Levi Houapeu Amongst Elite Players Invited to MLS Combine; Earns College Soccer News All America Honors
BALTIMORE--Major League Soccer announced that UMBC forward Levi Houapeu (Germantown, Md./Watkins Mill) has been invited to participate in the 2011 adidas MLS Player Combine. The Retriever standout is one of 54 college seniors from 36 Division I schools who received an invitation.
The annual player combine will be held at Central Broward Regional Park in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Jan. 7-11. The Combine will separate all players into four teams and feature two games per day on Jan. 8, 10 and 11.
The initial player list was determined by a panel of Division I college coaches, representing all conferences, who nominated and voted for players in conjunction with MLS coaches. These players will be joined by Generation adidas players, additional collegiate players from NCAA Division II and III schools, NAIA schools, and Division I alternates.
Houapeu is the lone representative of the America East Conference and the first Retriever to receive an invitation.
The 2011 MLS Super Draft will be held in Baltimore on January 13.
Moreover, Houapeu has been selected to the 2010 College Soccer News' Third-Team All-America and the Goal.com Second-Team All-America squads, as well as the 2010 NSCAA All-Northeast Region First Team.
He becomes UMBC's third College Soccer News All-American, joining forward Giuliano Celenza, who earned the honor in 2000, and teammate Andrew Bulls (Millersville, Md./McDonogh), who was tabbed a year ago. All three Retrievers have received Third Team honors.
Five other Retrievers have earned First Team All-Region honors from the NSCAA—midfielder J.J. Kremer and fullback Bobby Wagner were All South Atlantic Region selections in 1993, Celenza earned that distinction in 2000, as did defender Andy Wells in 2001. Bulls was named to the top Northeast region team in 2009, while Houapeu and defender Chris Williams earned Second Team honors.
One of the nation's leaders in assists this season with 15, Bulls earned NSCAA All Northeast Region Second Team honors.
Houapeu lead the Retrievers to their most successful season in program history. UMBC won its first America East Championship and advanced to the NCAA Second Round with a 2-1 upset at Princeton. He won a major award from the conference for the second year in a row, being named Striker of the Year after taking home Midfielder of the Year honors in 2009.
The nation's leading scorer in 2009 was ranked in several NCAA statistical categories as of Dec. 6, 2010. He was ranked seventh in total points (31), total goals (15) and goals per game (0.75) and tenth in points per game (1.7).