NEW YORK (Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016) – Major League Soccer today announced six additional college players and five youth internationals that have been invited to the 2016 adidas MLS Player Combine, which begins on Friday, Jan. 8 in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Among those included is Real Salt Lake Academy product Miguel Salazar, who played four years at Elon University. All invited players will be eligible for selection in the 2016 SuperDraft presented by adidas, held on Thursday, Jan. 14 in Baltimore, Md.
Salazar graduated from RSL’s Arizona-based Academy in 2012 and played 80 matches, earning 79 starts in four years for Elon. He finished his collegiate career with three goals and five assists, all three goals coming in the 2014 season.
Highlighting the additional college invitees is Cal State-Dominguez Hills defender Tony Alfaro, the only invitee from a NCAA Division II program, who finished his career as a NSCAA 2015 First-Team All-American while also being named the California Collegiate Athletic Association's Defensive Player of the Year. Joining Alfaro are University of Notre Dame midfielder Connor Klekota, who helped the Fighting Irish to the 2015 NCAA Championship Round of 16, and University of North Florida forward Alex Morrell, who earned an Atlantic Sun First-Team All-Conference selection while leading Ospreys to its first ever Atlantic Sun Conference Championship in program history. Morrell finished his career as the school’s record holder in assists (19). Also joining the Combine is UC Riverside’s Norberto Ochoa (2015 First-Team Big West All-Conference and NSCAA Third Team All-Far West Region selection), Salazar (First Team All-CAA selection) and George Mason University defender Taylor Washington (NSCAA Third Team All-Midwest selection).
In addition, five youth international players have been invited to the Combine, including Jesus Alfredo Fared (Argentina), Elias Jose Gomez (Argentina), Thomas Libiih (Cameroon), Kevaughn Frater (Jamaica) and Jorginho James (Jamaica). A full list of 2016 MLS Player Combine invitees and team breakdowns can be found here.
A mix of collegiate soccer head coaches and MLS Academy personnel will make up the Combine coaching staff: Greg Andrulis (George Mason University head coach) and Junior Gonzalez (Seattle Sounders FC Academy U-14 coach); Kevin Anderson (Columbia University head coach) and Bryan Scales (New England Revolution Director of Youth Development); Kris Kelderman (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee head coach) and Jeff Baicher (De Anza Force Soccer Club President, Boys Coaching Director and head coach); Jared Embick (University of Akron head coach) and Larry Sunderland (Portland Timbers Youth Technical Director). The 2016 Combine game schedule can be found here.