The list is shrinking for options at No. 1 in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch said Monday afternoon.
The draft is Friday afternoon in Chicago, meaning Koch and the FCC technical staff still have time to make their final decision.
“I don’t think the list has changed, but the list is starting to shrink,” Koch said of draft targets. “We’re starting to explore players that we’re really interested in; We’re starting to move on from players that we might not be interested in.
“In terms of final lists, we’re not there yet, but we don’t have to be at that stage just yet.”
Meanwhile, the 2019 MLS Player Combine continues in Orlando, Fla., through Wednesday, which offers more time to evaluate the top seniors and Generation adidas signings.
Last Saturday, players split into four teams for two games and will do so again Wednesday. Those matches are full-field games. On Monday, teams played small-sided games, which meant more pressure and less time on the ball.
Koch said this combine is the first time he recalls the small-sided games, but called them useful.
“In small-sided games, it’s a little easier to see who can play at speed because players are closer to you,” he said. “To get out of trouble you have to move the ball very, very quickly. I think it’s very beneficial from that perspective.”
Earlier in the combine, Koch mentioned the significance of observing players responding to high-pressed environments. The small fields offered that and may ultimately help the team decide how to use its top pick.
“When you assess players, obviously the end product is 11-v.-11,” Koch said. “But the more opportunities you get to see players in different types of environments, different types of situations like we’re seeing today, I think that’s a huge positive from an assessment perspective.”