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IU senior just wants to be drafted


Midfielder Femi Hollinger-Janzen fights for the ball on Oct. 22, 2014, Wednesday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Luke Schram and Luke Schram Buy Photos

While at the 2016 Major League Soccer Combine last weekend in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Femi Hollinger-Janzen played a position he hadn’t played since indoor soccer in middle school.

During his final day at the combine, his final chance to impress MLS teams before the MLS Super Draft today at 1 p.m., Hollinger-Janzen played right back.

“I really liked it,” Hollinger-Janzen said. “I actually remember talking to (IU Coach Todd) Yeagley, and he said he could see me at right back at the next level. Several months ago he said that.”

He also played well at right back, and said he didn’t give up a goal or allow anyone to get around him. Oftentimes, an MLS coach present at the combine will ask for a player to be played at a certain position, which is what Hollinger-Janzen said he thinks happened.

But when he asked his agent, Daren Flitcroft on Wasserman Media Group, he said he hadn’t heard of any specific team asking 

For the other two games Hollinger-Janzen played at the combine, he played positions more natural to him. He said he spent most of his time on the left wing or playing up top, where he played during the last two years 
at IU.

His first game at the combine, Friday, he played in these positions, and he said he didn’t play well. He said his touch and decision-making were a little bit off. But so was everyone else’s that 
first day.

“The first day was kind of rough for everyone,” Hollinger-Janzen said. “The soccer wasn’t that great.”

After a day off he spent acclimating to his teammates for the week, he was back on the field Sunday, where he said he was one of the best players.

He didn’t score or assist on a goal, but he said he was doing everything else well.

“Sunday, honestly, I think I was one of the better players Sunday,” Hollinger-Janzen said. “Just being aggressive, being confident, holding the ball up, bringing other guys into the game. Honestly, I was just really happy with how I played.”

The next day he talked to three MLS teams. He said he talked to four teams total, but couldn’t detail which teams those were.

He said he doesn’t have a team he is hoping will draft him, just that he will get drafted. Secretly, he’s hoping to be taken by the LA Galaxy, because he’s never been to California before and said he thinks he would like living 
in LA.

He also said the idea of potentially playing alongside Didier Drogba, his childhood idol, with the Montreal Impact would be a dream come true.

In terms of style, he said he thinks he would fit in well with the New York Red Bulls, who play a high-pressure and counter-attacking style of soccer similar to what he played at IU.

But he won’t be upset if he learns he’s drafted by any team while he’s watching the draft with some of his IU teammates today. He simply wants to continue playing soccer.

“Honestly I’m not going to be picky,” Hollinger-Janzen said. “Anywhere I get drafted I’ll be happy just to play MLS soccer. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid.”

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