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Two Hoosiers invited to 2017 MLS Combine



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Then-junior defender Billy McConnell prepares to kick the ball up the field. McConnell and senior midfielder Tanner Thompson were invited to participate in the 2017 MLS Combine. Noble Guyon Buy Photos

For seniors Tanner Thompson and Billy McConnell, their time playing soccer for IU is done, but now they will get a chance to showcase their skills on the professional level.

Thompson and McConnell were two of 53 Division 1 players to receive invitations to the Major League Soccer Scouting Combine. The combine will take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California from Jan. 8 to 12. This event will end a day before the 2017 MLS Superdraft, which will take place at the LA Convention Center.

IU is just one of 10 Division 1 schools to have multiple players receive invites to the combine.

McConnell finished up his IU career apart of a backline that posted 11 shutouts on the season. The Richboro, Pennsylvania native has played significant minutes for the Hoosiers since his freshman year. He made eight starts as a freshman and saw that number increase each year until his senior season where he started just 15 because of injury.

The senior right back has spent time with the Philadelphia Union reserve teams led the U17 team to the Generation Adidas Cup title in August 2012.

As for Thompson, he has seen the honors roll in for himself in his senior season. He received three different All-America honors including receiving the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year award along with a spot on the Big Ten First-Team All-Conference.

The Loomis, California native did not come up with a MLS Academy team, but his brother and former Hoosier, Tommy, currently plays for the San Jose Earthquakes.

A trip to the combine will be a chance for both Thompson and McConnell to show MLS clubs what they have to offer in the future.

Josh Eastern

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