By FRANCO PANIZO
The MLS Combine resumes today after a break in the action following a cold and rainy first day in Fort Lauderdale, and for some of the MLS draft prospects looking to impress, day two could not have come any sooner.
The first day of the combine displayed better soccer than most pundits have come to expect from day one, but for most of the MLS prospects, the games were difficult to play in for a myriad of reasons. Shaking off the cobwebs that come with being out of action for (at least) a month, as well as the miserable weather and the unfamiliarity with teammates, contributed to some rough first days on Saturday, and are reasons players are eagerly looking forward to the second round of games.
"I think now I kind of have an idea of every player, how they play, how the want the ball, so next game is definitely going to be better," said midfielder Dilly Duka, who had a quiet first-day performance. "We'll have a little more chemistry and connect more and hopefully we'll get by all that dirty, scrappy stuff."
Duka's words were a common refrain among the players, even from ones considered to have enjoyed good first days. One of those players was forward Teal Bunbury, who admitted to feeling a bit jet-lagged having flown into South Florida the day of the combine after winning the Hermann Trophy on Friday night in St. Louis, Missouri.
"Coming back from my flight my legs were a little heavy, but I went out there and tried to enjoy it and have fun," said Bunbury. "It's difficult the first game, you don't know everybody, but you go out there and do your best."
Bunbury was among Day One's best, and despite being a lock to get drafted, the Canadian-born forward is looking to shine on Day Two.
"I'm just keeping in perspective that you got to go out there and prove yourself, nothing is given to you, so I'm going to go out there next game and prove myself," Bunbury said.
Bunbury and Duka's team, Jabulani, play F50i at 3:45pm today, with the first game between Predator X and Condivo scheduled for a 2:00pm kickoff at Central Broward Regional Park.
Think MLS should have the combine teams train for a week prior to the combine? Which players are you hoping have a better second day? Hoping your team lands either Bunbury or Duka?
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