The Charlotte 49ers’ Tyler Gibson may have a professional career in his future.
The redshirt senior midfielder from Knoxville, Tenn., has been invited to next month’s MLS Combine, to be held January 10-14 in Fort Lauderdale. Gibson was one of 50 college seniors selected to have a front row seat to show their skills to the coaches of Major League Soccer.
Among other Conference USA players earning an invite: New Mexico midfielders Michael Calderon and Michael Kafari and defender Kyle Venter. They, along with Gibson and the other 46 seniors, will join a host of other players, including internationals, members of Generation adidas (the league’s early entry program offered to non-seniors) and athletes outside of Division I.
Gibson was known for his dead-on accuracy on penalty kicks. Two come to mind: his ninetieth-minute strike in 2012’s Atlantic 10 opening round against Duquesne and, more recently, just under a month ago on November 17–the lone goal in the Conference USA championship game against Tulsa.
Another Niner hoping for a career in soccer is Giuseppe Gentile. The junior announced a few weeks ago that he would give up his final collegiate season in hopes of turning professional. There’s a chance that he could be one of the Generation adidas players set to be signed shortly.
Last year, Donnie Smith was drafted by the New England Revolution with the 21st pick in the 2013 SuperDraft. He recorded one appearance, a start in the opening game, but did not see time with the Revs after that.