They are the hottest college seniors heading into the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. So hot that they've already penned MLS deals.
Major League Soccer on Monday unveiled the names of five college seniors who earned league contracts before the SuperDraft, which will be held on Thursday, January 17, at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
The fab five are Connecticut midfielder Carlos Alvarez, Boston College midfielder Kyle Bekker, Maryland's John Stertzer and Notre Dame duo Ryan Finley and Dillon Powers.
UConn's Alvarez, a native of Los Angeles, is a central midfielder and expert passer who can change a game with his skills. Many have already slotted him as a high SuperDraft pick, potentially to Chivas USA given that his father played professionally with Chivas Guadalajara (watch his highlight reel and read his full scouting report here).
Stertzer was an all-around midfielder in college, who many expect will slot into defensive midfield in MLS. The NSCAA All-American and first-team All-ACC has earned comparisons to Mikey Stephens and Stephen King (read his full scouting report here).
Boston College's Bekker, a member of Canada's Olympic team, has a style of play in midfield that is being compared to New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty and D.C. United rookie Nick DeLeon (read his full scouting report here).
A goalscorer extraordinaire and finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, Notre Dame's Finley has earned comparisons with Robbie Keane and Ruud van Nistelrooy with his nose for goal and his ability to run off the shoulder of defenders (watch his highlight reel and read his full scouting report here). He ranked second in the nation with 21 goals.
Finley's teammate, Dillon Powers, was the man supplying him with the service at Notre Dame. The US youth international and native of Plano, Tex. played attacking midfielder in college, but he is projected to be more of a defensive or box-to-box midfielder in MLS (watch his highlight reel and read his full scouting report here).
All five players will be competing at the MLS Player Combine, which kicks off on Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.