Stanford's Brandon Vincent, Eric Verso and Ty Thompson were among 59 NCAA Division I college players invited to participate in the 2016 adidas MLS Player Combine, Major League Soccer announced.
Top collegiate players from across the country will showcase their talents in front of representatives from all 20 MLS clubs in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Jan. 7-12, 2016. All invited players will be eligible for selection in the 2016 SuperDraft, presented by adidas, which will take place on Thursday, Jan. 14, in Baltimore. A committee of MLS coaches and NCAA Division I coaches from every conference selected the invitees, all of whom completed their college eligibility this season.
A MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist and the 2015 Pac-12 Men's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Vincent anchored Stanford's back line over the past four years, starting in each and every one of his 80 appearances. The two-time captain also claimed back-to-back Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors and is the only person to ever win the award, which was instituted last season. On Dec. 10, he was named a Senior CLASS Second Team All-American and a day later he earned his second consecutive nod as an NSCAA First Team All-American.
Verso, named to the NSCAA All-Far West Region third team on Dec. 9, has his most successful season in his final year on The Farm. The midfielder finished tied for second nationally in total assists (13) and sixth in assists per game (0.57) with teammate Corey Baird. He punctuated his banner year with a goal and an assist in the national championship against Clemson and finished fourth on the team in points (17).
Thompson co-captained the Cardinal along with Vincent to the first NCAA title in program history with a headline-grabbing senior campaign. The economics major was named to the NSCAA All-Far West Region first team and the All-Pac-12 first team. In addition to this NSCAA academic honor, Thompson was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District pick and made the Pac-12 All-Academic first team.
In other soccer news, Thompson and Andrew Epstein were honored by the NSCAA for their combined work in the classroom and on the field when the organization announced its Scholar All-America and All-West Region squads.
The duo took up two of the 15 spots on the NSCAA Division I Men's Scholar All-West Region team and were the only Pac-12 representatives named. Stanford was also the only school in the west that had multiple student-athletes receive scholar all-region recognition.
Thompson also was named an NSCAA Scholar Second Team All-American, the first Cardinal to earn such an honor since Bobby Warshaw and Dominique Yahyavi both made the second team in 2010. Thompson, who graduated two quarters early at the conclusion of the fall session, is the 14th NSCAA Academic All-American in Stanford history.
Epstein finished his junior season 10th in the nation in goals against average (0.61), the fifth-best mark in Stanford history. When it mattered most, Epstein didn't allow a goal at the College Cup against a pair of top-10 offenses in Akron (2.33 goals per game) and Clemson (2.17 goals per game). His eight solo shutouts in 2015 are tied for eighth in the Cardinal record books and his 0.73 career goals against average would be second on The Farm.