Portions courtesy of Dartmouth Athletics Communications, Penn Athletic Communications and Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Major League Soccer announced the initial list of college seniors from 31 Div. I schools who have been invited to participate in the 2012 adidas MLS Player Combine and three Ivy League players have been included in the list of 52 athletes. The three Ivy League seniors invited to the combine include 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year Lucky Mkosana of Dartmouth, 2010 Ivy League Player of the Year Antoine Hoppenot of Princeton and Penn's Christian Barreiro. Mkosana and Hoppenot were included as two of 13 forwards, while Barreiro is one of 19 midfielders.
The annual player combine will be held on Jan. 6-10 at the
Central Broward Regional Park in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Princeton
head coach Jim Barlow, the 1990 Ivy League Player
of the Year, and Yale head coach Brian Tompkins
will serve as combine coaches.
The initial player list was determined by a panel of Division I college coaches, representing all conferences, who nominated and voted for players in conjunction with MLS coaches. These players will be joined by Generation adidas players, international invitees, additional collegiate players from NCAA Division II and III schools, NAIA schools, and Division I alternates to bring the total number of participants to approximately 66 athletes.
Mkosana had a record -breaking senior season becoming Dartmouth's all-time leading scorer with 34 career goals, breaking a record that stood since the 1950s. Mkosana also became Dartmouth's all-time points leader with 79 career points, breaking a record that stood since the 1980s. He led the Dartmouth offense with 21 points on 10 goals and one assist and spent time in the national rankings. Mkosana is currently ranked No. 22 in goals per game (0.63), No. 32 in total goals (10) and No. 40 in points per game (1.30). The Zimbabwe native was named Most Valuable Offensive Player of the Dartmouth Classic and was Ivy League Player of the Week (Sept. 12). Mkosana, a senior co-captain, earned his fourth consecutive All-Ivy first team selection, in addition to Player of the Year honors.
Hoppenot was a first-team All-Ivy selection following his sophomore, junior and senior seasons and second-team honoree as a freshman. He has been named NSCAA all-region each of the last three years and earned All-America honors by the organization, as well as by College Soccer News. Hoppenot has also been a candidate for Soccer News Net Player of the Year. He capped his career with 26 goals and 15 assists for 67 points in 69 games played and helped lead Princeton to an undefeated Ivy League season in 2010 and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010.
Barreiro earned his second first-team All-Ivy nod this fall after setting career highs in goals (7) and points (21) - leading Penn in both categories. One of the most prolific playmakers in recent history, Barreiro led the Ivy League in assists for the second season in a row with seven. His proclivity for passing helped the Baltimore, Md. native finish with 58 career points - fourth most by a Penn player since 1969. Not just a passer, Barreiro took 64 shots, the most in the Ivy League and connected twice on penalty kicks in 2011 to finish his career a perfect 5-for-5 on PKs.
The 2012 MLS Player Combine will conclude two days prior to the 2012 MLS Superdraft, held on Jan. 12 at the Kansas City Convention Center. The first round of the Superdraft will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at noon. The Superdraft will include two rounds and 38 overall selections. A four-round Supplemental Draft will then take place via conference call on Jan. 17.
Last season, Brown senior Jon Okafor and Dartmouth senior Daniel Keat were invited to participate in the 2011 adidas Major League Soccer Player Combine. Keat went on to be drafted by the L.A. Galaxy and made the team, starting one game and appearing in five during his rookie season.
All told, six Ivy alums played in MLS games in 2011. Brown alums Jeff Larentowicz, who played 34 games for the Colorado Rapids and scored seven goals and added an assist, and Cory Gibbs, who netted three goals and an assist for the Chicago Fire in 26 games, played the most games amongst the Ivy alums.
Harvard alums Andre Akpan, who also suited up
for the Colorado Rapids and played in 12 games and scored a goal,
and Mike Fucito, who played in 19 games for the
Seattle Sounders and scored two goals and added two assists, also
played MLS games last year. Rounding out the Ivy contingent,
Cornell alum Scott Palguta palyed nine games for
the Rapids and scored the first two goals of his MLS career.