MLS Combine: Nick DePuy ready to take next step in professional career

Nick DePuy started his soccer playing in Southern California, as a resident of Irvine.

This week, he’s back, paving the way to the first big professional step on his journey.

DePuy, who attended Mater Dei HS for one year before moving to Colorado, mls_logo-svgis one of participants in this week’s MLS Player Combine. The ultimate goal is to have his named called during Friday’s MLS SuperDraft.

He played four years at UC Santa Barbara.

“It was a great experience,” DePuy said of his time at UC Santa Barbara. “I worked really hard. Coming into my freshman year, I was a high recruit, but I wasn’t guaranteed any minutes.”

It also wasn’t any guarantee that DePuy would end up with the career that he eventually had for the Gauchos.

DePuy arrived at UCSB as a defender and it took a bit of being at the right place at the right time for him to move up the field.

“I ended up starting three games in,” he said. “My second year, I started out as a defender again, at center back, and then one of our strikers went down with an injury.

“My coach, halfway through the season, put me up top. I scored a bunch of goals my sophomore (10) year, had a really good junior year (15 goals).”

After his junior year, DePuy said he started receiving interest from professional teams, but decided to return for his senior year, where he scored just six goals and he added that his last year “was kind of disappointing.”

“We lost a lot of guys that I didn’t think we were going to lose,” he said. “My junior year, we went to the Sweet 16 and we only had three seniors that we knew we were losing.  By the start of summer, we had five or six starters that were either injured of transferred. We had a bunch of new players and a lot young guys as well and I believe that the connection and chemistry wasn’t as good as it was the other years.

DePuy went on trial with clubs in Europe recently. He said that he learned a lot. Now, he’s trying to put everything to use to catch the eye of the MLS Scouts that will result in his name being called during Friday’s SuperDraft.

“It has always been a dream of mine to go professional,” he said. “This has always been a hobby for my, but once my sophomore and junior year hit, I was like this could really happen and my dream is really going to come true.”



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What you need to know for the MLS Player Combine

The annual MLS Player Combine is in California this year, taking place at the StubHub Center, Jan. 8-12. All games are free.

The invitees will be split into four teams (Team Chaos, Team Control, Team Copa and Team Nemeziz). They will compete over three days. All of the mls_logo-svgplayers will be eligible for Friday’s MLS SuperDraft.

There will be doubleheaders Jan. 8, 10 and 12.

Here is the schedule

Sunday, Jan. 8

Team Chaos v. Team Control, 1:15 p.m.

Team Copa v. Team Nemeziz, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Team Chaos v. Team Copa, 1:15 p.m.

Team Control v. Team Nemeziz, 3 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 12

Team Copa v. Team Control, 10 a.m.

Team Chaos v. Team Nemeziz, 11:30 a.m.

Player will also participate in interviews and various physical testing, January 7.



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Invitees for MLS Player Combine announced

Here are the 53 collegiate players that will participate in the MLS Player Combine, Jan. 8-12. The players will  showcase their talents in front of representatives from all 22 MLS clubs during the combine.

There will be six games (Jan. 8, Jan. 10 and Jan. 12).

All invited players will be eligible for selection in the 2017 SuperDraft, Friday, Jan. 13 at the LA Convention Center.

First Name Last Name School Pos. Hometown/Citizenship
Lalas Abubakar University of Dayton DF Accra, Ghana; Ghana
Michael Amick UCLA DF Sunnyvale, CA; USA
Brandon Aubrey University of Notre Dame DF Plano, TX; USA
Kwame Awuah UConn MF Toronto, ON; Canada
Nazeem Bartman University of South Florida FW Cape Town, South Africa; South Africa
Kyle Bjornethun Seattle University DF Snohomish, WA; USA
Brandt Bronico UNC Charlotte MF High Point, NC; USA
Russell Cicerone SUNY-Buffalo MF/FW Bloomfield Hills, MI; USA
Suliman Dainkeh University of Maryland DF Reston, VA; USA
Michael DeGraffenreidt University of Louisville DF Baltimore, MD; USA
Guillermo Delgado University of Delaware FW Tres Cantos, Spain; Spain
Nick DePuy UC Santa Barbara FW Irvine, CA; USA
Francis de Vries Saint Francis University (Penn.) DF Christchurch, New Zealand; New Zealand
Reagan Dunk University of Denver DF Dallas, TX; USA
Jack Elliott West Virginia University DF/MF London, England; UK
Wuilito Fernandes UMass-Lowell FW/MF Praia, Cape Verde; Cape Verde
Alec Ferrell Wake Forest University GK Westlake, OH; USA
David Goldsmith Butler University FW Bristol, England; UK BIO
Jorge Gomez Sanchez Temple University FW Talavera De La Reina, Spain; Spain
Julian Gressel Providence College MF Neustadt an der Aisch, Germany; Germany
Sam Hamilton University of Denver MF Evergreen, CO; USA
Niko Hansen University of New Mexico FW Sacramento, CA; USA/Denmark
Jacori Hayes Wake Forest University MF Bowie, MD; USA
Joe Holland Hofstra University MF London, England; UK
Walker Hume UNC Chapel Hill DF San Angelo, TX; USA
Daniel Johnson University of Louisville MF Duluth, GA; USA
Aaron Jones Clemson University DF Great Yarmouth, UK; UK
Eric Klenofsky Monmouth University GK Lincoln Park, NJ; USA
Austin Ledbetter SIU-Edwardsville DF St. Charles, MO; USA
Zeiko Lewis Boston College MF Pembroke, Bermuda; Bermuda
Connor Maloney Penn State University DF Harrisburg, PA; USA
Napo Matsoso University of Kentucky MF Louisville, Kentucky; Lesotho
Billy McConnell Indiana University DF Richboro, PA; USA
Jake McGuire University of Tulsa GK Chino Hills, CA; USA
Lindo Mfeka University of South Florida MF/FW Durban, South Africa; South Africa
Robert Moewes Duke University GK Dortmund, Germany; Germany
Brian Nana-Sinkam Stanford University DF Lititz, PA; USA
Chris Nanco Syracuse University FW Brampton, ON; Canada
Jakob Nerwinski UConn DF Lawrenceville, NJ; USA
Chris Odoi-Atsem University of Maryland DF Mitchellville, MD; USA
Evan Panken University of Notre Dame MF Edina, MN; USA
Danilo Radjen University of Akron DF Broadview Heights, OH; USA
Robby Sagel Penn State University DF Las Vegas, NV; USA
Eddie Sanchez University of Portland MF/FW Canby, OR; USA
Auden Schilder University of Washington GK Bellingham, WA; USA
Justin Schmidt University of Washington DF Albuquerque, NM; USA
Colton Storm UNC Chapel Hill DF Mechanicsburg, PA; USA
Christian Thierjung California FW Dove Canyon, CA; USA
Tanner Thompson Indiana University MF Loomis, CA; USA
Felix Vobejda UCLA MF/DF Bielefeld, Germany; Germany
Chris Wehan University of New Mexico MF Laguna Niguel, CA; USA
Jordan Wilson University of Kentucky DF Auchterarder, Scotland; UK
Brian Wright University of Vermont FW Ajax, ON; Canada
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