NEW YORK(January 8, 2014) – Major League Soccer today announced the signing of three additional Generation adidas players, as well as the addition of eleven players who have been invited to participate in the 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine that begins this Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Christian Dean(University of California), AJ Cochran(University of Wisconsin), Damion Lowe(University of Hartford) have signed Generation adidas contracts, completing the 2014 class of seven players.
In addition to the initial list of college seniors invited to the Combine, MLS has invited six more college seniors including:
Player Position Citizenship School
John Berner GK USA Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Marco Franco D/M USA University of California, Irvine
Richard Marquez D USA University of Redlands (DIII)
Martin Ontiveros M/F USA Furman University
Justin Portillo M USA Coastal Carolina University
Joshua Wood F USA Messiah University (DIII)
Five youth international players -- Braian Acuna (Argentina), Quinton C.E. Christina (Curaçao), Andre Lewis (Jamaica), Ronny Mendoza (Ecuador) and Stefano Rjssel (Suriname) – will arrive in Ft. Lauderdale hoping to impress MLS scouts and coaches before the SuperDraft. Both Christina and Rijssel were invited to the Combine as a result of their impressive play in the inaugural Caribbean Combine that took place in Antigua from January 2-4.
Each team at the combine will be led by a collegiate head coach and an adidas youth club coach. The coaching pairs are as follows: Bob Gray (Marshall University) and Phil Presser (Indiana Fire Development Academy); Bobby Muuss (University of Denver) and Josh Sheldon (Grand Rapids Crew Juniors); Kris Kelderman (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee) and David Dengerink (Texas Rush Development Academy); Mark Collings (Seattle Pacific University) and German Peri (Arlington Soccer Association).
· Media interested in covering the 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine should contact Susan Marschall (Susan.Marschall@MLSsoccer.com) to request a credential for the matches.
· Media interested in covering the 2014 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas should email the following to Thomas Gargan (Thomas.Gargan@MLSsoccer.com) to request a credential for the event: Name, Organization, Function (Reporter or Photographer) and contact email.
2014 Generation adidas Players
Christian Dean D East Palo Alto, California University of California
The junior defender started 55 straight games for the Golden Bears, tallying six assists and one goal across those competitions.
AJ Cochran D St. Louis, Missouri University of Wisconsin
The junior defender was named a First Team All-American while logging a team leading 1807 minutes in 2013 and scoring three goals.
Damion Lowe D Kingston, Jamaica University of Hartford
The junior defender captained the Hawks and started in 19 games while scoring five goals and adding two assists.
Andre Blake GK Mary Pen, Jamaica University of Connecticut
The junior goalkeeper was named an All-American for the third straight year, earning back-to-back First Team nods in 2012 and 2013, and has been a member of the U-17 and U-20 Jamaican national teams.
Marlon Hairston M Jackson, Mississippi University of Louisville
The sophomore midfielder and member of the U.S. U-20 national team pool played in 39 games during his first two seasons, contributing six goals and five assists.
Eric Miller D Woodbury, Minnesota Creighton University
The junior defender started 62 of 63 games during his tenure at Creighton and represented the U.S. in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
Ntokozo “Schillo” Tshuma F Bulawayo, Zimbabwe University of Maryland
The sophomore forward helped Maryland advance to the 2013 Men’s College Cup final, scoring six goals on the season.