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Coach O’Connor scouting MLS Combine

By Martin French @BluebeardRex

LCFC’s boss, James O’Connor is heading to Florida this week on major business – scouting the MLS combine.

While the combine is primarily used for scouting ahead of MLS Superdraft, many of the unselected players can fall to NASL and USL Pro teams with sharp eyes. Last year saw the odd example of Andre Lewis – drafted by Vancouver in the first round, but rejecting them in favor of an NASL contract from New York Cosmos, who – at the time of writing – are the last NYC team yet to somehow implode spectacularly in 2015. It’s unlikely that MLS is going to allow another such situation to happen with the Superdraft after that embarrassment. In the past, USL Pro has held combines of their own, but they have elected not to hold one this year with the aim of doing it right next year.

The most recognizable player at the Combine from for many Coopers will be Cards defender, Daniel Keller from Carmel, IN. Former U of L players to be drafted from the Combine include Marlon Hairston (#12), & Jimmy Ockford (#21) in 2014, and in 2013, Paolo Del Piccolo (#27), Greg Cochrane (#38), and overall Number 1 pick, Andrew Farrell. MLS Superdraft will take place on Thursday January 15th in Philadelphia. With Orlando up first, the chances are reasonable for the number 1 pick to be playing for Elsie this year.

With 3 players signed for City, and an unknown but hopefully successful haul from his Christmas trip to Britain and Ireland, we are hoping to hear more news soon. Unfortunately, I believe that USL require all paperwork to be signed and approved before announcements, so we are probably going to have a wait to find out who he gets. In the meantime, any responsible rumors will be gratefully received and discussed, as will many irresponsible but tangentially plausible ones.

3 Responses

  1. Just curious

    Doesn’t look like they’ll have many/any local players. Any thoughts on that? I would have thought they might have signed a local player or two from their combine, but maybe those are easier to sign so that can just wait until close to the end after assessing who they already have? Just curious on your thoughts on any Lousiville/UK/Rovers etc. players who might have a chance.

  2. Taylor Sorrels

    It’s pretty early going. I’d bet that there might be some local flavor, but, on the other hand, Coach O’Connor seems to have carte blanche in terms of player personnel decisions. Time will tell!

  3. Martin

    I’d say it will be a the end of February at least before we see the shape of the team – I have a strong sense that they have more signed than they can announce. It will be interesting to see if they get any local players – I know that the coach’s focus is on producing a competitive team, and I think Taylor is right on his freedom to select. I do note that there are two men in the coaching staff with Kentucky ties, though, so that should have an influence