Updates from the 2014 MLS Player Combine
Messiah forward Josh Wood (left) and Redlands defender Richie Marquez are participating in the MLS Player Combine.
Messiah forward Josh Wood and Redlands defender Richie Marquez are participating in the 2014 Major League Soccer (MLS) Player Combine taking place Thursday, January 9 through Tuesday, January 14 near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The two are among approximately seventy prospects that are showcasing their talents to MLS coaching staffs and other scouts ahead of the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, January 16.
Marquez is wearing the No. 87 shirt for the green-outfitted Predator team. Wood is No. 58 for the adiZero team which dons blue uniforms. Their teams meet on the final gameday, Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET. For the full schedule and complete list of participants, go to the combine home page. There is no live coverage of the games.
We will update this page throughout the five-day event with any news about the two Division III players.
Friday, January 10 - Josh Wood gets a start
In the early game, Richie Marquez started on the bench for Predator in their 4-1 win over Nitro Charge. Josh Wood started at center forward in a 4-3-3 formation for adiZero in their 2-0 loss to Brazuka. No menton of either in any match reports.
Saturday, January 11 - Richie Marquez shines in physical tets
On the day off between games, players were put through a series of physical tests to measure speed, agility, and vertical jump. Richie Marquez recorded two top ten marks finishing with the second best vertical jump (20.5") and fifth best 30-meter sprint (3.96 sec.). He was one of five players to score in the top ten in two tests with just one player acheiving a top ten ranking in all three categories. Read the full MLS report.
Sunday, January 12 - Marquez starts, impresses
Josh Wood, who started on the first matchday, had to spend the first half on the bench before being called into action for adiZero in a 1-1 tie with Nitro Charge. No mention of him in any reports so far.
After being a reserve Friday, Richie Marquez got the start at centerback for Predator in their 1-0 loss to Brazuca in Sunday's later game. When asked at halftime about Marquez' performance, reporter Ives Galarcep responded that "Marquez has looked good. Solid centerback prospect, but there's so many good ones in this draft it will be tough for him to break through in the top part of that group." However later in Galarcep's recap of matchday 2 he was even more positive about the Marquez, initially writing:
Day Two of the Combine also provided a good showcase for some small school prospects who have caught the eye of scouts and are quietly climbing up draft boards, such as centerback Richie Marquez and forward Tesho Akindele.
then expanding on that in his list of "Players Who Impressed":
Richie Marquez - Another small school wonder, Marquez has scouts very interested after apparently testing through the roof in fitness testing. He then went out on day two and played a very impressive game. Good size (6-foot-2) combined with quickness and confidence on the ball make him someone teams are definitely interested in now.
Tuesday, January 13 - Both start on the bench on Matchday 3
Neither Wood or Marquez was in the starting line-up Tuesday as their teams squared off against each other. Wood did play the second half for adiZero who was leading 1-0 at half; no word on Marquez coming on for Predator. The game finished 1-0.
Wednesday, January 14
Josh Wood's highlight video for the 2014 MLS SuperDraft can been seen here. No video for Marquez has been posted yet.
Thursday, January 15 - SuperDraft Day
Will either Josh Wood or Richie Marquez get selected in the draft? The first two rounds take place today, starting at 12:00 pm ET. You can follow on the official MLS SuperDraft webpage and live coverage on ESPNews.