FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Two goals from Ecuadorian Joao Plata powered AdiZero to a 3-2 defeat of AdiPower in the second game on Day Two of the MLS Combine.
AdiZero (1-1) jumped all over AdiPower with three first-half goals and managed to hang on to the lead. Two second-half goals by Corey Hertzog made things close, but AdiPower failed to find a third goal and remain the only winless team at the Combine with a 0-1-1 record.
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Duke midfielder Cole Grossman found the back of the net just two minutes in, pouncing on a loose ball at the edge of the area and guiding home a right-footed shot past Jimmy Maurer.
From there, AdiPower struggled to build any offense and AdiZero doubled the lead in the 22nd minute when Michael Boxall tugged down forward Will Bruin in the box. The referee pointed to the penalty spot, and Joao Plata stepped up and beat Maurer to extend the lead to 2-0.
Bruin set up Plata for his second goal of the game in the 27th minute. Stephen McCarthy started the move from the midfield, playing a long ball that found Bruin close to the midfielder, who scored his third goal of the Combine to make it 3-0.
Trying to climb back into the game, AdiPower had Anthony Ampaipitakwong and J.C. Banks leading the forward line in the first half, though both struggled to adapt while playing out of position. The combination of McCarthy and Grossman in the AdiZero midfield limited the first-half opportunities for AdiPower.
After the slew of halftime substitutions, AdiPower showed more fight in the offensive third. Substitute Hertzog, a Generation adidas signing from Penn State, pressed well and grabbed a second-half brace to make things close.
AdiPower’s first goal came in the 65th minute. Beattie played strike partner Hertzog in behind the AdiZero defense, and he beat Josh Ford to the ball and finished from a tough angle into the vacated goal, reducing the deficit to 3-1.
The two paired up to tally again five minutes later, combining to create space. Hertzog finished for his second goal of both the game and the Combine.
A frenetic finish followed as AdiPower pressed for the third and final goal, but they failed to test Ford and find an equalizer.
AdiZero: Josh Ford; Charlie Campbell, Juan Cruz, Tyler Lassiter, J.T. Murray; Matheus Braga, Cole Grossman, Stephen McCarthy, Joao Plata; Will Bruin, Michael Farfan.
AdiPower: Jimmy Maurer; Karl Reddick, Michal Boxall, A.J. Soares, Michael Tetteh; Ashley McInnes, Dan Keat, Ben Sippola, Matt Marcin; J.C. Banks, Anthony Ampaipitakwong.