Each year, the Sounders FC Invitational Combine in Las Vegas grows more and more prominent as the club builds its scouting base around the country.
Since first running the combine in 2009, 104 invitees have been selected in the MLS SuperDraft or Supplemental Draft and 30 have signed with MLS clubs, including six who played with Sounders FC.
This year, the process of building the roster for the three-day camp has already begun. Owner/General Manager Adrian Hanauer, Sporting Director Chris Henderson, Head Coach Sigi Schmid and Assistant Coach/Scout Kurt Schmid will all be on hand at the combine while college players from around the country vie for the opportunity to have their name called at the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Sounders FC invite some of the top college talent from across the country to participate in the three-day combine from December 15-17 that the staff will not only use as a gauge for a player¹s talents, but also his coachability, attitude and ability to work with new teammates. But these aren¹t just any players.
In 2009, 60 players attended the combine. Twenty of those went on to the MLS Combine in Florida, and 15 of them were drafted, including Seattle forward David Estrada.
In 2010, 35 players in the combine were drafted while 14 went on to sign MLS contracts, including Servando Carrasco, Bryan Meredith and Josh Ford - all signed in Seattle.
In 2011, 69 players attended the combine. Nine were selected in the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft and 21 more were taken in the Supplemental Draft. Ten of those were signed to MLS contracts, including Toronto FC first-round pick Aaron Maund, who now plays with Real Salt Lake.
Last year, Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Kekuta Manneh and Seattle defender Dylan Remick were among those at the combine selected in the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft. In total, 13 players at last year's event ended up on MLS rosters this season.