Dec. 11, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame’s Bright Dike, Justin Morrow and Michael Thomas all have been invited to the 2010 adidas Major League Soccer (MLS) Player Combine, which will take place Jan. 8-12 at Central Broward Regional Park in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The Irish trio is among 62 college seniors from 44 NCAA Division I schools that will participate in the event.
Notre Dame is one of just four schools with at least three student-athletes invited to the combine. UCLA led the way with four players, while BIG EAST foes Connecticut and Louisville joined Notre Dame with three invitees each.
The coaching and management staffs of all 16 MLS teams will be in attendance to scout talent at the 2010 adidas MLS Player Combine, which concludes two days before the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. At the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, considered one of the best talent pools in SuperDraft history, 42 of the 60 players drafted attended the 2009 adidas MLS Player Combine; 10 combine players were selected in the first round. The 2010 MLS SuperDraft will be held on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010 in Philadelphia.
The initial player list was determined by a select panel of Division I college coaches representing all conferences who nominated and voted for players in conjunction with MLS coaches. Youth players from the Generation adidas program will join additional collegiate players from NCAA Division II and III schools, NAIA schools and Division I alternates to finalize the 2010 adidas MLS Player Combine. The final player list and team assignments will be announced in the coming weeks.
Dike (Edmond, Okla.) was named the 2009 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. The fifth-year senior led the Fighting Irish with 11 goals and 26 points this past season. Dike is a two-time all-BIG EAST first-team selection. He played in all 23 games this past season and opened the campaign with a three-goal effort in a win over Michigan. Dike also delivered two golden goals during the season. The forward notched 27 goals and 12 assists during his Fighting Irish career.
Morrow (Cleveland, Ohio) started all 44 matches over the past two seasons. He copped second-team all-BIG EAST accolades this past season and he tallied two goals in 2009 with both of them being game winners. Morrow made the switch from midfield to left back early in the 2009 campaign and helped the Irish defense post eight shutouts. For his career, he compiled 21 points on seven goals and seven assists.
Thomas (Olathe, Kan.) recently was named an Academic All-American. The midfielder, who was a two-time all-BIG EAST pick, led Notre Dame with six assists this past season in addition to scoring six goals. Thomas started 81 of the 83 matches during his Fighting Irish career and compiled 51 points on 19 goals and 13 assists.
The 2010 adidas MLS Player Combine will separate all players into four teams and feature two games per day at Central Brower Regional Park on Jan. 9, 10 and 12. Each team will be led by an experienced Division I coach who will be assisted by an experienced soccer professional. Davidson University Head Coach, Matthew Spear has been selected to coach Team Predator X, along with Executive Director of the South Charlotte Soccer Association Brad Wylde. Michael Noonan, head coach at Brown University will coach Team Condivo along with Leigh Cowlishaw, head coach of the Richmond Kickers of USL-2. University of California – Los Angeles Head Coach Jorge Salcedo will lead Team Jabulani along with Placer United Soccer Club Coach Nathan Williams. Todd Yeagley, head coach at the University of Wisconsin will lead Team F50i along with Larry Sunderland, Director of Player Personnel for the Chicago Fire.