After weeks of preparation for the Major League Soccer combine to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this weekend, Winthrop senior defender Otto Loewy will not be able to participate. Loewy, the team's MVP for the 2008 season, has a fractured lower right leg.
Loewy, from Lawrenceville, Ga., was injured in the Eagles' NCAA tournament game at William and Mary on Nov. 11. He left the game, reluctantly, and hobbled from the stadium after the game on crutches.
The injury was originally thought to be a high ankle sprain. Loewy stayed off the leg for a couple weeks to let it heal.
Winthrop men's soccer coach Rich Posipanko said Loewy had been training but went to team physician, Dr. John Temple, after experiencing more pain. Loewy had an MRI done on the leg that showed the fracture.
The injury will keep him from going to Florida with Winthrop teammate Daniel Revivo. It will also delay his chances of making an MLS team for at least a year. A decision on surgery will be made within a couple weeks.
Posipanko has sent out emails to United Soccer League (USL) teams regarding Loewy since that may be his best option now. The coach said Thursday Loewy was disappointed with the news.
"You've got to feel bad for the kid. I think he had the best shot of getting drafted (over Revivo). Otto is such an athlete. He can play anywhere on the field," Posipanko said.
Revivo flew from Charlotte on Friday morning to Fort Lauderdale where his schedule included a physical followed by a 4:30 p.m. training session on Friday. Today, all the players will meet with ESPN, adidas and MLS.
He will play games today, Sunday and Tuesday.
Revivo, a 6-foot-3 forward, is excited about the opportunity to be seen by MLS teams at the combine.
"I didn't even go home over Christmas break. I went to Charleston and trained with some friends down there. I haven't played a game since William and Mary, so I'm ready, and nervous, to get on the field," Revivo said.
He has a pretty good idea what teams will be looking for when he plays at the combine.
"I'm told teams are looking for me to use my size. They want to see that I can finish," he said.
Posipanko said the key for Revivo will be to score goals while he is at the combine.
Revivo's combine team includes Big South players Josh Boateng (Liberty) and Kyle Russell (Coastal Carolina). Other players of note are goalkeeper Stefan Frei (Cailfornia), defender Peri Marosevic (Michigan), midfielder Chris Pontius (UC-Santa Barbara) and defender Rodney Wallace (Maryland) who are all projected as first round picks.
The 2009 MLS SuperDraft takes place at the St. Louis Convention Center at 2 p.m. on Thursday. The first hour will be broadcast live on ESPN2; the remainder of the draft can be followed on the Web site MLSnet.com.
Karl Lyles • 329-4032