Friday, December 22, 2017

Making a List: Area Duo on MLS Combine List + NWSL Draft List

Gonzaga University's Ben White and Rafael Sanchez of Selah, WA were among the 60 players on the initial list of college players set to participate 2018 adidas MLS Player Combine in Orlando, FL from Jan. 11-17, 2018. They were among several players from the northwest on the list as well a handful of others named to the NWSL's preliminary draft list, which was also announced Thursday.

The two leagues will conduct their drafts at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia in January. The NWSL draft is January 18 at 10:00 am ET with MLS following the next day.

A committee of MLS coaches and NCAA Division I coaches from every conference selected the invitees for the MLS combine, 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.

A mix of collegiate soccer head coaches and MLS Academy personnel will make up the Combine coaching staff.  University of Wisconsin-Madison head coach John Trask, Indiana University head coach Todd Yeagley, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee head coach Kris Kelderman and East Tennessee State head coach Bo Oshoniyi will serve as the head coaches for the four Combine teams. The assistant coaches will be FC Dallas Academy Director Luchi Gonzalez, NYCFC Academy Director Rodrigo Marion, New England Revolution Director of Youth Development Bryan Scales and Solar Soccer Club Head of Soccer Operations, Executive Director of Coaching Elite Programs and Technical Director Adrian Solca.

Ben White - D - College: Gonzaga University / Hometown: Tigard, OR

The Bulldog defender was an impact player from his first year, earning WCC All-Freshman Team and All-WCC Honorable Mention honors in 2014. He was a First Team selection as a sophomore and Honorable Mention again in 2016.  He finished his career as a Second Team selection.

Rafael Sanchez - D/M - Hometown: Selah, WA

The Selah HS product finished his playing career at Saint Mary's (WCC) in 2016. After making 12 starts as a freshman he started 16 more in his sophomore campaign and was named All-WCC First Team in 2014 after finishing tied for second on the team in points. He received the honor again as a junior in addition to All-Far West Region Second Team honors. He finished his career with a third consecutive All-WCC First Team nod in 2016.

Other Northwest Area Players on MLS Combine List 

Paul Christensen - G - College: Univ of Portland / Hometown: Woodinville, WA
Niko DeVera - D - Hometown: Camas, WA
Justin Fiddes - D - College: University of Washington
Jordan Jones - F - College: Oregon State University
Alex Roldan - M - College: Seattle University

Full List [+]

Surprisingly, only a handful of players from the northwest were among the preliminary draft list issued by NWSL. The league, however, made it clear in the announcement that players will continue to be added as the application process is still open. More NWSL College Draft information, including how players can register for the draft can be Found Here [+]  

Northwest Area Players on MLS Combine List 

Dominique Bond-Flasza - D -  College: University of Washington
Emily Boyd - G - Hometown: Seattle, WA
Kristin Hayman - F/M - Hometown: Bellevue, WA
Dominique Randle - D - Hometown: Seattle, WA
Sarah Shimer - G - College: Univ of Washington / Hometown: Seattle, WA
Ariel Viera - M/D - College: Univ of Portland / Hometown: Hillsboro, OR

Full List [+]