Otto Loewy and Daniel Revivo had hoped to be part of the first Winthrop men's soccer team to win a game in the NCAA tournament. The seniors fell short of that goal, but are closing in on a dream.
The standouts have been invited to the 2009 adidas Major League Soccer Player Combine to be held Jan. 9-13 at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Revivo and Loewy will be among 65 of the top college soccer prospects.
The MLS played its first season in 1996. There were 14 clubs that played a 30-game regular season schedule in 2008.
Seattle will field a club, the Sounders, for the 2009 season. They will be among the 15 MLS teams sending coaches and other personnel to scout talent at the combine.
The 2009 MLS SuperDraft is scheduled for Jan. 15 in St. Louis, two days after the combine. The season starts March 19 with New York at Seattle.
A total of 56 players participated in the combine last year; 43 were taken in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, including 12 first-round picks.
Loewy, a marketing major from Norcross, Ga., learned of the invitation through an e-mail from the MLS office. Since he is in the middle of exams, he hasn't really had time to wrap his mind around the significance.
"I was just kind of in awe and sat there in front of my computer and enjoyed it. I've been too busy with school to plan anything out yet. School is first," he said.
The league will take care of transportation for both players. Loewy and Revivo had exchanged text messages about the invitations, but hadn't talked as of Thursday night. Loewy hoped to get together with his teammate soon.
Loewy, a defender, helped anchor a defense that led the Big South in goals against average two of the past three seasons. In 2006 and 2007, the team finished among the nation's best in GAA.
Revivo is Winthrop's all-time leading scorer at the Division I level and just the third player in school history to reach 50 goals in a career. The 2008 Big South Player of the Year scored 14 goals and had nine assists this season. He's also a two-time NSCAA/adidas All-South Atlantic Region Team selection.
"We are very pleased with the selection of both Otto and Daniel to the MLS Player Combine," Winthrop coach Rich Posipanko said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for any college player as they pursue their dream of playing at the professional level."
Winthrop finished the season 15-6-1 with a 3-1 loss at William and Mary in the NCAA tournament. The Eagles won the BSC title for the second time in three years.
Winthrop will be one of only 15 teams in the country to send more than one player.
This week, for the second straight season, Winthrop placed five players on the NSCAA/adidas All-South Atlantic Region teams.
Loewy, Revivo and goalkeeper Patrick Mitrovich were on the first team, while midfielder Stephen Nsereko and defender Henry Kalungi made the second team.
Mitrovich became the school's most successful goalkeeper at the Division I level and was a first team All-Big South selection for the third straight year. Nsereko and Kalungi were named to the All-Big South teams for the third straight year.
Winthrop's five players were among the 12 selected from the Big South Conference. The Big South had the most players on the first team with five while the ACC had three and the Colonial Athletic Association had two.
• NOTE: Revivo continued to pile up accolades for the season when he was named Second Team All-America by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Revivo becomes just the first Winthrop player since Larry Tavino in 1984 to be named to an NSCAA/adidas All-America Team. He is just the third Division I player in school history to be named All-American. Francis Wakhisi was selected by College Soccer News in 2002 and Saidi Isaac was named All-American by TopDrawerSoccer.com in 2006.