Major League Soccer went on the defensive side of the ball with the final three players in the seven-man class of 2014 Generation adidas players, announcing on Wednesday that center backs Christian Dean, AJ Cochran and Damion Lowe have forgone their college eligibility to enter the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Five youth international players were also announced as eligible for the SuperDraft and will participate in the MLS Combine beginning on Friday in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Dean played 55 matches in three seasons for California, recording one goal and six assists. Cochran was a First Team All-American in his junior season at Wisconsin, prompting him to leave early to embark on his pro career. Lowe had five goals and two assists as a junior at Hartford.
That trio joins goalkeeper Andre Blake, defender Eric Miller, midfielder Marlon Hairston and Schillo Tshuma to complete the 2014 Generation adidas class.
Meanwhile, MLS also announced that youth internationals Braian Acuna (Argentina), Quinton Christina (Curacao), Andre Lewis (Jamaica), Ronny Mendoza (Ecuador) and Stefano Rijssel (Suriname) will look to make a splash at the Combine before next Thursday’s SuperDraft. Christina and Rijssel impressed already at the Caribbean Combine last week to earn invites to the Combine in Florida.
COLUMBUS SIGNS TWO HOMEGROWNS
The Crew ran its list of Homegrown players to seven on Wednesday with the signing of defender Ross Friedman and midfielder Matt Walker. Both had completed their college eligibility – Walker at Xavier University and Friedman at Harvard. Walker had 26 goals and 24 assists in 79 matches while Friedman played 56 matches, registering 17 assists.
RSL LURES UW ASSISTANT
After two seasons under Head Coach Jamie Clark at the University of Washington, former Huskies and A-League Sounders defender Craig Waibel has moved into the MLS ranks, joining the Real Sal Lake coaching staff as an assistant to new Head Coach Jeff Cassar. Waibel played 11 seasons in MLS with the Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo before retiring in 2010.
GALAXY ADDS BRAZILIAN FORWARD ON LOAN
The LA Galaxy added to its attacking corpse on Tuesday with the addition of Brazilian forward Samuel on loan from Fluminense in Brazil’s first division. The 22-year-old target forward had nine goals in 47 league matches over the last two seasons in his native Brazil and will look to bolster an LA offense that already features Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane.
NASL PLAYER TRADED FOR ROOM AND BOARD
The NASL is bringing new meaning to the oft-used phrase “silly season.” On Tuesday, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers sent 2012 NASL Best XI midfielder Walter Restrepo to the San Antonio Scorpions in exchange for hotel and travel expenses when the teams meet in June in Texas.
Restrepo had six goals and eight assists in his Best XI season in 2012, but had just two goals in 2013 for the Strikers.