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Okiomah stands out in performance testing
by Paul Kennedy, January 9th, 2012 11:39PM

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[ADIDAS MLS COMBINE] The adidas MLS Combine isn't like the NFL combines, where a player's time in the 40-yard dash can make or break him, but the 2011 combine in Lauderhill, Fla., did include performance testing in three areas: speed (a 30-meter sprint); agility (a shuttle run of five meters, then 10 meters, then five meters); and power (a vertical leap). The star was High Point's Karo Okiomah, who finished first in the sprint and vertical leap and was third in the agility test. For the top five results ...
 
SPEED (30-meter sprint): Karo Okiomah (High Point); Sam Garza (UC Santa Barbara); Brian Ownby (Virginia); R.J. Allen (Monmouth); Lucky Mkosana (Dartmouth)
 
AGILITY (5-10-5 run): Dom Dwyer (USF); Andrew Duran (Creighton); Karo Okiomah (High Point); Casey Townsend (Maryland); Diogo de Almeida (SMU)
 
POWER (vertical leap): Karo Okiomah (High Point); Darren Mattocks (Akron); Babayele Sodade (UAB); Kelyn Rowe (UCLA); Sam Garza (UC Santa Barbara).



7 comments
  1. Phil Love
    commented on: January 10, 2012 at 8:32 a.m.
    Yeah, this is important. Do we know how Messi, Landon Donovan, or Zidane did on these tests?

  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: January 10, 2012 at 9:29 a.m.
    LOL I'm pretty sure if you put a ball at his feet, that Messi guy would be in the top 3 in that 5-10-5 thingie! :)

  1. Efrahim Fernandez
    commented on: January 10, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.
    It is an unfortunate truth about USA soccer. We are known primarily for our physical attributes. Size ,strength, speed and fitness.. From the youth level to college to MLS. Those attributes come before technical skill. Hope things will change..

  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: January 10, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.
    Having had the honor to coach Karo in high school, I can assure all of you that Karo can handle the ball just fine.

  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: January 10, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.
    His brother Fejiro is extremely talented too. I expect to see both of them in MLS starting lineups very soon. Karo, don't forget to leave me tickets at "will call".

  1. john haley
    commented on: January 10, 2012 at 8 p.m.
    To say athleticism is not what we want is ridiculous. How about a goal keeper named Dwight Howard with a wing span of 7 feet 8 inches, That means with just his arms, he could cover 1/3 of the goal mouth. A vertical jump of 5 feet. Landon Donovan would be getting cleated in the face from above on a cross, if Howard went up to get the ball. He weighs 270lbs, no forward is going to move him. How about a forward with the average speed of the defensive backs and receivers from the combine: 4.3 in the 40. They would go by 3/4's of the Premier league like they were standing still. As a soccer coach, I look for athleticism as one of the principle foundations. Speed of play is more than seeing the field and options, it also means speed. Ever see a rec. game and then a comp. game, tell me athleticism is not important.

  1. Gak Foodsource
    commented on: January 11, 2012 at 10:49 a.m.
    John you are absolutely wrong. Our singular focus on athleticism in the 90's is the reason we went 10 years in the 2000's without any talented players. Speed and size may rule at the youth levels, when players haven't fully matured physically yet. But at the higher levels, soccer will always be a game that is played by those that can master the ball. Canavarro was the best center back in the world and he wouldn't come up to Dwight Howard's waist. Xavi and Iniesta wouldn't be faster than defensive linemen in the 40 yard dash, and yet they finished 2 and 3 in the FIFA 2010 player of the year voting. I can go on and on, but here is what you need to know as a youth soccer coach: focusing on finding athletes is at odds with every successful developmental philosophy that has existed in the sport of soccer since the turn of the century.


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