Initial list of 2017 MLS Player Combine invitees announced

NEW YORK (Via MLS) – Major League Soccer has announced the initial 53 NCAA DI college players invited to participate in the 2017 MLS Player Combine.

Top collegiate players from across the country will showcase their talents in front of representatives from all 22 MLS clubs in Los Angeles, CA from Jan. 8-12, 2017. All invited players will be eligible for selection in the 2017 SuperDraft which will take place at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT on Friday, Jan. 13 at the LA Convention Center in conjunction with the NSCAA Convention.

A committee of MLS coaches and NCAA Division I coaches from every conference selected the invitees, all of whom completed their college eligibility this season. Further invitees including Generation adidas signings, non-collegiate players, and additional college seniors will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Seven semifinalists for the 2016 Men’s MAC Hermann Trophy headline this year’s list of initial invitees. University of Denver defender Reagan Dunk was named a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist in each of the past two seasons, leading Denver to the best goals against average in the country (0.48) en route to an appearance in this year’s College Cup.

Besting Denver in the College Cup semifinals was Wake Forest University midfielder Jacori Hayes, who led his team with eight goals, narrowly missing out on a national championship with a runner-up finish.

Indiana University’s Tanner Thompson was named to the NSCAA All-America First Team while garnering Big Ten Midfielder of the Year honors.

Wuilito Fernandes guided UMass-Lowell to the school’s first ever America East Championship with 11 goals and an NSCAA All-America First Team selection.

Butler University forward David Goldsmith was named NSCAA All-America Second Team, finishing second in the Big East with 12 goals and winning the conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year Award.

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Providence College midfielder Julian Gressel shared the Big East Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors with Goldsmith after finishing the season with 15 goals, tied for fourth best across the entire NCAA.

Rounding out the group is Vermont forward Brian Wright who led the Catamounts to the NCAA Tournament behind 40 points, second in the NCAA, and 12 assists, tied for a national best.

Additionally, representing two-time defending NCAA champion Stanford University at the Player Combine is defender Brian Nana-Sinkam, the team captain and a 2016 All-Pac 12 First Team selection.

A mix of collegiate soccer head coaches and MLS Academy personnel will make up the Combine coaching staff. Columbia University head coach Kevin Anderson, Seattle University head coach Pete Fewing, University of Denver head coach Jamie Franks and East Tennessee State head coach Bo Oshoniyi will serve as the head coaches for the four Combine teams. The assistant coaches will be CASL Director of Classic Dan Popik, Michigan Rush Director of Coaching Brian Doyle, Sporting Kansas City Academy Director Jon Parry and Beachside of Connecticut Soccer Club Founder and Technical Director Mickey Kydes.

2017 MLS Player Combine NCAA DI College Participants

(Alphabetical by last name)

First Name Last Name School Pos. Hometown/Citizenship BIO
Lalas Abubakar University of Dayton DF Accra, Ghana; Ghana BIO
Michael Amick UCLA DF Sunnyvale, CA; USA BIO
Brandon Aubrey University of Notre Dame DF Plano, TX; USA BIO
Kwame Awuah UConn MF Toronto, ON; Canada BIO
Nazeem Bartman University of South Florida FW Cape Town, South Africa; South Africa BIO
Kyle Bjornethun Seattle University DF Snohomish, WA; USA BIO
Brandt Bronico UNC Charlotte MF High Point, NC; USA BIO
Russell Cicerone SUNY-Buffalo MF/FW Bloomfield Hills, MI; USA BIO
Suliman Dainkeh University of Maryland DF Reston, VA; USA BIO
Michael DeGraffenreidt University of Louisville DF Baltimore, MD; USA BIO
Guillermo Delgado University of Delaware FW Tres Cantos, Spain; Spain BIO
Nick DePuy UC Santa Barbara FW Irvine, CA; USA BIO
Francis de Vries Saint Francis University (Penn.) DF Christchurch, New Zealand; New Zealand BIO
Reagan Dunk University of Denver DF Dallas, TX; USA BIO
Jack Elliott West Virginia University DF/MF London, England; UK BIO
Wuilito Fernandes UMass-Lowell FW/MF Praia, Cape Verde; Cape Verde BIO
Alec Ferrell Wake Forest University GK Westlake, OH; USA BIO
David Goldsmith Butler University FW Bristol, England; UK BIO
Jorge Gomez Sanchez Temple University FW Talavera De La Reina, Spain; Spain BIO
Julian Gressel Providence College MF Neustadt an der Aisch, Germany; Germany BIO
Sam Hamilton University of Denver MF Evergreen, CO; USA BIO
Niko Hansen University of New Mexico FW Sacramento, CA; USA/Denmark BIO
Jacori Hayes Wake Forest University MF Bowie, MD; USA BIO
Joe Holland Hofstra University MF London, England; UK BIO
Walker Hume UNC Chapel Hill DF San Angelo, TX; USA BIO
Daniel Johnson University of Louisville MF Duluth, GA; USA BIO
Aaron Jones Clemson University DF Great Yarmouth, UK; UK BIO
Eric Klenofsky Monmouth University GK Lincoln Park, NJ; USA BIO
Austin Ledbetter SIU-Edwardsville DF St. Charles, MO; USA BIO
Zeiko Lewis Boston College MF Pembroke, Bermuda; Bermuda BIO
Connor Maloney Penn State University DF Harrisburg, PA; USA BIO
Napo Matsoso University of Kentucky MF Louisville, Kentucky; Lesotho BIO
Billy McConnell Indiana University DF Richboro, PA; USA BIO
Jake McGuire University of Tulsa GK Chino Hills, CA; USA BIO
Lindo Mfeka University of South Florida MF/FW Durban, South Africa; South Africa BIO
Robert Moewes Duke University GK Dortmund, Germany; Germany BIO
Brian Nana-Sinkam Stanford University DF Lititz, PA; USA BIO
Chris Nanco Syracuse University