is big and fast and can play up as well. Gary Lewis (midfield) was another strong senior, who was key in the semis win over WF.

  3. University of Michigan had a bunch of really good players that could play with anyone on anyday. I watched them the last two seasons and they were solid all around, such a shame none of them got invited.

  4. im from trinidad and i played against yohace marshall, he is everything that makes a successful defender. great leader ,strong, fast and good ball skill. will do well where ever he ends up

  5. They should look at Eric Brannagan-Franco from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He is an awesome keeper and plays with so much intensity – he would be an asset to any team.

  6. Umass keep had huge centerback during 2007 college cup run to absorb direct pressure..i played against them last yr and watched several games and did not expect him to do as well in 2008 without him taking the pounding in front of him. his defensive stats show he did as well..good job zack however team did not score as much…they could not go forward and had to stay back to maintain defensive stats. jmo he’s still a very good keep

  7. I sorry who does the picking!!!

    2009 combine what a joke very disappointed

    This is whats wrong with Soccer in the US.

    Way to much politices.Been involved with

    youth soccer for 20 years. We need to be

    taking the best players,it should not be about who you know.If we are ever going to

    win at the next level we have to start

    making changes.

  8. Dibs – I’m guessing he’s going to grad/med school. He never seemed to be too interested in playing soccer professionally when I was in Amherst.

  9. Ives,

    I know there are usually scrimmages involved with these Draft Combines, are they free to go watch or are they even open to the public at all? I live in Jensen Beach, FL which is about an hour and a half north of Ft. Lauderdale (depending on West Palm traffic). I have had a lack of live soccer since the Olympic Qualifiers in Florida and I’d like to come watch.

  10. Have to back up Adam on Quincy Amarikwa. Reminds me a little of Charlie Davies in terms of attributes and style. Only knock against him is his height but the kid can flat out play. Very athletic. Great in the air (despite his height). Good poacher in the box. Plays hard defense for a forward. And great touch and skill on the ball. Provided he keeps a level head, I definitely expect him to make an impact.

  11. It’s great to see 3 SLU guys represent! Angus is a solid defender with a great offensive side as well. Barklage is a total workhorse. Patterson has the speed and strength to succeed in MLS. It will be interesting to see what Angus and Patterson do, as they are both English. I wonder if they will pursue options overseas.

    Other guys from SLU to consider: Dado Hamzagic and Eric Sweetin, who were also very solid players hampered by injury.

  12. O’Brian White is indeed still recovering from his injury.

    Where did you hear about Tousaint Ricketts testing the waters abroad, jloome?

  13. I played against Marcus Tracy in High School…Let me tell you Ives the kid has a bright future adhead of him…Anyone remember what he did last year in the NCAA Championship…He won the title for Wake Forest

  14. Come on Seabrook and Marshall!

    Also, I don’t know why Neal Kitson was invited. He couldn’t emotionally handle like 10 crazy dudes from USF yelling, I don’t know how he’d last against the Red Patch Boys or Nordecke.

  15. Sterling Flunder from Marshall is a great player. He deserves to play somewhere. The kid is fast and also played PDL this last summer.

  16. I played with Darius Barnes in high school. One of the best players I’ve ever had the pleasure of being on the same team with. I promise he’s going to impress at the combine.

  17. Seattle, TFC(from SJ for Ronnie O), LA, TFC, FCD, DCU, DCU (from Colorado for C. Gomez), KC, Chivas, NER, FCD (from SJ/Houston for Kamara trade), RSL, TFC (from Chicago for McBride’s rights), NYRB, NER (from C-bus for Noonan’s rights)

  18. I live in Louisville and have had the chance to follow attacking-mid Aaron Clapham the past few season. He’s got really good soccer brain and is excellent on free kicks. I’m not sure if his speed of play and physical attributs are on-par with MLS material. His status as an international (New Zealand U20) will hurt him as well.

  19. Thanks for posting this Ives.

    I’m guessing you’ll be doing a piece about potential stand-outs a bit nearer the SuperDraft, but any idea on who, out of this list, will be picked early on and why? Not including the GA list, obviously.



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