How many players from last season’s combine advanced to train with the first team?
Out of last season’s combine, we invited five players to join our first team training for the first week of preseason. Following the first week of camp, we asked three of those five players to play in the first game of preseason. All three remained with the team until the end of preseason.
Talk about some players that have come through the tryout process to play at the USL Championship level here and across the league.
There have been a number of players that have signed contracts or longer trials through open tryouts with professional teams. Almost every USL Championship team throughout their existence has signed a player from open tryouts.
What are your memories of Zac Lubin from the trials?
Zac had a work rate and desire to earn a contract far beyond what we had seen in a player at one of our combines. He had natural ability along with some experience in oversea leagues. He was by no means a finished product coming into the preseason, but we offered him a two-week trial from the combine. He took the opportunity and gave us no other option but to sign him.
Did you go through these type of trials as a player? What is some advice you’d give to incoming players to help the excel during the trial?
I’d say players need to come into the tryout fit and have a good attitude. Showcase yourself individually but always within a team framework. Don’t overdo it. Keep it simple.
What does the staff look for in players besides pure technical ability?
We like players that have strong communication skills and a desire to compete. As I said above, players should come in fit and have great endurance. They should have a positive attitude and show they are coachable and show off their personalities. We like players that have the desire to compete.
When you select a player to join Rising for the preseason, what does that look like for them?
After the tryout has ended on Sunday, we will notify any players that have been selected to be ready to join the first team training, which begins Wednesday, January 17. These players will continue training with the first team each day for at least 10 days, leading up to our match against Portland Timbers on Saturday, January 27. These players will have the chance to showcase their abilities in our preseason opener match against Portland Timbers and in front of our fans. After the match, they will be given an evaluation on their performance. We’ll have discussions about continuing with the first team training with the intent of signing a professional contract.