Last month, we told you that outgoing Charlotte 49ers forward Donnie Smith was selected to participate in the MLS Combine. That started today, and Smith is among 54 seniors (and a total of 72 players) down in Ft. Lauderdale right now looking to catch the eye of MLS teams and vying for a possible shot at the next level.
Smith will suit up with Team AdiPure, who lost 4-0 to AdiZero in game 2 of the first day’s doubleheader. Two of Smith’s opponents on the other side of the field certainly were certainly familiar names–Luke Spencer from Xavier and Ashton Bennett of Coastal Carolina. The Niners defeated the Chanticleers 1-0 in double OT on August 27; and while they didn’t play the Musketeers this season, Smith and Spencer have done battle plenty of times in years past in A-10 conference play.
In terms of other familiar faces, one of Smith’s fellow mids happens to be Georgetown’s Ian Christanson–the Hoyas knocked the Niners out of the NCAA Tournament back in November. Teammate Jimmy Nealis is one of the squad’s four defenders. Scott Goodwin (GK) and Jordan Gafa (D) of North Carolina are also two members of AdiPure; Smith knows them all too well from the 2011 national championship. He’ll also remember fellow mid Andrew Ribeiro (Creighton) from that same year.
Right now, Smith is being projected to go anywhere from 19th-24 in the SuperDraft, which will be held Thursday at noon. That can, of course, change, and we’ll be keeping an eye on things in South Florida.