InfoSport Combine Participants WNY Might Know

This week is the 13th annual InfoSport Combine near Bradenton, Florida.  The combine allows aspiring players the opportunity to impress coaches and scouts from 3 USL-Pro teams, 4 NASL teams, 1 PDL team, and 6 MLS teams.  If players perform well during the course of the 3-day combine, they could earn invites to a pre-season camp or even a professional contract.  One of the coaches in attendance is Jesse Myers, head coach of the Rochester Rhinos.  Several of the players attempting to make their dream a reality at the combine have connections to Western New York.

Lubo Kocic is probably the most well-known player on this list.  The 27 year old standout for the Rochester Lancers professional indoor soccer team last year also played in the midfield for the San Antonio Scorpions for the second part of the summer.  Kocic found his way to the Lancers through a professional combine and has since earned caps on the U.S. futsal national team.  Kocic is also one of a handful of former professionals at the combine, while most players are closer to college age.

David Wright is one such player hoping to make the jump to a professional team this summer.  A former student of Aquinas Institute, the Victor High School graduate played two full seasons with Empire United in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy as a wide midfielder.

Mike Reidy is a well-known player for fans of FC Buffalo.  The Colgate senior scored 7 goals within the Patriot League in 2012 and ranks 10th in school history for points.  Reidy is a quick, powerful midfielder and was FC Buffalo’s best performer when I saw the team play.

Josh Faga is another FC Buffalo player participating in the combine.  The fullback/midfielder was a workhorse for the NPSL side during the last two seasons.

George Tor may soon join the ranks of FC Buffalo, after seeming to impress at an open tryout.  The Medaille senior finished his collegiate career with 35 goals in the last two seasons for the D3 school.

Donavan Wilson is a senior forward from Maple, Ontario, who plays at Roberts Wesleyan College.  This past year Wilson scored 7 goals and added 3 assists in 16 games.

Jesus Paesch is a 26 year old defender/defensive midfielder from Aruba.  He was a stalwart in defense for Roberts Wesleyan during his senior season in 2011.

Jordan Andrecolich played for Daemen College and the Chili, NY native has participated in the InfoSport Combine in years past with increasingly positive reviews.

Ambrose Boway was born in Liberia but attended Thomas Jefferson High School and Monroe Community College.  The versatile player can play on the outside of midfield or defense.

For more information on the InfoSport Combine, visit http://www.infosportinc.com/

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5 thoughts on “InfoSport Combine Participants WNY Might Know

  1. Interesting. I’d like to see more players coming out of the youth ranks opting for USLPRO or NASL opportunities. They get more meaningful, high quality games and a much longer training season…as opposed to college ball.

    Also, I find it interesting that so many USL, NASL and especially PDL rosters have so many players from smaller schools. (D2, D3, NAIA and JUCO) I’ve always felt that the very top players from these lesser known programs/divisions of college soccer were as good, if not better, than the vast majority of D1 college players.

    Could be various reasons for this. First, the limited amount of scholarship money available. And the fact that top level D1 programs almost exclusively recruit from nationally ranked club and now Development Academy programs.

    • I agree with the sentiment, but I’m not sure if the lower leagues are quite ready.

      NCAA schedule usually runs from late August to mid November (Aug 24 to Nov 11 this past season); something like 11 weeks. USL-Pro ran from April 6 to August 19 in 2012 (a little more than 19 weeks) and NASL from April 7 to September 23 (24 weeks). The training season is longer and quality higher, but keep in mind that several NCAA programs have spring practice seasons.

      It is encouraging that so many of the invitees to the InfoSport, USL, and NASL combines come from lesser known programs. There is definitely as argument for finding diamonds in the rough who may have fallen through the cracks. Ideally, any player who has the dream should have an avenue to try his game at a higher level. We’re working towards that point, but as long NCAA is willing to put millions of dollars into soccer scholarships the calendar will still work around that season.

  2. I’m a supporter of the college game. But, unless the college game reforms, we will continue to come up short developing truly exceptional players. Between poor talent ID, piss poor coaching and lack of infrastructure, it is a wonder we do as well as we do internationally.

    • I think we’re going to see US Soccer institute a u20 or u21 or u22 national program that first accommodates the college season for a few years before beginning to replace it. That’s the basic timeline of how the Development Academy grew with respect to high school. The college game is unlikely to reform, but rather it would remain as the net to catch those players who develop later; high school soccer remains despite the exodus of DA players.

      We just saw the first player signed by MLS since the league started (DC United’s Michael Seaton) and we are starting to see Homegrown Players make an impact in MLS and the USMNT player pools. It’ll take time but with a U14 USSDA league starting this fall, an older division is the next step towards a more full development scheme in the country.

  3. I agree. The PDL (and NPSL) have done a lot to bridge the gap. That said, I still think more needs to be done. Most PDL teams are playing 2 games a week during their season. Factor in travel and most of those players are only training 2-3 days a week. It still isn’t the same as what overseas players get in terms of coaching consistency and total training hours over the course of the year.

    If college soccer is to remain a ‘path’ for the majority of players, the number of allowable training hours need to be extended. A compressed, intense fall schedule is one thing. But the spring season needs to be expanded as well. I ran track in college and the training began in August and ended in May. College baseball works the same. Sure, there are limits on games in the fall but these guys are training year round.

    The USL U20 league should be expanded and ideally there will be a fully integrated ‘academy’ structure to U18, U20 and U23. Further, there needs to be a structure in place for players to pursue year round opportunities should they decide not to go to college.

    Most venues from U18-U23 are summer only options. Then again, those players not choosing college soccer can theoretically pursue opportunities with USlPro and NASL…provided they are good enough.

    I think it is also critical for college teams to start moving away from route 1 (due to the modified rules) and start playing a system more conducive to player development. The easy fix is to modify the substitution rules. Limit to say 5 subs with no reentry.

    The DA was a step in the right direction and is starting to pay off. But there is still plenty of room for improvement.

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