International Soccer Network

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Canton, Ohio Hosts Free International Soccer Event

Zach Smith (gold) is defended by Giuseppe Cosentino (white)

Players from across the U.S. and Canada gathered in Canton, Ohio this July to participate in the Samurai Sportswear Soccer Combine Presented by Mercy Medical Center. The event is certainly an original one, serving as North America’s first and only free soccer combine for elite players. 

The high school girls event took place on July 8-10, 2011 and featured nearly 80 players from across the Midwest U.S. and beyond. Forward Madison Williams (Perrysburg, OH) registered the best times in the 40 yard and 100 yard dash, while goalkeeper Taylor Stano (Massillon, OH) came away with the top kick speed. 

Forwards Catie Crumb (Delaware, OH) and McKensey Cross (Canton, OH) emerged from the event as legitimate D-I prospects along with Williams. Freshman striker Marisa Swindell (Salem, OH) was another player to watch after she put in a solid performance over the three-day event. 

The boys event, which took place on July 15-17, attracted over 85 players from across the U.S. and Canada. Lake HS standout Kurt Wolf claimed bests in the 40 yard dash, 100 yard dash, and kick speed along with three goals in exhibition matches. Anthony Flowers (New Albany, OH) led all keepers in saves, while Issifou Kankarafou (Pawtucket, RI) led all players in assists.

Thierry Lemay (Gatineau, QC) impressed college coaches with three goals of his own and goalkeeper Corbin Rodriguez (Denton, TX) landed a pair of goals after splitting time as a forward. 

Overall the talent assembled at both events was impressive. Bluffton University Assistant Coach Brandon Ponchak agreed. “Ohio, in my opinion, is one of the best soccer states,” the former Dakota Wesleyan assistant stated in an interview with “There is a lot of talent in Ohio.” 

The combine represents a unique model in youth competitive soccer, giving players access to an elite level of soccer at absolutely no charge. In a day and age where money and politics have gained greater importance in the beautiful game, this event gives everyone an opportunity to advance to the next level and beyond.

Local Players Shine at National Soccer Combine

Graydon Lynch on the attack with Cameron Lewis defending

Graydon Lynch on the attack with Cameron Lewis defending

Over 65 elite high school and club soccer players participated in the 2010 edition of the Concave Sports National Soccer Combine in Canton, OH.

The event consisted of combine drills, structured practices, and exhibition matches. The level of competition was incredibly high with players from 8 states and Canada participating.

Emerson Barros (Pawtucket, RI) registered the fastest times in both the 40 yard and 100 yard dash with times of 4.26 seconds and 10.34 seconds respectively. Barros also tallied three goals and an assist in just two exhibition matches.

Zach Smith (Parma, OH) was the leading scorer at the event with 4 goals and 1 assist. Alex De Carolis (Sarnia, ON) led all players with 2 assists, while Brandon Johnstin (Alliance, OH) led all goalkeepers with 12 saves.

Bijan Malaklou (Irvine, CA) put in an impressive performance for the Concave Accuracy squad, leading the team with 3 goals and 1 assist.

Philip Pirogowicz (Mogadore, OH) led a Concave Power defense that allowed 0 goals in 2 matches. The Concave Power squad finished the event with 2 wins and 11 goals scored. Concave Control was led by Texan John Vasquez and Canadian Nakeno Amiri, while Ohioans Darius Scott and Hunter Gordon paved the way for the Concave Protection squad.

The event was made possible by sponsors that included Concave Sports, Chick-fil-A at the Mall, and Mercy Sports Medicine.

Concave Equals Innovation

There hasn’t been much innovation in football boots for the past twenty or thirty years. Companies regularly change colors or raise prices, but there is no effort to inspire change. The Concave Sports line of football boots challenges the status quo with an evolved product that is technologically superior to anything else on the market. This is a rare thing, a boot that will turn heads and get people’s attention.

The boot is stylish, comfortable, and advanced. Tests of the unique design were conclusive: the boot gave the user 30% improved accuracy and 15% increase in power. Our review found much of the same. The science behind the design is hard to argue with. I think it is safe to say that this boot will give you a slight edge against the competition.

We really liked the protection of the Metaguard, which shields an additional part of the foot. Perhaps the most attractive part of the boot was the comfort level it provided. It is literally like you are walking and running on air. At the same time your foot feels snug and secure, but never awkward.

We tried out the Concave PT+FG boot, which was designed especially for firm ground. This is just one of the options; rounded mould, hard ground, soft ground, and indoor/urban models are also available. This is a high quality product with good workmanship and a truly revolutionary design. Most companies wouldn’t take time to research their product and try out new ideas.

Consider the Concave football boot for your next purchase. You won’t be disappointed, but you will get noticed.