January 15, 1999
BERKELEY - Cal senior midfielder John Beck will participate in the first-ever D.C. United combine for graduatin area college seniors this weekend, Saturday, January 16 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, January 17, at 1 p.m. The by-invitation-only combine takes place at United Park, United's front-office and training facility located in Herendon.
A total of 24 college seniors from the region have been invited and will participate in two days of technical training sessions and scrimmage matches. The combine will allow United's coaching staff to see the players in a controlled setting as it prepares for the upcoming Major League Soccer college draft to be held February 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. United owns four picks in the three-round draft, including the first overall pick, the fifth and ninth picks in the second round (17th and 21st overall), and the 11th selection in the third round (35th overall).
"What we're trying to accomplish is to provide a professional, competitive environment in which players can showcase their talents," said United head coach Thomas Rongen. "We're really trying to identify the top players in this area with the draft coming up. Potentially, if we have the opportunity of picking a local player of quality, that just makes sense."
Beck, a native of Fredericksburg, Va., started six of the 15 games he played in for the Bears during the 1998 season after returning from a broken leg in 1997.