Fort Lauderdale, FL – adiPure and adiZero ended the combine like it began with a scoreless draw.
1st half (adiPure White)
F: Jason Herrick (MD), Matt Eliason (NW)
M: Josue Soto (SMU), John Rooney, Dustin McCarty (UNC), Hector Jimenez (Cal)
D: Jeb Brovsky(ND), Jalil Anibaba (UNC), Eddie Ababio (UNC), Demetrius Omphroy (Cal)
GK: Jimmy Maurer (USC)
2nd half (adiPure White)
F: Davis Paul (Cal), Matt Eliason (NW)
M: Brayan Martinez (Seton Hall), John Rooney, Lebogang Pila (St. Peter’s), Josue Soto (SMU)
D: Greg King (UConn), Jalil Anibaba (UNC), Curtis Ushedo (UAB), Demetrius Omphroy (Cal)
GK: Jimmy Maurer (USC)
1st half (adiZero blue)
F: Will Bruin (IU), Ernesto Carranza (Sac St),
M: Joao Plata, Stephen McCarthy (UNC), Cole Grossman (Duke), Michael Farfan (UNC)
D: J.T. Murray (Louisville), Tyler Lassiter (NC State), Leone Cruz (SMU), Charlie Campbell (Louisville)
GK: Josh Ford (UConn)
2nd half (adiZero blue)
F: Steven Perry (ND), Amani Walker (UCI)
M: Andy Adlard (IU), Stephen McCarthy (UNC), Tommy Drake (Clemson), Mathues Braga (PSU)
D: Tyler Lassiter (NC State), Indy Smith (UNCW), Leone Cruz (SMU), Bilal Duckett (ND)
GK: Josh Ford (UConn)
The third day is a day where the players are tired and are being asked to play in different situations.
Who had a good game (or played better than I expected)?
- Tommy Drake (Clemson) good deep cross that Braga tried to get too clever and messed up. good defense on King, but lost another ball to him; from 1/10/11 (-), poor performance. lacking concentration mis-played several ball; From 1/8/11 (adequate), created space and was able to get the cross away but Warshaw made a good play to block the cross for a corner kick. Everybody likes the Drake.
- Leone Cruz (SMU) willing to hit hard on tackles – seemed to particularly like to hit Herrick.; from 1/10/11 (-), good in the air. long ball to no one. first touch on a break-away put the ball in the path of Banks rather into a more favorable position. ; From 1/8/11 (observe), no notes on his play in the 2nd half.
- Josh Ford (UConn) tremendous stops on several shots ; from 1/10/11 (-), came out and didn’t get the ball – can’t allow that to happen. good in the air, but needs to hold the ball and not just deflect it wide.; From 1/8/11 (-), moves well. He forced a break-away very wide with his feet, but it wound up going for a goal. Ford hesitates on his first step coming out – in the second half. Duckett didn’t do Ford any favors on a high hard ball back to him that Ford didn’t handle very well. Ford needs to cleanly catch Sarkodie’s cross that led to the first goal.
- Charlie Campbell (Louisville) brilliant ball to Walker’s head that would have been dangerous, but Attinella made a heroic effort to punch it away. many solid stops. Speed against him is his challenge. Showed well. ; from 1/10/11 (adequate), playing much more physically and with more urgency. good defensive positioning on Tetteh, but giving too much space trying to force the pass rather than getting beat by speed. Good in the air; From 1/8/11 (-), got a shot off, but looked to be stationed as more of a forward than a wide midfielder. I’d like to see more work rate and combining with his midfielders. Additionally, I’d like to see him get around the corner.
- Ernesto Carranza (Sac State) very active, getting into good positions to receive the ball – this is not the same work rate that I saw him play with at Sacramento State early in the year. He was much more passive ; from 1/10/11 (+), very strong on the ball. good dribbling and trying to get his team mates involved (but not too successfully); From 1/8/11 (adequate), and Matheus Braga (PSU) interchanged between central midfield and left midfield. Neither was impressive in creating good opportunities. I expect that both would be pinging balls to the far post that Bruin (and Walker if on the field) would be finishing.
