When it comes to soccer, Matt Eliason is used to being overlooked.
Coming out of Glenbard East High School, Eliason had no college scholarship offers despite being a scoring machine. He walked on at Northwestern and wound up as the school's all-time leading scorer.
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So when Eliason wasn't called to the MLS Player Combine at first, it was nothing new but still unsettling for him.
"I was a little upset when I didn't get called to the original list, and I'm not really sure why," he admitted.
Eliason got a second chance, however, when he was called to join last weekend's combine just three days before it started and hastily packed his bags for Florida. He made the most of his opportunity, assisting on his team's first goal of weekend, on the third day of the combine, to John Rooney, brother of Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.
"It was a good experience. A lot of good players," Eliason said from Florida. "I was trying to make something happen. I slotted it through and he finished."
While Eliason feels most comfortable at forward, he's trying to show he's versatile enough to play anywhere, emphasizing the work on his flank play.
Still, there's no guarantee Eliason will be picked in Thursday's three-round SuperDraft (11 a.m., ESPN2), or even that he'll go in the supplemental draft Jan. 18.
"It happened in high school for me too," the one-time Lombard Firebird said. "I didn't make the varsity 'til my junior year, then I was under the radar for college, too. I'm hoping that will help me going forward."
It helps that MLS rosters for the 2011 season are being bumped up to 30 from 24 spots in 2010.
"That's what a lot of people have been talking about here," he said.
But if any MLS teams are interested in Eliason, they're keeping him in the dark. That's OK for now.
"I really don't care," he said. "As long as I get an opportunity to prove myself. I'll go anywhere. Whatever round, it really doesn't matter to me."