USL Men's Combine returns to Blackbaud Stadium

Tom Heinemann signed with the Battery following the 2008 USL Combine

United Soccer Leagues announced today that the 5th Annual USL Men’s Player Combine, presented by Umbro, will return to the first-class confines of Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. The event, set for January 20-23 and hosted by USL PRO’s Charleston Battery, will feature 102 of the top players from North America and abroad hoping to land a professional contract.

To date, more than 125 players have gone on to sign professional contracts with USL, MLS and international squads since the debut of the USL Men’s Combine in 2006. The event attracts the top U23 talent from throughout North America, with many of the participants coming from the USL Premier Development League.

This year’s event will be led by USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor, who will work alongside USL staff to develop a comprehensive curriculum that challenges participants while providing coaches with the proper environment for evaluation. Coaches expected to participate in the event will include USL National Technical Advisor Tony Waiters, who led Canada to the 1986 World Cup Finals, as well as MLS assistant coaches and several current PDL head coaches.

“We are delighted to once again have Blackbaud Stadium as the venue for the USL Men’s Combine,” Mellor said. “It gives the players the experience of playing in a first-class, professional environment as they work hard to earn a chance to continue their careers at the professional level.”

Recent beneficiaries of the event include rising star Tom Heinemann who signed with the Battery following the 2008 Combine, was named MVP of this season’s USL-2 title game, and then finished the year in the USSF Division-2 League. While the majority of players attending the USL Player Combine are drawn from the PDL each season, registration is open to anyone wishing to compete. Only 102 top-level players will be accepted. A playing resume or bio must be submitted along with the application. Please do not send any form of payment with the application. Only upon acceptance into the Player Showcase will players submit payment.

From the time of acceptance, players will have one week to submit payment and flight information in order to secure a spot in the USL Men’s Player Combine. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 10, and players will be accepted on a rolling basis prior to the deadline.

Players looking to participate in the USL Men’s Player Combine will be selected based on their playing background and their soccer achievements. Players selected will be placed on teams to provide the optimum level of scouting to coaches and general managers. Each team will have a team-specific training session on Thursday, January 20.

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