- Jimmy Maurer (USC) made a couple of clutch saves ; from 1/10/11 (-), erratic play calling for ball but having to use his thigh and then follow with a wild clearance ; From 1/8/11 (-), needs to convince teams that his height is not a reason to bypass him. He called for a cross and the ball went over his head. He wasn’t faced with a shot that he needed to stop that was extraordinary. I still like Maurer.
- Jason Herrick (MD) made the play that should have led to a goal. Received a long ball pulling the goal keeper to him before slotting the ball into the middle, but Martinez took 2 touches (1 too many) and the empty goal was closed either by Smith or Murray (I don’t recall); from 1/10/11 (+), scored a goal by savvy at the back post. He knows how to play, If he had just 1 more gear. ; From 1/8/11 (+), nice quick 1 or 2 touch passes were finding his team mates. In the 2nd half, Herrick had the best scoring opportunity combining with Demetrius Omphroy (Cal) and Hector Jimenez (Cal).
- Hector Jimenez (Cal) hit the post on a shot from the outside of his right foot. stole the ball from Grossman. Reminds me of Fred (MLS Fred) – slight, technical, quick; from 1/10/11 (+), had the best cross with a worming burning pass that found the foot of Soto but was wasted. Concerns if he could handle the physical MLS midfielders and defenders. shoots hard.; From 1/8/11 (adequate), drifted too central taking away Herrick’s space. He did combine with Herrick for a good shot. Jimenez had a rocket of a shot
- John Rooney terrific through ball to Eliason but was saved by a superlative effort from the goal keeper. weak in the air; from 1/10/11 (+), much more activity playing centrally. nice turn with pressure. I like how he transitioned to defense on the corner kicks making a long run for recovery. Had a nice 30 yard shot that bounced in front of the goal keeper (but was deflected wide), scored a goal in the second half ; From 1/8/11 (adequate), hit a sweet free kick that was goal bound, but was saved by Joe Willis (Denver).
- Jeb Brovsky (ND) one of the most interesting players. willing to attack high balls. plays both ways. served an entry ball, but Herrick was off-side . had several stops on Murray ; from 1/10/11 (+), playing left back – did appreciably well, shutting down Houapeu. Then, stopped Meram. Tracks the ball well on headers. ; From 1/8/11 (-), tried to get involved in the play, but his passing was inconsistent and his touch creates more problems than opportunities. He was better in the second half when he made simpler passes.
- Jeff Attinella (USF) nice get on a high ball to Walker ; from 1/10/11 (adequate), Surprisingly didn’t have much to do with his quality defense in front of him. ; From 1/8/11 (adequate), made a good play on a Ashley McInnes (Tulsa) cross that he snagged to break-up the play.
Who was adequate?
- Andy Adlard (IU) good first touch forced Martinez to foul. positive plays in the open field.; from 1/10/11 (-), not able to generate any offense. drifted forward resulting being in the way of Perry (the forward) ; From 1/8/11 (+), crossed the ball into the box in the second half on several occasions that weren’t finished.
- Amani Walker (UCI) Courageously went up on a high cross from Campbell, but Attinella punched it away.; from 1/10/11 (-), ineffective. Tried playing below Perry. Poor head flick – out-of-bounds. Free-kick off target, but dangerous low and just wide. ; From 1/8/11 (+), used his big body in the box, including getting a shot off in the first half that was deflected. I like Walker the closer that he gets to the goal – I’m positive that playing him as a withdrawn forward playing at Drake limited his effectiveness. He tracked down the ball into the corner and provided service to Plata but he mis-hit the shot.
- Bilal Duckett (ND) got forward, but Farfan didn’t find him. Rangy runner with good ups. Did satisfactory on defense. reminds me of watching Wallace (MD) play left back when he first started back there. ; from 1/10/11 (observe), no comment; From 1/8/11 (adequate), was adept at turning with Houapeu pressuring. Duckett held his own against the quickness of Houapeu. I thought that Duckett was more of a central player, that he might be able to play right back is a plus.
- Matheus Braga (PSU) good defense early. good free kick to find Walker’s head. Didn’t add enough to the attack; from 1/10/11 (-), isn’t moving well. holding the ball too long and getting dispossessed. ; From 1/8/11 (adequate), and Ernesto Carranza (Sac State) interchanged between central midfield and left midfield. Neither was impressive in creating good opportunities. I expect that both would be pinging balls to the far post that Bruin (and Walker if on the field) would be finishing. Braga needs others around him to be effective.
