Well, my initial plan was to watch the two MLS combine matches that were played yesterday after I got off of work late last night, and then have a post giving my thoughts on each match, and who I thought helped and who hurt their draft stock. I should have known that, for as much as MLS has grown over the past few years, they are still a good decade behind leagues such as the NFL, MLB, and NBA in a number of aspects.
I mean this in regards to that fact that replays of the two matches weren't available. So basically, you only had a chance to check out all of the combine prospects if you just happened to either; A) not be working on a Friday, or B) you had a job in which you could have enough free time to actually watch the live stream of the matches. Neither happened to be me, so I missed out, and thus, all I have to give you in the way of MLS Combine action are these links.
As a sports fan one thing I love is having "access." Which means access to things such as the combine. The NFL figured this out, and now you can watch prospects run a forty yard dash, throw a football a mile, and jump as far as they can. And the NFL allows you to watch it 24/7. I know, I know...boring stuff to the average fan, but to fan geeks such as myself, it's stuff we absolutely can't get enough of.
Don't get me wrong; streaming the combine matches was a very good idea, but the next step is to make these matches available for replay so that the overwhelming large amount of us that are working and don't have access to a computer at our jobs can still be able to have access to them.
On the bright side of things, I'm guessing that by the year 2018, MLS will have figured this out and I'll be a happy camper. Until then, let these links tide you over. Sounds like Chandler Hoffman (UCLA), Ryan Meara (Fordham), Enzo Martinez (UNC), and Brendan King (Notre Dame) were among the players that helped their draft stock on day one of the combine.
Besides the match reports on both combine games, you'll also find a very good read from Ives Galarcep in which he points out how MLS is slowly moving away from Generation Adidas, and moving more towards MLS academies. Galarcep also gives a run down on all of the players in the 2012 Generation Adidas class.
Over at MLSReserves.com, senior writer Luke Lohr weighs in on Omar Gonzalez's ACL injury, and whether or not loan deals are worth it in regards to some of MLS top-notch talent.
MLSsoccer.com's panel of Simon Borg, Jason Saghini, and Travis Clark voted on a Mock MLS SuperDraft, and all three had Sporting Kansas City choosing a different player. To be honest, I don't think Sporting will go fullback in the first round, but then again, we are talking about Peter Vermes; a man who isn't afraid to shake things up.
And finally, USMNT U-23 head coach Caleb Porter named his roster for the upcoming camp in anticipation for the upcoming CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying. Andrew Wenger (Duke), and Kelyn Rowe (UCLA) were the only two college prospects named to the squad.
Catch all of The Daily Links after the jump...
Chandler Hoffman’s goal in the 80th minute earned adiPower a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Prime in the first game of the 2012 MLS Combine. Hoffman (UCLA) snuck in behind the Prime’s back line onto a slip pass from Lucky Mkosana (Dartmouth) and beat goalkeeper Jhojan Obando (Providence College) to earn the victory after adiPower trailed 2-1 in the second half.
Enzo Martinez missed a penalty in the 80th minute of the second game of the 2012 MLS Combine as adiPure and adiZero drew 0-0. Martinez (North Carolina) – a Generation adidas signing who was the best player on the pitch for long stretches – skied his spot kick before the final whistle, as neither side could find the back of the net thanks in part to the strong goalkeeping of Ryan Meara (Fordham) for adiZero and Chris Blais (South Florida) of adiPure.
Major League Soccer had a clear strategy when it set about building the 2012 Generation adidas class. After years of escalating salaries and overspending, league officials decided it was time to rein in costs and shift more resources toward signing MLS academy talent. It was a sensible change in philosophy, but change is never easy, even if the league succeeded in building a Generation adidas class for less money. There was nothing subtle about this shift in policy. When the latest wave of talented college underclassmen lined up for their piece of what had in recent years been a healthy Generation adidas pie, they found the servings to be a fraction of what previous classes had enjoyed. With little in the way of notice or warning that fiscal parameters were about to change, the same agents who had helped push the inflation of GA contracts suddenly found themselves having to explain to their new clients that the money that used to be there just wasn’t anymore.
One day into training with FC Nurnberg, Omar Gonzalez has torn his ACL. The injury was sustained in training after a collision with fellow American Timmy Chandler. Gonzalez will now return to the Galaxy to undergo treatment. The typical recovery time for an ACL tear is 4-6 months depending on treatment and the athlete in question. Particularly troubling is that Gonzalez turned down his first call up to the national team under Jurgen Klinsmann. The injury brings to light the ongoing debate about whether or not so many MLS players should be going on loan to European. The questions raised by seeing the mecca of MLSers to Europe this off-season are valid ones, but perhaps not as crucial as some are making it out to be.
The 2012 MLS SuperDraft is just days away (Jan. 12, noon ET; ESPN2 and ESPN3), and our experts have differing views on who’s headed where and which teams and players will make the biggest splash. With the MLS Combine set to kick off on Friday, Jan. 6 (live coverage of all the matches on MLSsoccer.com), Simon Borg, Jason Saghini and college beat writer Travis Clark present their mock drafts for both rounds of the SuperDraft. Watch for the update to the mock draft after the Combine.
Caleb Porter is getting the band back together. The US Under-23 men's national team coach on Friday named a 22-man squad to participate in training camp at the Home Depot Center ahead of CONCACAF's Olympic qualifying tournament, and the roster includes 18 players who were part of Porter's camp last month in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. The roster includes 11 MLS players, three college players who will likely be picked in next week's MLS SuperDraft and a few new additions, especially at the forward position: Josh Gatt, Tony Taylor and Isaac Acuña are among the new faces.
The first official day of the 2012 MLS Combine began and ended like almost every day of every combine I’ve attended: in a parade of sweaty, tired men in athletic gear. Stepping into the lobby around 9 am, the first person I saw was Montreal coach Jesse Marsch, who’d just come in from a morning run on the beach. When asked about the weather outside, he replied, “Not bad. Certainly beats Montreal right now.” Yeah, I’ll bet it does.