Los Angeles Soccer: MLS 2011 Combine

MLS combine leads to draft with 6 locals

January, 8, 2011
1/08/11
6:57
AM PT

Major League Soccer's technical staffs are in Fort Lauderdale the next four days to assess top draft prospects at the league's annual combine. Seventy players have been divided among four teams, and doubleheaders will be played Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.


The draft, with three rounds of 18 picks apiece, is Thursday in Baltimore. Chivas USA has the fourth overall selection, and the Galaxy will pick 16th.

Ten players, nine of them college underclassmen plus 17-year-old forward Omar Salgado, who signed with the league when he was forced to depart Club Deportivo Guadalajara after committing to the U.S. under-20 national team, are on Generation adidas contracts and will count neither against the roster size nor salary cap for the clubs that select them. GA players traditionally are among the most talented and coveted in the draft.

The list includes UC Santa Barbara junior Michael Tetteh, a Ghanaian midfielder who prepped at the Dunn School in Los Olivos. Five GAs -- including Darlington Nagbe and Perry Kitchen, widely seen as the top two prospects in the draft -- come from NCAA champion Akron. Also among the group is defender Zarek Valentin, whose brother, Julian, was a defender for the Galaxy in 2008-09.

Four GAs -- Salgado, Kitchen, Valentin and Maryland goalkeeper Zac MacMath -- will miss the combine while playing for the U.S. U-20s. Nagbe, who on Friday won the Hermann Trophy as college soccer's top player, also will skip the conbine.

Five foreign players who did not play at U.S. colleges are in the combine, including forward John Rooney, the brother of Manchester United superstar Wayne Rooney. John Rooney spent time on trial with the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers to prepare for the draft.

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