- Cole Grossman (Duke) good long pass to Murray down the sideline. dispossessed by aggressive defenders; from 1/10/11 (+), scored 1st goal. transitions well from defense to offense. needs to make hard tackles and not rely on finesse. ; From 1/8/11 (adequate), playing deep midfield provided a few balls, but he needs to do more. Additionally, I need to watch his defensive positioning and tackling.
- Will Bruin (IU) finding space behind Ushedo getting a shot of with his head. had a daring shot that the goal keeper stopped ; from 1/10/11 (+), MOTM involved in all 3 goals. Powerful force. Took a 30 yard bullet that the goal keeper could only deflect away; From 1/8/11 (adequate), had a few chances including an Adlard cross that he put wide. Bruin showcased his surprising quickness. I’d like to see him and Walker up-top together.
- Stephen McCarthy (UNC) set up a Farfan shot and a Perry shot – but the former was too high and the latter was blocked. ; from 1/10/11 (adequate), started out much more composed, then started slowing down his running and the ball. intimidating force in the air ; From 1/8/11 (-), played a slow, soulless match. His passing was pathetic. He’s thinking too much. With his teammate in the middle I expected a much better performance. Then, again, he’s already signed, so he’ll be drafted.
- Michael Farfan (UNC) very active in the attack including initiating an attack where Bruin got behind the defense. Took a shot early when McCarthy set him up; from 1/10/11 (adequate), disappeared for much of the half, occasionally popping up to get involved. ; From 1/8/11 (adequate), was involved early but seemed to fade out as the match continued. He had a shot that was blocked by Warshaw. He combined with Plata to get behind the defense, but the GK got to the Plata pass. Farfan needs to take more responsibility for the play.
- Jalil Anibaba (UNC) went forward into the attack, reminds me that he used to play in the midfield. Made a poor head flick back to his goal keeper (off-target). His passing technique is odd, his toe points up, not level. ; from 1/10/11 (+), continues to be the man with his hawking control of the defensive middle. His left foot is geared to find his front-runners ; From 1/8/11 (+), stock rising with a big game in the back and several driven passes.
- Demetrius Omphroy (Cal) good interception on Grossman’s diagonal. too fancy on the dribble with Smith behind him. square pass to Paul that he touched by Smith for an open look ; from 1/10/11 (+), got forward once, but his cross was lacking. He serves very dangerous diagonals including the second goal. ; From 1/8/11 (+), got forward to the end line and jump-start the attack. Additionally, he made a terrific cross to the far post, but Soto didn’t convert the chance. I like Omphroy’s wheels.
- Matt Eliason (NW) had a shot 1v1 that the goal keeper made a terrific save. Smart first touch to gather space in the midfield ; from 1/10/11 (+), diving header but was high on a Jimenez cross; combined with Jimenez with a shoulder pass. Needs to get better looks (create his shot or get behind the defense) ; From 1/8/11 (adequate), coming off the bench in the second half, after roaming around for much of the time (MOVE Dude!), finally got on the end of a long ball behind A.J. Soares and Ben Sippola but his chip was too high.
- Lebo Pila (St Peter’s) much, much better. a couple of low hard shots. combining with Martinez effectively. very raw, but huge upside. He’s very athletic.; from 1/10/11 (-), had flashes of pure misery sprinkled with little flickers of hope. His athleticism is what is going to have to cover him, because he makes many mistakes on positioning, passing. ; From 1/8/11 (-), came out with a plan to destroy anyone who came through the middle. He may be the first player to be ejected in the combine (from my recollection). In the second half, either he subbed in (and I missed it) or more likely, he started at center back. He’s a terrific athlete.
- Davis Paul (Cal) able to get by Smith with a cagey first touch. His shot was off-target ; from 1/10/11 (-), many bad touches. seemed to be thinking too much rather than just playing – but in an unfamiliar position. Goes down too easily from contact; From 1/8/11 (-), is a teeny player who buzzes around the field. While he combined with Herrick, he wasn’t able to generate shots. He had the first horrific shot in warm-ups that somehow found the stands.
