Tame Third Day At Combine
Ft. Lauderdale, FL – The adidas Player Combine took a day to catch its breath on Saturday.
Sandwiched between a pair of matchdays, it was a relatively tame third day of the showcase that will feed the January 17 MLS SuperDraft in Indianapolis.
The players were put through a recovery session before heading out to meet with MLS coaches. Suitors chatted with the likes of centre back Andrew Farrell and Oakville, Ontario midfielder Kyle Bekker among other prospects. These interviews will continue throughout Combine on a largely informal basis.
Toronto FC staff took in a three-hour long coaches and referees meeting before heading out to another presentation by the MLS technical committee that consumed the rest of their day.
One top prospect not attending Combine due to injury is centre back Walker Zimmerman. He competes with Farrell in being considered the top SuperDraft eligible player in 2013. Toronto has the first and third overall selections at the draft next Thursday. It is not entirely outlandish for Toronto to land both top rated centre backs, should Chivas choose to meet other needs with their pick at number two.
Toronto will be approached by many MLS teams to shed one of their options in exchange for an established league player that could help in another area of the pitch. The temptation will be bolstered by the Reds already having Ireland international Darren O'Dea and MLS veteran Danny Califf at centre back - both relatively new additions to the squad. 25-year old Logan Emory played his first full MLS season in 2012 and on the more youthful side, Doneil Henry has yet to turn 20 and TFC landed 21-year old Gale Agbossoumonde by winning an MLS lottery to add greater depth to the middle of the backline.
President and general manager Kevin Payne has said one of his goals is to get younger and tougher, it remains to be seen if it includes adding two more highly touted central defenders, though Farrell's versatility could see him compete for roles at fullback and midfield.
Players, coaches and the media will all return to Central Broward Regional Park on Sunday afternoon for the second set of matches in the Combine. Lineups, updates and photos will be provided by Toronto FC on Twitter once the matches kickoff on Sunday. Later that evening a recap of Day 4 will be available on TorontoFC.ca and the club’s YouTube channel.