FC Tucson's Pearlman to skipper team at MLS combine | Soccer notes
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Soccer notes

FC Tucson's Pearlman to skipper team at MLS combine

Pllus: Which Red Bulls will be here?

This weekend, MLS holds its player combine in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., before next week’s SuperDraft. On the sidelines for the combine’s scrimmages will be local coach Jonathan Pearlman.

“It’s really exciting and a great honor,” Pearlman said.

A total of eight coaches were chosen, four college coaches and four youth coaches to act as assistants. Pearlman is paired up with George Mason University and former Columbus Crew coach Greg Andrulis.

Although Pearlman was picked in his role with the Tanque Verde Soccer Club, he is also on the staff of FC Tucson. He isn’t above doing a little bit of networking for that role.

“All contacts with MLS are good for us in Tucson,” he said.

The combine features 54 college players that will be broken up into four teams whose names look a little like second string Transformers characters: adiPower, Prime, adiZero, adiPure. From Friday until next Tuesday, the teams will play against each other, giving MLS coaches and scouts a chance to look over the players.

There is no room to prepare formations or tactics.

“There’s no practicing. We roll them out and play,” said Pearlman. “Our job is to get them into their proper spots and get out of the way.”

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Canadian Eagle?

One player at the combine will be Boston College’s Kyle Bekker. The midfielder scored 16 goals in his college career and according to the Victoria (B.C.) Times Colonist, is expected to join the Canada squad for their friendly against Denmark scheduled for Kino Stadium on January 26.

We can be assured that they will have wings, however

The New York Red Bulls will be at the combine despite the fact that they haven’t yet settled on a permanent coach. The team is currently helmed by interim coach Mike Petke as the team has been on an international hunt for a coach. Names floated have included Eric Wynalda, Gary McAllister and, in the realm of likely not, Thierry Henry acting as a player coach.

Tucson fans who saw the team last year will note many other changes in the squad when they take the field here in February. Eleven players have been cut since the team made its exit from the playoffs, including Rafael Márquez, Teemu Taino and Jan Gunnar Soli. That’s in addition to midseason moves that cast off long recognized faces like Mehdi Ballouchy and Dane Richards. In all, only nine players that played in New York’s games last Desert Diamond Cup will be wearing the jersey when they come to Tucson this year.

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FC Tucson

Jonathan Pearlman, FC Tucson general manager and Tanque Verde Soccer Club director of coaching.