A record five Caribbean nationals have been selected to showcase their talents at the upcoming Major League Soccer (MLS) Combine, set to start January 8th at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill. The players join top soccer contenders across the U.S., as all compete for the attention of recruiters seeking new talent for MLS professional teams.
Two Jamaicans and one Belizean were selected from the U.S. college soccer circuit. Jamaican representative Neco Brett has been making a name for himself playing for Robert Morris University, and just last December was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division I All-America Team. The Kingston native was also the first player in Northeast Conference history to earn Player of the Year honors three times and has been a three time All-NEC First Team selection. Fellow Jamaican Vincent Mitchell of Butler University has also had a stellar season. The Manchester High alum has also been named a USCAA First Team All-American. Belizean representative Michael Salazar has also been making waves, playing for the competitive UC Riverside, and the Cayo District native has also played for the national team.
So far, Jamaicans Kevaughn Frater and Jorginho James have been the sole international invites from the region, recruited from the inaugural MLS-sponsored Caribbean Combine. Three try-out sessions were held in St. Kitts, Curacao and Martinique, pulling players from across the Caribbean to compete for the chance to proceed to the stateside combine. Jorginho James is a Kingston College alum, a starter for Harbor View FC, and a former Reggae Boy. Fellow Jamaican recruit and Harbor View FC teammate, Kevaughn Frater, has also most recently played for the Reggae Boyz in last November’s World Cup qualifier against Panama.
The Caribbean region may still get another invitation to Lauderhill, as a decision on possible players still hasn’t been formally announced from the final Caribbean Combine session currently being held in Martinique.
All invited players to the MLS Combine in Lauderhill will be eligible for selection in the 2016 SuperDraft presented by Adidas, held on Thursday, Jan. 14 in Baltimore, MD.