The MLS Combine has never been televised or streamed live before, so the addition of that to MLSsoccer.com this year was quite exciting for writers like myself. After watching the two games of the day, here are my observations, recaps and at the end, my observations on players who I think the Rapids might be picking on draft day.
AdiPower and AdiPure started the day with a 0-0 draw. The AdiPower defense was fantastic, with AJ Soares, Michael Boxall and Michael Tetteh playing very well together. Possible Rapids draft choice Boxall was especially impressive. Joe Willis - coming into the day as possibly the least known goalkeeper who was invited to the combine - had an incredible day between the pipes stopping a lot more shots than his counterparts. The AdiPower midfield was horrible, with turnover after turnover keeping their strikers from getting many chances on net. Daniel Keat and Anthony Ampaipitakwong both played fairly well but after they were subbed out the results were almost disastrous for Power. Unfortunately the forwards for Power including Ashley McInnes didn't get many chances to show their stuff with the midfield playing so badly.
Jabulani and AdiZero's 2-1 game with Jabulani coming out on top was far more eventful. Bobby Warshaw was a beast on the back of the Jabulani defense all day long, with the only goal they allowed coming from Joao Plata of AdiZero on a defensive breakdown very early in the game. The strikers early in the game for Jabulani played torridly, missing easy chances all first half. In the second half the midfield took over as Blake Brettschnieder came in up top, with Paolo Cardozo scoring a late game winner for the greens.
Sorted by game played in, with players from Adipure vs Adipower first and Jabulani vs Adizero last, not in order of how well I think they played. + means I think their draft stock was improved by their game, - means I think they dropped it, x means I think they played about as expected and didn't affect their draft stock.
First Round -
M Anthony Ampaipitakwong: A non-factor in the game considering the game changer he is supposed to be. Made some of his trademark nice passes and almost had an assist on the Keat near miss but wasn't seen too much otherwise in the 0-0 draw. x
D Michael Boxall: Played large and played well in the very impressive AdiPower back line. Stymied a lot of chances from his side despite a ton of pressure coming his way. +
F Jason Herrick: One good shot on goal, a non-factor otherwise. Shut down quite a bit by the AdiPower back four. x
M Daniel Keat: Was invisible for most of the game as a CAM, had only one real chance on goal in the first half which he put over the bar. Otherwise was solid. x
M/F Ashley McInnes: Came in late as a sub, played very well as a striker and had probably the best chance of the game for AdiPower's offense. +
D Jalil Anibaba: Big and tall on the back line for AdiPure, didn't have much to do but kept almost every chance Power had to get into the box away. +
F Justin Meram: Played terribly. Every chance on goal he had was played badly and turned the ball over a number of times as well. -
F CJ Sapong: No real chances in the game but didn't play terribly. Wasn't helped at all by Meram's terrible play and at the very least took some chances to get the ball on net. x
D Bobby Warshaw: A big day for Warshaw, was all over the place on defense. Wasn't on my list before but could be a sleeper pick for the Rapids with that fantastic day in central defense. +
Second Round -
M John Rooney: A bit of a joke coming into the draft, played very impressively in his short time in the second half. Had a brilliant free kick that should probably have been a goal had Willis not made a brilliant save. +
D Chris Korb: Nothing much to report, didn't make any mistakes or have much to do before being subbed in the 2nd half for Tetteh. x
F Davis Paul: Had some good moves with the ball on his foot but didn't get many chances on net. Will need to show more if he wants to up his stock. x
GK Joe Willis: Brilliant goaltending, one of the reasons that the game ended 0-0. Stopped several shots from all angles in the game including the save of the combine so far against a perfectly placed top-corner Rooney free kick. Might sneak himself into the 2nd round with a combine like this if he keeps it up. +