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Sandoval, Smith Get Invites to Combine

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MLS Event Is Jan. 11-15 in Florida

New Mexico men’s soccer seniors Devon Sandoval and Blake Smith were two of 54 players to be invited to the MLS player combine Jan. 11-15 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Sandoval, a Hermann Award semifinalist, and Smith are the 10th and 11th Lobos to receive invitations to the combine since 2005.

Smith is listed 12th on the MLS Draft Big Board by Ives Galarcep, the former ESPN soccer columnist who now edits an online soccer magazine. He says the Lobo “looks like the best pure winger in the draft.” Galarcep has Sandoval 36th on his board.

The 2013 MLS Super Draft is Jan. 17 in Indianapolis, with 38 players being drafted. The MLS Supplemental Draft is Jan. 22.

Former Lobo Lance Rozeboom, a D.C. United supplemental draft pick last year, injured his knee after making the team and did not play last season.

Andrew Boyens, a Hermann semifinalist for the Lobos in 2006, has played for four MLS teams and is now with the LA Galaxy.

Current UNM assistant Brandon Moss was drafted by Columbus in the 2006 MLS Super Draft, but a knee injury cut his career short.

LOBO NOTES: Defender Kyle Venter was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s second team. It named defender Ben McKendry second-team all-freshman.

… New Mexico finished 11th in the final College Soccer News poll.

… Midfielders Nick Thiros of Layton, Utah, and Steve Manios of Woodland Hills, Calif., have given verbal commitments to UNM, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. Signing day is Feb. 6.

SPENCER: Albuquerque’s Ben Spencer, of Chivas USA Academy, had the winning goal as the U.S. under-18 men’s National Team defeated Canada 3-1 last month.

Spencer, 17, who committed to UC Santa Barbara, has spent time playing with clubs in Norway and Portugal.
— This article appeared on page D5 of the Albuquerque Journal

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