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MLS 2016 kicks off with combine

The first tangible action of the new season kicks off this week as MLS hopefuls gather in Florida to impress potential new teams

Saad Abdul-Salaam impressed Sporting KC in last years combine
Saad Abdul-Salaam impressed Sporting KC in last years combine
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The MLS season starts to ramp up today. The schedule comes out in the afternoon (hopefully) and all of the teams have staff in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for the 2016 adidas MLS Player Combine. The combine runs from Jan. 7-12 and leads right into the MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore on the 14th. Shortly after that players will start reporting, training camps will open and preseason will be underway.

The Combine

MLS has invited 60 college players and split them into four teams of 15 each although there may still be some late additions. There were players dropped and some added from the original list.

The combine teams will each play three matches at Central Broward Regional Park on Jan. 8, Jan. 10 and Jan. 12.

Friday, Jan. 8

Team X vs. Team Ace (2 pm)
Team Control vs. Team Chaos (3:45 pm)

Sunday, Jan. 10

Team X vs. Team Control (12 pm)
Team Ace vs. Team Chaos (1:45 pm)

Tuesday, Jan. 12

Team Ace vs. Team Control (10 am)
Team X vs. Team Chaos (11:45 am)

A surprise omission

One surprise to some Sporting Kansas City fans is that former academy player Eric DeJulio was not invited. He has by all accounts had an outstanding year and led Creighton deep into the Men's College Cup.

When DeJulio did not appear on the list there was speculation that Sporting KC might be signing him to a homegrown contract but it appears that is not the case. It looks more likely that MLS just did not want to take too many from one college and there is already three players from Creighton invited.

The Teams

Coaching assignments and current rosters for the four teams follow below:

Team Ace

Name

School

Position

Hometown/Citizenship

Duncan Backus

UCSB

D

Higland Village, TX; USA

Justin Bilyeu

SIU-Edwardsville

D

St. Louis, MO; USA

Jonathan Campbell

North Carolina

D

Greensboro, NC; USA

Zach Carroll

Michigan State

D

Grand Blanc, MI; USA

Robert 'T.J.' Casner

Clemson

F

Irvine, CA; USA

Tsubasa Endoh

Maryland

M

Tokyo, Japan; Japan

Josh Heard

Washington

M

Victoria, BC; Canada/UK

Callum Irving

Kentucky

GK

Vancouver, BC; Canada

Darius Madison

UMBC

F

Philadelphia, PA; USA

Zach Mathers

Duke

M

Keller, TX; USA

James 'C.' Nortey

Marquette

F

Accra, Ghana; Ghana

Keegan Rosenberry

Georgetown

D

Ronks, PA; USA

Tyler Thompson

Stanford

M

Sacramento, CA; USA

Taylor Washington

George Mason

D

Somers, NY; USA

Todd Wharton

Virginia

M

Glen Allen, VA; USA

Team Ace Coaches - Head Coach: Greg Andrulis (George Mason); Asst. Coach: Junior Gonzalez (Seattle Sounders)

Team Chaos

Name

School

Position

Hometown/Citizenship

Neco Brett

Robert Morris

F

Kingston, Jamaica; Jamaica

Paul Clowes

Clemson

M

Cheshire, UK; UK

Liam Doyle

Ohio State

D

Isle of Man, UK; UK

Kyle Fisher

Clemson

D

Easley, SC; USA

Ryan Herman

Washington

GK

Fall City, WA; USA

Patrick Hodan

Notre Dame

M

Brookfield, WI; USA

Femi Hollinger-Janzen

Indiana

F

Goshen, IN; USA

Connor Klekota

Notre Dame

MF

Amherst, OH; USA

Max Lachowecki

Notre Dame

D

Evansville, IN; USA

Jordan McCrary

North Carolina

D

Marietta, GA; USA

Chase Minter

Cal Poly

M

Heath, TX; USA

Kyle Parker

Charlotte

F

Marvin, NC; USA

Michael Salazar

UC Riverside

F

Cayo, Belize; USA/Belize

Cole Seiler

Georgetown

D

Anderson, SC; USA

Keegan Smith

San Diego

F

Temecula, CA; USA

Team Chaos Coaches -- Head Coach: Kris Kelderman (Wisconsin-Milwaukee); Asst. Coach: Jeff Baicher (DeAnza Force)

Note: Kelderman was an assistant for the Wizards

Team Control

Name

School

Position

Hometown/Citizenship

Tony Alfaro

Cal State-Dominguez Hills

D

Santa Barbara, CA; USA/Mexico

Hadji Barry

UCF

F

Rochester, NY; Guinea

Colin Bonner

UNC Wilmington

F

Fulton, MD; USA

Tyler David

Saint Louis

M/D

Minneapolis, MN; USA

Ryan James

Bowling Green

M

Mississauga, ON; Canada

Jamie Luchini

Lehigh

F

Wexford, PA; USA

Mitchell Lurie

Rutgers

D

Atlanta, GA; USA

Antonio Matarazzo

Columbia

M

Fair Lawn, NJ; USA/Italy

Alex Morrell

North Florida

F

Lakeland, FL; USA

Timo Pitter

Creighton

M/F

Oberschwarzach, Germany; Germany

Thomas Sanner

Princeton

F

Indianapolis, IN; USA

Rodrigo Saravia

Florida Gulf Coast

M

Guatemala City, Guatemala; Guatemala

Connor Sparrow

Creighton

GK

St. Louis, MO; USA

Josh Turnley

Georgetown

D

Beaver, PA; USA

Eric Verso

Stanford

M

Los Angeles, CA; USA

Team Control Coaches -- Head Coach: Kevin Anderson (Columbia); Asst. Coach: Bryan Scales (New England Revolution)

Team X

Name

School

Position

Hometown/Citizenship

Emmanuel Appiah

Cincinnati

M

Westerville, OH; USA

Dennis Castillo

VCU

D

San Jose, Costa Rica; Costa Rica

Mikhail Doholis

Oregon State

M

Vancouver, WA; USA

Michael Gamble

Wake Forest

F

Columbia, MD; USA

Wade Hamilton

Cal Poly

GK

Murrieta, CA; USA

Vincent Keller

Creighton

D/M

Freiburg, Germany; Germany

Sven Lissek

Furman

GK

Sewau, Germany; Germany

Ivan Magalhaes

Maryland

D

Sao Paulo, Brazil; Brazil

Vincent Mitchell

Butler

M

Reckford Clarendon, Jamaica; Jamaica

James Moberg

Washington

M

Windsor, CA; USA

Norberto Ochoa

UC-Riverside

F

Riverside, CA; USA

Ben Polk

Syracuse

F

Herkimer, NY; USA/UK

Miguel Salazar

Elon

D/M

Tucson, AZ; USA/Mexico

Mitchell Taintor

Rutgers

M

Storrs, CT; USA

Brandon Vincent

Stanford

D

Valencia, CA; USA

Team X Coaches -- Head Coach: Jared Embick (Akron); Asst. Coach: Larry Sunderland (Portland Timbers)