By FRANCO PANIZO
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The 2011 Major League Soccer Combine came to a close on Tuesday afternoon, and only a small portion of the players ended it with impressive performances.
Jalil Anibaba, A.J. Soares and Michael Tetteh had some of the more promising efforts on a day that ended with Jabulani defeating AdiPower, 2-1, and AdiPure playing to a scoreless draw with AdiZero.
There wasn't much quality in either match, as the fatigue picked up from playing three games in four days was apparent for many of the MLS hopefuls. The AdiPure-AdiZero match was especially lacking in quality, with poor finishing being exhibited throughout.
"Today was the last game and a lot of legs are tired," said University of California midfielder Hector Jimenez. "I still think everybody showed up and played and had a good time, but definitely the legs are starting to kick in from playing three games this week."
Jimenez had one of the better chances of the 0-0 draw, but he missed on a bouncing rebound from close range in front of an empty net in the second half.
That miss wasn't as bad as Brayan Martinez's flubbed opportunity. Having received a pass from the left flank in front of an empty goal, Martinez opted to take a touch on the ball instead of one-timing it in, and his subsequent shot was blocked off the line by Indy Smith.
Anibaba ended his combine with another solid outing for AdiPure. He helped keep an offense led by the combine's Golden Boot winner Joao Plata (three goals) and Will Bruin in check, and he continued to distribute the ball well.
In the first game of the day, Jabulani defeated AdiPower courtesy of goals from Alex Caskey and C.J. Sapong. AdiPower struck back just before halftime with a goal from Ryan Kinne, who received a pass from Michael Tetteh.
After quiet performances in AdiPower's first two games, Tetteh was finally able to make his presence felt, getting down the left flank on several occasions. His assist on Kinne's goal was especially impressive, as he played a one-two with Marlon Ganchozo before beating a defender and releasing a cross.
"I was able to get forward a lot and I had the assist on the goal, which is something I do a lot," said Tetteh, who is considered to be the best left back prospect in the draft. "Finally today I was able to get involved with the attack and put a couple crosses in, so I was happy with that."
Soares also looked good in the match, capping off his combine with another sturdy performance. Paolo Cardozo played well during his time on the field as well.
The players have done all they can to impress the coaching staffs and will now hope to hear their names called at the MLS SuperDraft, which will be held in Baltimore on Thursday.
What do you think of the final day of action of the MLS Combine? Who do you think helped their stock? Who do you think hurt their stock? Which player(s) do you hope your team drafts?
Share your thoughts below.