(Courtesy: UofL Athletics) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men's soccer seniors Tim Kubel and Mohamed Thiaw were among 60 NCAA Division I players invited to participate in the 2018 Major League Soccer adidas Player Combine in Orlando, Florida as announced last week by the organization.
The league will hold its annual combine from Jan. 11-17 at Orlando City Stadium, with representatives from all 23 MLS clubs scouting the top college prospects ahead of the Jan. 19 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia. A committee of MLS coaches and NCAA D1 coaches from every conference selected the invitees, all of whom completed their college eligibility this season. Further invitees, including Generation adidas signings and non-college players, will be announced in coming weeks.
Kubel capped his brilliant collegiate career with multiple individual honors in 2017. The Stuttgart, Germany native was selected as a United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American, chosen as a MAC Hermann Award semifinalist, named to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Scholar All-America First Team and was an All-ACC First Team honoree. Kubel scored 21 goals and had a school record 26 assists in 82 matches during his four seasons, including six goals and seven assists in 2017. Overall, he was a two-time All-American, two-time Scholar All-American, four-time All-ACC selection and a two-time MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. Along with his career assists record, Kubel is also Louisville's single season assists record holder registering 11 assists in 2016.
Thiaw closed his two-year career as a Cardinal by being selected as an All-ACC Second Team honoree in 2017 scoring eight goals with two assists in 19 matches, including 17 starts. A two-time All-ACC selection, Thiaw totaled 20 goals and four assists in 41 games during his two seasons at Louisville. Ten of Thiaw’s 20 goals for the Cardinals were game-winners, while his hat trick on Oct. 10, 2017 against Florida Atlantic was the first for a Louisville player since 2012.
With head coach Ken Lolla at the helm at the University of Louisville, the Cardinals have been very successful in sending players into professional soccer and specifically Major League Soccer. Since the 2012 draft, Louisville has produced six first round selections in the MLS SuperDraft, including Andrew Farrell as the No. 1 overall pick in 2013. The Cardinals have also had two or more selections in the first two rounds of the SuperDraft five times, highlighted by a school record four selections in 2012. Overall, 18 players from the University of Louisville have been chosen in the MLS SuperDraft all-time.
The Cardinals closed the 2017 season with a 13-2-5 record after suffering a heartbreaking 4-3 shootout loss to Akron in an NCAA Championship quarterfinal match at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium. Under Lolla’s guidance, Louisville reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championship for the second straight season and the fifth time in the last eight years.