Posted By: Chris Ransom on 1/8/2016
The two games at Day 1 of the 2016 MLS Combine took place. First up was Team Ace VS Team X. Then the second game featured Team Control VS Team Chaos.
Team Ace VS Team X Game Recap
Team Ace could not score in Team X's 1-0 victory over Team Ace. Team Ace is just stacked on defense with Brandon Vincent at left back, Ivan Magalhaes at center back, Joshua Yaro at center back, and Vincent Mitchell at right back. I was really puzzled as to why Darius Madison was lined up at a central forward since he was a central midfielder in College. Team Ace probably has the worst forwards of any of the 4 teams at the 2016 MLS Combine.
Vincent and Yaro are the two best defenders in the 2016 MLS Super Draft. Both Yaro and Vincent were phenomenal at the MLS Combine and look like top 3 picks in 2016. It's not really fair for the two best defenders in the entire draft to be on the same team. The MLS Combine is about competition rather than what's fair though. These guys are competing to get drafted.
Team X has Ben Polk and Michael Gamble at forward. Their right winger Mikhail Doholis did well against Clemson forward T.J. Casner. Casner was the Clemson Tigers primary striker, but he projects as a right winger in the MLS. Casner struggled to play outside at left wing today.
Midfielders Richie Laryea and Julian Buescher are two of the the four Generation Adidas midfielders. Both midfielders played outside midfielder roles next to defensive midfielder Emmanuel Appiah. Both midfielders struggled on Day 1 of the 2016 MLS Combine.
Team X's only goal came from Lynn forward Chris Hellmann off the bench. Team Ace had a pretty effective defense with George Mason defenseman Taylor Washington at left back. Jonathan Campbell and Zach Carroll are both first round defensemen at center back. Keegan Rosenberry, Joshua Yaro's teammate from Georgetown played right back for Team Ace. Campbell, Carroll, and Rosenberry are the only first round prospects on Team Ace which explains why their defense was so formidable.
Washington struggled at left back for Team X after dominating at Georgetown at the same position and Justin Bilyeu came in from SIU Edwardsville to play left back. Bilyeu showed promise and outplayed Washington in the second half.
Chris Hellman impressed managing to get by both Jonathan Campbell and Zach Carroll to score on Sven Lissek of Furman after Lissek came in for Callum Irving in the second half. Kentucky's goalie did well in the first half, but Hellman came in and scored on Lissek. You cannot fault Lissek. Hellman did an awesome job getting by both of Team Ace's best center backs.
These two teams seem to have the best defenses. We'll see what happens and whether both teams can continue building momentum on Sunday when Day 2 of the 2016 MLS Combine takes place.
Team Control VS Team Chaos Game Recap
This was a defensive game for the first 64 minutes. Both starting goaltenders Andrew Farrell and Connor Sparrow made remarkable saves in the first half.
North Carolina midfielder Omar Holness was great as an attacking midfielder for Team Control. He did a good job getting a lot of shots and generating passes to forwards up front like Thomas Sanner of Princeton and Creighton midfielder Timo Pitter who lined up at right wing. Holness should be a top 10 pick after his showing today. If he dominates like he did again over the next two days he could surpass Laryea and Buescher and make a case for going in the top 5.
Team Chaos had Femi Hollinger-Janzen an Indiana forward at left wing, Charlotte forward Kyle Parker at central forward, and Wake Forest midfielder Jack Harrison at right wing.
None of those guys could score in the first half. Team Chaos backup forwards Keegan Smith of San Diego, Michael Salazar of UC Irvine, and Neco Brett of Robert Morris didn't fare better.
Columbia midfielder Antonio Matarazzo did well on defense. Matarazzo is 6-4 195 lbs, and has the size to move to center back after playing defensive midfielder at Columbia and central midfielder at the 2016 MLS Combine. Georgetown left back Josh Turley did so good today stopping Jack Harrison and keeping Harrison from doing anything big at right wing.
It was the bench players that won the game for Team Control. Stanford midfielder Eric Verso and North Carolina forward Colin Bonner came in during the second half and managed to score a goal on Washington Huskies goaltender Ryan Herman. Herman has practiced with the Seattle Sounders U-23 Team. Herman wasn't prepared for Verso and Bonner to come off the bench and guide Team Control to a win. That may mean he's not ready for the MLS.
Team Chaos had Max Lachowecki, a Notre Dame defenseman at left back. Ohio State defensive midfielder Liam Doyle and Clemson center back Kyle Fisher both started at center back. Jordan McCrary a top 10 pick started at right back. Cole Seller came in for Liam Doyle in the second half. Seller was just as effective as Doyle on defense in the second half.
Verso and Bonner scored after getting past a fatigued Max Lachowecki at left back. Lachowecki had nothing on Josh Turley.
All of Georgetown's defensemen along with Omar Holness impressed on Day 1. It was Colin Bonner and Eric Verso coming off the bench that stood out for Team Control today.
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