Dec. 5, 2005
QUEENS, N.Y. - Senior defender Jeff Carroll and graduate forward Matt Groenwald received invitations to participate in the 2006 Adidas Major League Soccer (MLS) Combine to be held at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. from Jan. 12-15. The two join a long list of Red Storm players to earn invites to the prestigious tryout, including six in the past two seasons alone.
The list of combine participants is selected each year by a panel of Division I coaches representing all conferences. The college coaches nominated and voted for players in conjunction with coaches from the MLS. At the combine, the players will be separated into four teams and play in four doubleheaders from Jan. 13-15 in Carson, Calif.
Both Carroll and Groenwald earned multiple All-BIG EAST honors over their four-year careers, including respective second- and first-team selections in 2005. Carroll was a starter in all 22 of the team's games this past season and in 84 career games. A consistent and smart player, Carroll has been a key to one of the most dominant defensive eras in school history. The St. John's defense has recorded 10 or more shutouts in four straight seasons since Carroll's freshman season in 2002, and three teams over that same time frame rank among the top 10 defensive performances in school history, in terms of goals allowed.
Groenwald leaves St. John's one of the most decorated players in school history. The accolades have come for his performance on the field, as well as off it. A two-time semifinalist for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, Groenwald finished his career with 15 goals and 22 assists for 53 points, including a team-leading 17 points in 2005. He has been a first-team All-BIG EAST and an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American in each of the last three seasons. In 2004, Groenwald was named the 2004 men's soccer Academic All American of the Year by CoSIDA and ESPN The Magazine.
The two players join a list of 18 St. John's players to be selected to participate in the combine since 1996. Last season, four seniors were selected - Bill Gaudette, Ryan Kelly, Simone Salinno and Chris Corcoran - giving the Red Storm six invitees in the last two years.
The coaches and general managers of all 12 MLS teams will attend the combine to scout the talent before their SuperDraft selections at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa., on Fri., Jan. 20. Of the 48 players chosen in last year's draft, 39 participated in the combine the week before.