Before we get to the news I thought I'd take a second to introduce myself. I'm Timm and I'm sure you've seen me around the in the comments - and I now have the privilege to be one of the contributors to Sounder At Heart. I'm a ECS member and a supporter that is behind enemy lines. Yes, I live in Oregon though I'm about 45 minutes to the south of said city. I also write over at Managing Madrid SBN's Real Madrid blog.
Enough about me, lets gets some news on 2012 MLS Combine and SuperDraft.
Yesterday concluded the first day of the MLS combine players were divided into four teams - adiPower, Prime, adiZero and adiPure. As you can imagine both matches were more of a feel out for all those involved. In the first game of the day (adiPower vs Prime), adiPower came out victorious with a 3-2 win. Maryland forward Casey Townsend helped his draft stock by creating a goal off a turnover not to mention two more chances in the second -- though he didn't finish those off.
The second match of the combine finished in with adiZero 0-0 adiPrime. Nothing really to note in this one as its was a defensive game as players were trying to figure out there teammates and what they were trying to do -- and it took a bit to shake off the nerves, which is pretty normal for these affairs in the first day of the combine. Local youth product Chris Blais was one of the shutout earning keepers.
This year we of course welcome the Montreal Impact to Major League Soccer. This brings the Canadian team total to three. According to the Montreal Gazette, the team has received numerous offers for their coveted #1 pick in Thursdays MLS SuperDraft. Also according to Matt Jordan head of soccer operations they already have a pretty good idea of who they're pick with their first round pick. Montreal's first match at their permanent home is June 16th against our Seattle Sounders.
Also new to the MLS Combine and SuperDraft this year is Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie. While he attended drafts while coaching the RailHawks it was more of a networking event for him. Now, he actually has to do some work as his team has the second pick in the first round.
With the second pick Rennie is hoping that whoever they draft will have a impact in the upcoming season.
"With the second pick it’s a possibility. In the past we’ve seen players who have been drafted and have played a lot and contributed straight away. It’s definitely possible," Rennie said.
This year, naming and signing the Generation Adidas class was a bit different. You see, the MLS wanted to shift more money towards signing Academy players and thus the money for this years GA class was significantly less that previous years. Like most things the MLS does, this was a risky thing to pull (Ives).
Toronto FC has the distinction of being the only MLS side with two picks in this years SuperDraft, the fourth and twelfth picks. Of course they've been approached to trade those picks, and it's something the TFC front office is looking at. They have a lot on their plate going into preseason, like adding roster depth before the starting of training camp.
"As the (off-season) has progressed we've been in constant negotiations with players; currently we're in talks with six players. We just can't shove these deals over the finishing line (but) we are very close," Mariner said.
Two of those six players are forward Joao Plata and Richard Eckersley both players were key components of last years TFC squad. The reason they're trying to lock up these two is because they were at TFC on loan.
Over at MLS.com Travis Clark runs down 5 things you need to know about 2012 Generation Adidas class member UConn's centerback Andrew Jean-Baptiste.