The first matchday of the 2018 adidas MLS Player Combine featured the first game action for the top 2018 MLS SuperDraft prospects. With a game under their belts, here are the players whose stock rose…or fell, on day one.
Francis Atuahene – A Generation adidas signing, we know Atuahene (pictured above) is going to be in MLS next year. And be excited: With game breaking speed and an eye for goal, this is a player who will excite fans. He used his speed and simple feints to throw defenders off and showed with the ball he might still be the fastest player on the field.
Alex Roldan – Carrying the weight of his brother’s last name, I am sorry to describe it is this way, but he had a very Cristian Roldan-esque day. Calm and steady for his team right off the bat in central midfield, he allowed a squad of brand new players time to settle in. He then came back in the second half at left back and played a mistake-free role for his team.
Brandon Bye – Big stock up day for Bye, proving that he can be flexible and play anywhere on the field. More of a forward or attacking midfielder in college, he put in a good shift at right back, defending as well as pushing forward.
Lucas Stauffer – Not a guy high on many people’s draft boards, Stauffer (above) had a good day to open up the Combine. He played two ways at left back (he is a natural right back) and then moved in central midfield mid-half and held his own in there. With great touch on the ball from his futsal upbringing, look for Stauffer to continue to push his way up teams’ draft boards.
Tomas Hilliard-Arce – Not a terrible day for the three time national champion out of Stanford, but in the race with Joao Moutinho to be the No. 1 defender taken, he took a step back. Moutinho showed he could compete at center back at his size and Hilliard-Arce didn’t wow anyone.
Gordon Wild – There were question marks for Wild after having a down year in 2017 at Maryland. Coming into the Combine, coaches wanted to see the striker from 2016 using good quick movement to create goals. Going out after a few understated minutes on the wing with an apparent knock does not help the Generation adidas signing’s stock.
Tristan Blackmon – We will find out after game day two if everyone struggles against Atuahene, but it was not a great day for the top fullback prospect. Blackmon had a few good moments going forward, but it will be interesting to see if he is tested at center back later on.