Dec. 12, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men’s soccer defender Kevin Cope has been invited to the 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine. He is one of only 50 NCAA Division I seniors to be asked to showcase their talents at the combine held from Jan. 10-14 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“It’s well-deserved,” said head coach Damon Rensing. “He is certainly one of the top players coming out of college in the country. I think he’s worked very hard, not just this year, but all four years on improving his game, his leadership, and in both attacking and defending. I’m very proud of Kevin. I think the other piece is that it’s a tribute to the team and their success. A lot of individual awards and accolades come out of team success, so I think that’s a reflection of our team as well.”
A total of 19 MLS coaching staffs will be on hand as Cope will look to be selected in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft that will take place on Jan. 16 in Philadelphia, Pa. at 12 p.m. ET.
The 50 seniors were selected based on a committee consisting of NCAA Divsion I coaches and MLS representatives. They will be joined at the combine by other seniors, including those from lower NCAA divisions, underclassmen who sign adidas contracts and other international invitees.
The three-time captain made a huge impact on and off the pitch for the Spartans this season, despite missing five games. Recording one career goal prior to 2013, Cope scored two goals and recorded two assists for MSU this season. As a member of the stout Spartan defense, he has helped Michigan State lead the Big Ten in fewest goals allowed with 15 and goals against average (0.64), and played in nine of the Spartans’ 13 shutouts this season.
“He’s a very mature player,” Rensing said. “I just think he needs to go out there and do what he’s done all year, which is be very calm on the ball. He’s organized this team as well and is a good defender. If he just continues to do what he does well all year in our high-level games, then I have the utmost confidence that Kevin will have a good career in the MLS.”
On the most recent TopDrawerSoccer.com 2014 MLS Draft Big Board, Cope sits at No. 13. He is the highest ranked player from the Big Ten Conference. Also representing the conference at the combine will be Indiana’s Jacob Bushue, A.J. Corrado and Nikita Ktollov. The full list of invitees can be found here.