The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) will hold its second annual combine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 18-20, 2016. It will be hosted by Lockhart Stadium, home of the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The combine is a showcase event for the best players of the 2015 NPSL season to be evaluated by professional coaches and agents. All expenses for the players are paid for by the NPSL.
Combine Chairman Kenny Farrell, of the New Orleans Jesters and NPSL Executive Board Member, explained the purpose of the combine this way: "The goal of this event is to give young, developing players the opportunity to be recognized and get to the next level, and realize their dreams. We did not want to inhibit players who may have financial constraints,… This is an important commitment from the league to its teams and players, and provides an opportunity for professional coaches to experience the talent in the NPSL. We think people will be impressed with what they see."
The combine will be organized into four teams, each representing a NPSL region (West, Midwest, Northeast, and South), of up to 18 players. An initial training session will be conducted Friday evening, and inter-regional matches are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday evenings.
The participating players were selected by a nomination process. Each team named players to represent their region, than those players were reviewed by regional committees. Those selected were also asked to provide a biography to be included with the combine packet given to coaches and agents attending the event.
Three members of the Cosmos B squad were invited to participate – Ibrahim Diaby, Travis Pittman, and Julian Stahler. Diaby scored a brace in this year’s NPSL championship game; Stahler was named NPSL – Mitre Player of the Week in May, 2015 (pictured above); and Pittman was a US U-14, U-16, and U-18 National Team member. The club will also be represented at the combine by Head Coach Alecko Eskandarian; he will serve as head coach for the Northeast Region.
A full list of the 2016 NPSL Combine Committee and the players invited can be found here.