MLS Combine preview: 10 seniors to watch
With just a few days to go before the MLS Combine (Jan. 8-11) and
then, ultimately, the 2011 SuperDraft (Jan. 13), teams are examining
film and making preparations.
There are a total of 54 college
seniors invited to the Combine (in addition to the nine Generation adidas invitees). Here's a look at 10 of those seniors we
think are capable of taking it to the next level.
Justin Meram, F, Michigan
performance in the NCAA Tournament turned some heads. A strong, robust
forward with a nose for goal, nothing has come easy for Meram, who plays
with a chip on his shoulder.
[inline_node:322930]Michael Farfan, M, North Carolina
years after transferring from Cal State Fullerton in search of a bigger
challenge, the attacking midfielder has found success in the ACC. Some
scouts view Farfan as one of a few players who can make a difference in
his rookie year.
Jason Herrick, F, Maryland
forward only hit double-digit goal totals in his senior year with 11 and
had some injury problems, and he missed the whole season in 2007. However,
he's one of the five best senior forwards available, a quality finisher
who scored some very pretty goals last year.
Daniel Keat, M, Dartmouth
box-to-box midfielder from New Zealand, this Kiwi could be a valuable
pickup for a club looking at improving its depth in the middle and out
A.J. Soares, D, California
The Pac-10 Player
of the Year and NSCAA First Team All-American is tabbed as the “Tim
Ream” of 2011. Soares is considered the best senior prospect in central
Jalil Anibaba, D, North Carolina
transfer from Santa Clara prior to 2010, Anibaba was a starter for all
24 games in a Tar Heels uniform. He’s a strong, quick and athletic
center back who will push Soares as the top of the senior defensive
C.J. Sapong, F, James Madison
tools and athleticism are there for Sapong, as well as the drive and
desire. Would certainly add an exciting attacking talent, possibly going
in the second or third round.
[inline_node:322589]Anthony Ampaipitakwong, M, Akron
small, diminutive midfielder with a playmaker’s instinct,
Ampaipitakwong could fit in with the right team. His size factors
against him, but if he works to improve, his strength could be
Cole Grossman, M, Duke
midfielder was one of the Blue Devils' three dangerous weapons in
attack. He boasts an impressive statistical output with 10 goals and
eight assists and could be a valuable second-round pick.
Jeff Attinella, G, South Florida
the best pick of the senior 'keepers, Attinella had a bit of an off
year after finishing as a First Team All-American in 2009. Though he's
currently on trial with a club in Portugal, he would be a good backup if
he elects for MLS.