MLS Combine: Rising and falling stocks after Day Three

Cole Grossman

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MLS

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The 2011 MLS Combine is in the books. So who made a splash during Day 3, the last chance for these players to make an impression before Thursday's MLS SuperDraft? MLSsoccer.com's editorial staff plays day trader, figuring out whose stock went up and whose went down on the last day in Florida.

Stock Up

Travis Clark Jason Saghini Simon Borg
Alex Caskey (MF, Davidson) Chris Korb (D, Akron) Rich Balchan (D, Indiana)

It’s easy to stand out by scoring a goal, but Caskey wrapped up the combine on a high, running well in the midfield.

Korb is overshadowed by two Generation adidas players from his own school that play his position, but on Day 3 he found the ball more and was able to stand out. His ability to play either fullback position will ensure he gets a shot at making a roster, although he’ll certainly be drafted after his two teammates. Match circumstances don’t always allow all 22 players to shine during Combine matches, and that was the case with Balchan at right back during the first two matches. A move to center back and with only minutes left to prove his worth, Balchan showed skill, timing, physical strength and a high soccer IQ typical of IU players.

 

Cole Grossman (MF, Duke)

 

Chris Taylor (D, Tulsa)

 

Paolo Cardozo (MF, Quilmes)

Wasn’t a standout in the second game of the day – which was a scoreless draw – although he was a calming presence in the center of the midfield and combined decently with Stephen McCarthy. Another fullback who has certainly boosted his stock. His simple game was played with confidence and composure that MLS coaches can appreciate. For me, he’s gone from Supplemental pick to a sure 3rd rounder. While Victor Estupiñan and Joao Plata have worked their way up to potential first-round picks, Cardozo was yet to have a standout game. Pushed further up field and with the ability to roam, the Quilmes reserve player was always around the ball to make things happen.

Stock Down

Travis Clark Jason Saghini Simon Borg
Brayan Martinez (MF, Seton Hall) Karl Reddick (MF, Boston College) Michael Farfan (MF, North Carolina)

Horrible miss in the second half summed up his somewhat lackluster combine.

He played several positions at the Combine but never found the game. His move to central midfield today from outside back could’ve been his shot to make an impression, but it never happened. I’d be hard pressed to see him drafted by any team before Tuesday’s Supplemental Draft. Despite his college reputation, Farfan once again failed to impact a single moment of a Combine match. He fades permanently out of matches and showed no extra gear or special ideas with or without the ball.

 

Ashley McInnes (MF, Tulsa)

 

Matt Gold (MF, Ohio State)

 

Blake Brettschneider (MF, South Carolina)

Expectations were relatively high for this midfielder/forward hybrid. He didn’t do anything to distinguish himself in this one, however, and will have to rely on scouts who paid attention to his college career.

Gold came into the combine in the shadow of midfield partner Konrad Warzycha, and was never able to work his way out. A look at left back did not lead to any change, and his overall performance over the three games left much to be desired from a potential central midfielder. He had a handful of strong runs and showed off some good pace, which might be enough promise to get him drafted. But he rarely proved dangerous down the right wing or around the box. He’ll still get drafted, but with a chance to be a Combine star, he missed the boat.

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