Final Combine Gameday Features Quality Matches, Players
· For full recaps of today’s matches,CLICK HERE.
· To see highlights from both matches visit Major League Soccer’s Combine & SuperDraftvideo channel.
Prime takes early lead, but adiZero climbs back, 2-2
The first match on the final day of the 2013 MLS Combine was a game of two halves. Prime took the lead in the 27th minute when James Belshaw brought down Will Bates inside the box. Ryan Finley stepped up to take the penalty and confidently slotted it into the left corner. Prime’s next goal came in the 35th minute. Will Bates played a through ball to Ryan Clark who calmly finessed the ball past Belshaw’s right. adiZero battled back in the second half with two goals in quick succession. The first came in the 43th minute when Nico Clavijo drew a free kick 25 yards out and Kyle Bekker stepped up to take. The Candian blasted the ball to the upper right corner to make it 2-1. Just six minutes later, Ashton Bennett caused a turnover deep in Prime’s half and beat David Meves past his near post.
PRIME: Finley (penalty) 27’
PRIME: B. Smith (Bates) 35’
ZERO: Bekker, 43’
ZERO: Bennett (Hurtado) 49’
On how the game went today
“Today I felt very comfortable but I think we were all a bit tired from the first couple of days. We played in a formation that I was more familiar with which suited me better. I felt like I left it all on the field this week so I just have to be patient and wait to see what happens.”
On his approach to each game
“You just have to stay tuned in and focus throughout the entire match. You have to believe you can play at this level and have confidence in your ability. I think that everyone here has that belief or else they wouldn’t be here in the first place.”
adiPure holds on to a second half lead to top adiPower, 2-1
In the final match of the 2013 Combine, a scoreless first half preceded an eventful second. The best opportunity of the first half stemmed from crafty play by Donnie Smith. Smith skillfully beat Kofi Opare down the left flank and sent a low cross into the box just beyond the reach of an outstretched Deshorn Brown. Early in the second half, adiPure jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Fernando Monge and Deshorn Brown. With just six minutes remaining Mikey Lopez closed the gap with a shot from just outside the box. The UNC midfielder’s tally was all adiPower could produce before the final whistle blew with the final score 2-1.
PURE: Fernando Monge
PURE: Deshorn Brown
POWER: Mikey Lopez
On his performance throughout the week
“I think as the week went on we became more comfortable as a team and I became more comfortable individually, as well. Today I tried to focus on going at players one-on-one and I think that went really well. I got a few good crosses into the box so I was happy.”
On what it would be like to be picked on Thursday
“Oh it would be awesome. I would be ecstatic but I’d know it would be right back to work. Wherever I go I’m going to get into camp and work my butt off to show coaches how bad I want it.”
Andrew Farrell of adiZero steps in front of Prime’s Greg Cochrane to shield the ball. (courtesy MLSsoccer.com).
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2013 MLS adidas Player Combine –Match Results
Friday, January 11
adiPower 2, Prime 2
adiZero 4, adiPure 0
Sunday, January 13
adiZero 3, adiPower 2
Prime 0, adiPure 0
Tuesday, January 15
adiZero 2, Prime 2
adiPure 2, adiPower 1
Getting to Know…
Kofi Opare... Most players at the MLS Combine have been playing competitive soccer since a young age, but not Kofi. Kofi, born in Ghana, moved to South Afica when he was a child and played his first love - cricket. After 10 years in South Africa, Opare moved to the United States in 2001 where he picked up soccer because there was no one to play cricket with. The University of Michigan star currently resides in Niagara Falls, Canada and has represented the nation as a member of the U-20 National Team.
Scott Goodwin…On the field, Scott can be best compared to a drill sergeant. The Raleigh native barks out orders to organize his defense and encourages his teammates relentlessly throughout the match. Off the field, Goodwin comes across as a quiet, well-spoken personality. His prowess on the field is only a small part of the former UNC goalkeeper’s impressive resume. At UNC, Scott was an accomplished Biology student. In his junior year he won the Hagadorn award, given to the top junior bio student at the school. After soccer, Goodwin plans to go to Med School. The only uncertainty is what field he chooses to conquer.
Larry Jackson... When asked what he would be doing if he wasn’t pursuing a career in professional soccer, Larry Jackson is emphatic in his response. For as long as he can remember he has helped his grandparents grow their nonprofit organization “Ravenswood Youth Athletic Association.” Their purpose is to help pay for equipment and fields needed for athletic teams in the East Palo Alto region. Being able to play professionally – Jackson says – will allow him to help the organization even more.