New Year: A primer on January's MLS Combine and MLS SuperDraft

What you need to know about the upcoming MLS Combine & MLS SuperDraft this month

2014 MLS SuperDraft room

Photo Credit: 
(USA Today Sports Images)

The holiday decorations put away and a new layer of FieldTurf has been laid out on the stadium floor. 2014 is upon us and that means the first few steps of a new season are underway.

The first-ever MLS Caribbean Player Combine finished last week in Antigua, MLS announced a new group of Generation adidas signings and the 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine begins this Thursday  in Ft. Lauderdale with the eventual 2014 MLS SuperDraft happening on January 16 in Philadelphia.

With the pace quickly picking up and preseason camps opening only a few weeks away, here’s a quick roundup of information on the Combine, the SuperDraft and more.

2014 MLS Caribbean Player Combine | Jan. 2-4, Antigua

  • MLS invited 24 players to a special combine with an eye to gaining an invitation to the 2014 MLS Player Combine

2014 adidas MLS Player Combine | Jan. 9-14, Ft. Lauderdale

MLS has invited over 50 college players to participate in its annual player evaluation process. Three former Timbers U-23s—Mark Sherrod, Reinaldo Brenes & Spencer Richey-—will all be in attendance.

UPDATE: MLS adds to Generation adidas signings and Combine List

Thursday, January 9: Players arrive

Friday, January 10: Matchday #1
--11 am PT: Nitro Charge vs. Predator
--12:45 pm PT: adiZero vs. Brazuca

Saturday, January 11: Player interviews with clubs

Sunday, January 12: Matchday #2
--10:30 am PT: Nitro Charge vs. adiZero
--12:30 pm PT: Predator vs. Brazuca

Monday, January 13: Player interviews with clubs

Tuesday, January 14: Matchday #3
--7 am PT: adiZero vs. Predator
--8:55 am PT: Nitro Charge vs. Brazuca

MLSsoccer.com will have full recaps and highlights for each of the Combine matches. Going to Florida? Tickets are only $10 and include both matches each day.

2014 MLS SuperDraft | Jan. 16, Philadelphia, 9am PT

Draft Order – The first two rounds occur on Jan. 16 in Philadelphia with the final two more rounds occurring January 21. The Timbers currently have six picks in the SuperDraft: the 17th pick in the first round, 7th and 17th pick (26th and 36th overall) in the second  round, 1st pick (39th overall) in the third round, and the 14th and 16th pick (71st and 73rd overall) in the fourth round. Timbers.com will have ongoing coverage from the draft floor in Philly.

A couple of websites have already set up some mock drafts with MLSsoccer.com and SoccerbyIves.com both theorizing about who might end up where.

TopDrawerSoccer.com has a Draft Big Board while Fox Sports soccer writer Leander Schaerlaeckens wrote earlier this fall a four part series on the role college soccer plays in developing professional talent:  Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four