FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Englishman John Rooney tallied his first goal of the MLS Combine on Monday to help lead AdiPure past Jabulani, 2-0, in Day 2 of the winter showcase.
Both goals came within a minute of one another in the second half, with Maryland forward Jason Herrick quickly adding to Rooney's 55th-minute tally. AdiPure remain unbeaten in two games of the MLS Combine after posting a scoreless draw against AdiPower in the showcase opener on Saturday. Jabulani fall to 1-1.
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Dynamo Academy midfielder Josue Soto showed good form in his second game at the combine, starting and playing 70 minutes in his team's victory. His left-footed strike late in the second half, beat the Jabulani goalkeeper, but hit off the crossbar before being cleared by the Jabulani defense.
AdiPure had enjoyed a strong first half controlling possession, and they combined well in Jabulani’s half of the field.
Early chances fell the way of AdiPure. Rooney went closest to scoring in the 15th minute, taking a feed from Hector Jimenez at the top of the box and shooting just wide.
Jabulani struggled to gain possession and create chances in AdiPure’s half, as central defenders Jalil Anibaba and Curtis Ushedo controlled things in the first half despite forward Victor Estupinan leading the line.
Their best scoring chance came in the 42nd minute, when Jabulani won a free kick right outside the box. Junior Burgos’ free kick didn’t beat the wall, however, and forward Blake Brettschneider’s header went straight to Jeff Attinella.
Players were swapped at halftime, and two Jabulani substitutions — Justin Meram and C.J. Sapong — combined well after a turnover, but Sapong shanked his left foot shot wide after a nice lob from Meram.
Rooney finally opened the scoring in the 55th minute, latching on to a low cross from Matt Eliason and firing past Meredith to give AdiPure a 1-0 lead. Rooney - the younger brother of Manchester United striker and England international Wayne Rooney - is one of the biggest question marks of this Combine after he grabbed headlines by working out with the Seattle Sounders last season.
Just one minute later, AdiPure doubled the lead. Demetrius Omphroy came up from his right back position, drilling in a low cross that eluded substitute goalkeeper Joe Willis beofre Herrick tapped the ball into the net.
Down 2-0, Jabulani looked to mount a fight back, but Meram and Sapong were denied quality service as Anibaba prowled the AdiPure backline.
Bobby Warshaw missed Jabulani’s best chance when forward on a free kick, as the glancing service fell to him with the goal gaping, only to head the ball off the left post.
AdiPure: Jeff Attinella; Demetrius Omphroy, Jalil Anibab, Curtis Ushedo, Greg King; Hector Jimenez, Dustin McCarty, John Rooney, Josue Soto; Davis Paul, Matt Eliason.
Jabulani: Bryan Meredith; Billy Cortes, Bobby Warshaw, Colin Givens, Kofi Sarkodie; Junior Burgos, Paolo Cardozo, Matt Gold, Martin Rivas; Victor Estupinan, Blake Brettschneider.