The MLS Combine has a few media members at it, sometimes giving conflicting reports. One has Zakuani being a wing player that shows promise and the other says that he only showed flashes and looked tired.
With some conflicting media reports, and some foresight I managed to corral a North American professional soccer coach who is in attendance at the Combine. Our short conversation yesterday about the players there follows, hopefully granting you the reader another opinion about the talents available, as well as why rumors are that Seattle is shopping its number one pick. Seattle also has the #16, #31, and #46 at this time.
Dave Clark : There's a lot of talk that this year is a pretty deep draft with a lot of talent. Are you finding that to be accurate?
Compared to 2007 this one is not as deep, not as much talent here. It appears that a lot of players aren't fit and they show a surprising lack of bite to their game. So, no, I do not agree that there is a deep pool this year.
Generation Adidas has been largely disappointing, there might be a sense of entitlement here.
It is always nice when your interview subject to answer your next question before you ask it.
DC: Is there one player that has most impressed you so far?
Yohance Marshall the Central Defense out of South Florida
DC: Are there certain types of players or positions that are more likely to contribute in their first year?
In MLS experience is particularly important in Central Defense, and you often see teams rely on international players and Designated Player at Striker/Forward, so you would probably have the best chance of a Midfielder making an impact in year one.
DC: I'm going to ask for some brief comments on a few players.
Very good player, appropriate size for center defense and good speed. Good touch, but not necessarily pacey when reacting. Holding mid is where he's played most and that might be best for him in the future.
Would be a shock if he goes number one.
Unimpressive so far
He's not here, but he's got the talent to be a number one.
What about his injury history?
Every time you have an injury like that you must be concerned with it and trust your medical staff to judge the injury and the recovery time.
DC: Do you have any last words about the Combine and draft, a story that I'm missing?
Its going to be difficult for a lot of players to make an impact in year particularly with the rule changes concerning the Reserve Teams and number of Developmental Players. Overall the Combine has been a disappointment again, many of the players aren't in the greatest shape right now.
It should be noted that there is another day of matches at the combine today, as well as possible workouts on Wednesday before the SuperDraft on Thursday at 11 AM PST. This is just also one coach's opinion, but one that deserves respect. I would like to thank him as publicly as I can, while respecting his organization's desire to be frank, but private.