Sunday marked the midway point for the 2013 Major League Soccer Combine. Monday will be more player interviews with clubs followed by the last round of matches on Tuesday to wrap up the combine. Here is a link heavy recap of what has happened so far.
Friday, January 11th
The combine kicked on Friday with two matches. 8 goals were tallied in the first day. In the early game, adiPower played to a 2-2 draw against Prime. John Stertzer, Carlos Alvarez and Kekuta Manneh (who are all players projected as possible Fire draftees) each had goals in the match.
In the second match of the day, adiZero topped adiPure 4-0. Dillon Powers, midfielder from Notre Dame, had the goal of the day with this blast:
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Powers added an assist late in the game to go along with that goal.
MLSSoccer's Josh Whisenhunt is writing a combine diary. On day one, Whisenhunt spotted the Fire Front Office at the combine:
...while Frank Klopas and his staff had already commandeered a massive conference room next to the lobby for two reasons: One, so the Fire braintrust could discuss their next moves as a group. Two, so everyone else could see them discussing their next moves as a group. This is fun.
Whisenhunt mentions Frank Klopas again in his day two post:
Chelís is here! As you might expect, he wasn't super social, preferring to stand off to the side of the bleachers or watch from the box up above. We saw Frank Klopas meander over to the Chivas USA boss at one point, but then again, Klopas was meandering over to everyone. He's up to something down here.
I'm not really sure what to make of this. Whisenhunt makes it sound like Klopas and the Fire FO really have something in the works down here. Is Whisenhunt trying to funny? Like, "there's ol' Frankie Klopas, always up to somethin'" kind of funny? Or is there really something to this? Maybe a trade to get another draft pick or two? Dominic Oduro was pretty vocal after the season ended because he's not happy sitting on the bench, and I can't really see Oduro starting on a regular basis in 2013.
Saturday, January 12th
Saturday was a bit of a down day as players interviewed with clubs. The only thing of real note from Saturday was the speed, strength and agility test. Simon Borg has a quick write-up with the top 5 results from each category. The only player to finish in the top 5 of all three categories was New Mexico's Blake Smith. The only two other players fished in the top five of more than one category were Santa Clara's Erik Hurtado and Northeastern's Don Anding.
Ives Galacep noted a few interesting off-day observations that he has noticed at the combine so far.
Sunday, January 13th
In Sunday's matches, adiZero outlasted adiPower 3-2. The big news of the day was that two Canadian U23 players, Kyle Bekker and Emery Welchman, both scored the first two goals in this match and also assisted each other as well. Stefano Pinho, a forward from Brazil, scored both goals for adiPower. Pinho now has 3 goals during the combine, but according to the guys on MLS' The Daily, he has not done much else.
The other game today was between Prime and adiPure. It ended in a 0-0 draw.
Two players want to go to Chivas?
Also on Sunday, MLS Soccer reported that Generation Adidas/North Carolina midfielder Mikey Lopez stated that he would like to play for Chivas USA:
"I want to go to Chivas USA," Lopez told MLSsoccer.com this week. "From what I have heard of Chivas USA, I like what they want to do."
Franco Panizo wrote about another Mexican-American player, Carlos Alvarez, stating the same thing over at Soccer By Ives. According to the article, Carlos' father played for Chivas de Guadalajara, and his hometown is Los Angeles. According to Josh Whisenhunt, it sounds like Chivas USA is eyeing up one of these players. Let's hope that Chelis is aiming to do more than set up shop as a feeder team for Chivas de Guadalajara.
Vancouver Whitecaps Big Announcement
This is slightly unrelated to the combine, but the Vancouver Whitecaps announced on Sunday that they signed Brad Rusin, a centerback from the Carolina Railhawks. Rusin is just 26 years old, stands at 6'4" and played 33 matches for Danish side, HB Køge. Rusin played for Whitecaps coach, Martin Rennie, when Rennie was the head man in Carolina. I don't know much about Rusin, but I wouldn't have complained if the Fire picked up a big, young centerback who spent some time in the Danish league.