CHARLESTON, S.C. – Shawn Ferguson, Sean de Silva and Ralphie Lundy, members of the College of Charleston men’s soccer team, were all invited to the United Soccer Leagues (USL) PRO Combine to be held on the world-class facilities at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., from Jan. 24-27.
The USL PRO Combine provides an opportunity for elite men’s soccer players to showcase their talents for both domestic and international scouts and professional coaches.
“We’re very proud of these three players,” said CofC head coach Ralph Lundy. “All three of them have brilliant futures and potential to play professional soccer. This is a testament to that, and a super opportunity for it to come true. They’re going to be seen by some of the best coaches at this wonderful event.”
The annual event, now in its seventh year, has served as a highly effective springboard to the professional ranks and provides these three players with a bright prospect of landing professional contracts. Last year, 10 of the combine’s participants went on to sign professional contracts with USL, Major League Soccer (MLS) and international squads, propelling the six-year total upwards of 150.
CofC’s standouts were three of 102 players selected from across the globe who now have the opportunity to prove their worth at the next level. The USL PRO Combine, led by USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor, will provide a comprehensive curriculum that challenges participants while providing coaches with the proper environment for evaluation. Coaches expected to participate in the event will include MLS staff coaches and several current PDL head coaches.
Ferguson (Rock Hill, S.C.) was a rock at central defense for the Cougars and started every single match of his career up until suffering a broken bone in his face in a match midway through his senior campaign. He battled back from that injury and against the odds got back on the field for CofC’s final three games, averaging 89 minutes between those contests. The 6-3 defender always had his backline organized and used his frame well for clearing out set pieces and services. Despite his defensive focus, Ferguson netted five goals throughout his career and tallied four assists.
De Silva (Port of Spain, Trinidad) was a constant contributor and an integral component to CofC’s attack. The midfielder demonstrated tremendous skill and speed both on and off the ball. He demonstrated a knack for getting behind the defense and capitalized with a tremendous finishing touch and ability. Throughout his career, de Silva found the net 20 times for the Cougars while registering 19 assists after placing team highs in both categories his senior season. He was a three-time all-Southern Conference first-team selection during his career with the Cougars.
Lundy (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) always displayed a tremendous ball-striking ability and could both score and serve balls from distance, both from set pieces and the run of play. He is an inventive player who possessed creativity and field vision in the attacking third of the field which contributed to his seven goals and 17 assists as a Cougar.
The trio and the rest of the positional players report to the 2013 USL PRO Combine for training on Friday, Jan. 25 following the goalkeepers who reported the day before. The event concludes on Sunday, Jan. 27.
IMG Academy, the site of the event, is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex. For more than 30 years, IMG Academy has helped countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in and out of sport, by providing world-class coaching, tailored programs and professional facilities within an energetic environment across a 450-acre campus.