DURHAM, N.C.—The Duke trio of Markus Fjørtoft, Carter Manley and Brian White join the more than 70 talented young players in Orlando for the 2018 adidas MLS Player Combine at Orlando City Stadium. They will spend six days trying to impress MLS squads in hopes of achieving a lifelong dream of playing soccer at the highest level.
The MLS Player Combine opens with players undergoing medicals and performance testing before lining up to compete in the Combine matches. Those games will take place from Jan. 13-17. The 2018 MLS SuperDraft is Jan. 19 in Philadelphia.
They will aim to be able to join the likes of Sean Davis, Mike Grella, Andrew Wenger and Zach Mathers in the league.
Fjørtoft will suit up for Team Predator, while White and Manley will compete for Team Nemeziz and Team X, respectively. Each team will play three games over the course of three days.
Team Predator with Fjørtoft will take on White and Team Nemeziz to kick the Combine off Jan. 13 at 12:30 p.m. White and Nemeziz round out the games Jan. 17 at 12 p.m.
All games will be open to the public (free admission, no ticket required) with gates opening for both fans and media one hour before the start of the day’s first match. For fans following from afar, all six Combine matches will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com and the MLS YouTube Channel.
White, a third-team All-America pick, headlined Duke’s offense in 2017 with 10 goals and two assists for 22 points. He is a two-time All-ACC second team choice and is the first Blue Devil to earn All-America recognition since Sebastien Ibeagha did so in 2013.
White recorded his first career multiple-goal game against Fordham this past August and finished 2017 with tallies in nine games overall. He netted the game-winning goals against Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Appalachian State. For his career, White registered 23 goals and 10 assists for 56 points. He played in 73 games overall with 63 starts.
Playing with the New York Red Bulls in the Premier Development League during the summer, White had a breakout season this past summer en route to being named the PDL MVP and Golden Boot winner with a league-leading 17 goals and 38 points overall. He led the Red Bulls to the Mid Atlantic Division Title and PDL regular season title.
A starter in all 73 of the games he played, Fjørtoft was a staple as a center back for the Blue Devils. He garnered All-ACC third team recognition this season and was crucial in Duke finishing fourth in the ACC and earning the No. 6 seed in the NCAA Championships. He missed just 181 minutes in the 73 games he appeared in in his four seasons. In the past four seasons, he helped Duke to 14 shutouts, including seven this season.
An aerial threat for the Blue Devils on set pieces, the Norway native also has seven goals and two assists to his name, including the game winner at Syracuse this season. He also had the tying goal in a 3-2 win over High Point earlier in the year. His senior season has been his best, captaining Duke to seven shutouts and a 1.01 goals against average and scoring three goals.
Manley, arguably Duke’s most versatile and best one-on-one defender, collected his first all-region award after helping anchor a strong year for the Blue Devil defense. A starter in all 20 games this season, Manley was superb as a right outside back as Duke posted seven shutouts en route to a fourth-place finish in the ACC and a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
An attacking-minded defender, Manley is highly effective in going forward and has a team-best five assists this season. For his career, the Elkridge, Md., native has played in 58 games with 52 starts and has a goal and 12 assists for 14 points.
Fjørtoft played with the New York Red Bulls this past summer in the PDL, captaining the team to the regular season title. Manley has been a mainstay with DC United during his time with the Blue Devils.
The MLS SuperDraft 2018 presented by adidas will start at 11 a.m. on January 19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.