NEW YORK – Major League Soccer has announced its 60 preliminary invitees to the 2018 MLS Combine, and University at Albany forward Afonso Pinheiro has been selected to participate.
Each of the 60 players selected Thursday have completed their NCAA Division I eligibility, and were selected by a committee of MLS and NCAA Division I coaches. Additional invitees will be announced at a later date.
Pinheiro, who graduated UAlbany following the fall semester, ranks first in Division I program history with 91 points, 38 goals, and 81 appearances, and shares the lead with 15 assists. His senior year campaign saw him score seven goals and record four assists while earning America East All-Conference First Team honors, All-East Second Team honors, Scholar All-America Second Team honors, and Scholar All-East honors.
Pinheiro scored the game-winning goal in the 2016 America East title game, a penalty kick in the 89th minute, to clinch UAlbany’s first-ever America East title and berth into the NCAA tournament. This season, he hit the game-clinching penalty kick in a shootout against UMBC in the America East quarterfinals, and later converted another PK against Maryland en route to the Danes’ 5-4 PK victory over the Terrapins in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Pinheiro is the second UAlbany player to be invited to the MLS Combine, following goalkeeper Steward Ceus in 2009. Ceus was drafted 37th overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids.
The MLS adidas Player Combine will take place January 11-17 at Orlando City Stadium and feature representatives from all 23 MLS clubs. The MLS SuperDraft will take place two days later, January 19, in Philadelphia.