ELMHURST, Ill. -- Denver senior midfielder Graham Smith and Omaha senior defender Xavier Gomez have been invited to the 2018 adidas MLS Player Combine in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 13-17.
Smith was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Second Team. He played and started in 43 matches in his Denver career, finishing with 19 points on six goals and seven assists. Smith scored three game-winning goals in his career, including against Omaha and No. 16 Akron in his senior year. The Highlands Ranch, Colo., native split time at holding mid and center back in his senior campaign, but still finished second on the team in points with 10 on three goals and four assists. In December, Smith was named both a CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team selection and United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America Second Team for his performances both in the classroom and on the field.
Gomez's invitation to the MLS Combine is the first time a Maverick has been selected to participate in the scouting opportunity held each year before the MLS SuperDraft. A three-year starter, Gomez was a crucial player in Omaha's run to the 2017 Summit League Postseason Tournament title and the programs first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament. Gomez was named First Team All-Summit League after providing a team-high eight assists and adding five goals. He ended the year ranked 25th in the country and led the Summit League in assists. The senior ranked in the top 10 in the league in points (18), goals (5) shots (36) and assists (8).
A committee of MLS coaches and NCAA D1 coaches from every conference selected the 70 invitees, all of whom completed their college eligibility this season. Head coaches from all 23 MLS clubs will be on hand during the event at Orlando City Stadium.
The players have been split up into four teams (Nemeziz, Predator, X and Tango) and each team will play three matches. The matchdays start on Saturday with the schedule calling for games every other day. All matches will be played at Orlando City Stadium and streamed on MLSsoccer.com.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.