The MLS SuperDraft is on January 13, but the players who hope it will be the event that launches their pro soccer careers have one more chance to advance their reputations. The final match day of the College Combine probably won't have too great an impact on the selections made on January 13 - by now, most teams should have made up their minds about the players eligible for the draft - but it is a last opportunity for fans to get a look at those players who might be headed their team's way this year.
The Combine has divided its attendees into four teams: Chaos, Control, Copa, and Tango. Though no one is really keeping score, Teams Control and Tango have had the best of the games played so far: each enjoyed a big win on day 1, and the teams tied each other on Day 2. Team Copa took a 4-0 loss to Tango on the opening day, and bounced back for a 1-0 win over Chaos on Day 2. Team Chaos has lost to Control and Copa.
Individual performances are far more important than those of any team in this event, but it perhaps helps to know that teams Control and Tango seemed to have found a measure of chemistry a little more easily than Chaos and Copa.
With a low pick in all three rounds it is involved in, RBNY's selections will be driven as much by who is still available as who they think is worth drafting. Nonetheless, a few names are floating around with regard to the New York Red Bulls - though they are mostly the product of pure guesswork. The club's only clear statement on its draft-day intentions to date is simply that it will look for the "best player available" when its turn comes.
Center back Walker Hume is OaM's top mock draft pick for RBNY. He's on Team Tango along with highly-rated attacker Abu Danladi, who it has been rumored is on the Red Bulls' wish-list.
Tango also features Miles Robinson, perhaps the highest-rated defensive player in this year's Draft.
On Day 3, Tango plays luckless Team Chaos, which includes full back Colton Storm, who is recommended to RBNY by SBI Soccer and Draft Utopia. Also, OaM's Alex Showell has suggested the Red Bulls might take an interest in defender Kyle Bjornethun or forward Ethan Kutler.
Team Control features 'keeper Eric Klenofsky - picked by RBNY in mlssoccer.com's mock draft - and former Red Bulls trialist Wuilito Fernandes. OaM picked defender Austin Ledbetter in the SBN mock draft, but he has been forced to skip the Combine for medical reasons.
Ledbetter has missed the combine. Blood pressure tested high so had to fly home & get checked out again.https://t.co/BwKuZJ9E6B— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) January 11, 2017
Control plays Team Copa on Day 3. Copa features livewire forward Adonijah Reid, another player on Alex Showell's RBNY watch-list.
Both games will be streamed live on mlssoccer.com.
MLS 2017 College Combine, Match Day 3
When: Thursday, January 12, 2017
Where: StubHub Center, Carson, CA
Game 1: Team Copa vs Team Control @ 1:00 pm, Eastern
Game 2: Team Chaos vs Team Tango @ 2:30 pm, Eastern