- Brayan Martinez (Seton Hall) combining well with Pila to generate shots on goal; good driven pass that Jimenez struck on the post. Can’t recover defensively (or won’t) ; from 1/10/11 (observe), no comments ; From 1/8/11 (-); and Greg King (UConn) were passively trying to work the ball down the left side with inadequate results. Martinez would occasionally mix in a sweet pass, but much often just turn the ball over. Martinez tried a phony flick into the box (for the high-light reel). King didn’t get down to the end-line; probably because he wouldn’t get support from Martinez.
- Dustin McCarty (UNC) good block on Farfan’s shot; from 1/10/11 (adequate), better, started a good attack with a quick turn. Good horizontal defensive coverage ; From 1/8/11 (-), was casually discarded when he tried to get involved. He had no positive role in this game.
Who needs to improve?
- Indy Smith (UNCW) was picked on by Paul today. He lacks quickness; from 1/10/11 (horrific), not a good day, Hertzog beat him with speed, then with quickness. ; From 1/8/11 (-), tried to muscle Sapong off the ball, but was “out-muscled”! Smith is going to have a hard time staying with strong, fast forwards.
- Steven Perry (ND) never seemed to get comfortable. would run hard, but wouldn’t hit dangerous shots. ; from 1/10/11 (observe), didn’t do much except worked on his tan ; From 1/8/11 (adequate), had a tremendous cross to Farfan, but the shot was blocked by Warshaw. Perry needs to be more impactful.
- Joao Plata trying to do too much, without accomplishing much; from 1/10/11 (+), scored 2 goals (1 from a PK). very right-footed. height is listed as N/A – does this mean not available, non-applicable, near ant-size, nothing aerial, New Ariel (mermaid) ; From 1/8/11 (adequate), scored the first goal at the 2011 combine – this little nugget could win a MLS tweeter contest next year! He drove the ball left to right across the top of the box before hitting the ball back into the near post with his right foot. Plata was smaller than all the ball kids. He’s teeny-tiny. He’s a good passer, but tried to showboat early in the match (with Frankie Heyduk step-overs) but lost the ball out-of-bounds. Plata is quick.
- Eddie Ababio (UNC) didn’t play high ball well. inconsistent playing central defense. This trend is consistent in what I’ve observed over the years. Good game / bad game. Buyer beware. but I love his speed.; from 1/10/11 (+), MOTM – played center back and was a force, breaking up numerous attacks. ; From 1/8/11 (-), let Keat steal his lunch money (and the ball). Although with his nifty dribbling, he was able to easily elude Corey Hertzog.
- Greg King (UConn) takes several touches to control the ball.; from 1/10/11 (adequate), able to physically move little Cardozo (too bad MLS MF aren’t all 5′ 5″, had a few good cross, more bad, and his passing was to spaces regardless if Soto could get to it. ; From 1/8/11 (-), and Brayan Martinez (Seton Hall) were passively trying to work the ball down the left side with inadequate results. King didn’t get down to the end-line; probably because he wouldn’t get support from Martinez.
- Josue Soto (SMU) – poor touch. misplay with Ababio ; from 1/10/11 (adequate), better than the first day. Was moving better. Still has slow feet. Tries to make highlight pass out-of-bounds; From 1/8/11 (horrific) has a nice cross, but isn’t a legitimate target for others. He had a late chance, but didn’t connect on Omproy’s cross to the far post. The play seems too fast for him under pressure.
Who should consider a couple of days on the beach before starting a regular job?
Who do I need to continue to observe/didn’t do enough today?
- Tyler Lassiter (NC State) no comments ; from 1/10/11 (adequate), Beattie crushed him. Slick ball skills on the dribble around Kinne. Needs to play over-all shut-down defense.; From 1/8/11 (-), was de-cleated by Sapong in the open field. Lassiter earned the only yellow on a drag down of Estupinan. Lassiter seemed to gain confidence and comfort as the day progressed. I’m not worried about Lassiter, I’ve seen him enough to be confident in his play.
- Curtis Ushedo (UAB) no comment ; from 1/10/11 (-), had ball go over his head on a cross. Still a liability with the ball at his feet ; From 1/8/11 (-), has poor foot work, but he is spared the embarrassment, because Anibaba cleans up any mistakes.
Who didn’t play/missing
- Michael Nanchoff (Akron) DNP ; from 1/10/11 (DNP), DNP ; From 1/8/11 (DNP), left groin injury