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updated: 1/9/2012 7:06 PM

Lombard's Urso awaits MLS SuperDraft

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  • Day 2 of the 2012 MLS Player Combine held on January 6, 2012 at Broward County Regional Park in Lauderhill, FL.

      Day 2 of the 2012 MLS Player Combine held on January 6, 2012 at Broward County Regional Park in Lauderhill, FL.
    Photo courtesy of Andy Mead/MLSsoccer.com

  • Day 2 of the 2012 MLS Player Combine held on January 6, 2012 at Broward County Regional Park in Lauderhill, FL.

      Day 2 of the 2012 MLS Player Combine held on January 6, 2012 at Broward County Regional Park in Lauderhill, FL.
    Photo courtesy of Andy Mead/MLSsoccer.com

 
 

Draft combines are funny things. The goal of the games is not necessarily to win but to look good for prospective employers.

That's a difficult concept for a player like Lombard native Kirk Urso, who proved at the University of North Carolina that he's a winner. Urso, a senior, captained the Tar Heels to the NCAA national championship in December.

"We had a good run this last year," Urso said. "It was kind of nice to get the cherry on top of a good career."

He's hoping that run made a good impression on Major League Soccer coaches and front offices.

"The combine is an interesting thing because you're coming and you're playing with guys you haven't really played with before," Urso said of the showcase event that concludes Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., leading up to Thursday's MLS SuperDraft (11 a.m., ESPN2). "You want to win, but it's not like in your college season."

Urso said the combine is "a bit frustrating at times" because players tend to dribble and shoot more than he's used to.

"When you play in a system you understand your role, you understand what you need to do," he said. "You bring a little bit of what you do to the table, but you play within the team."

Off the field Urso has also kept busy. Players invited to the combine met Monday morning with MLS Players Union officials to learn what to expect in the league. He had a meeting with Columbus Crew representatives over the weekend and was scheduled to meet with Real Salt Lake on Monday afternoon. The Chicago Fire had yet to contact him, but that doesn't necessarily mean the club isn't interested.

"I think I would love it," Urso said about possibly going to the Fire, which last year drafted defender Jalil Anibaba out of North Carolina in the first round.

Urso played central midfield at North Carolina -- "I like to get forward. I wouldn't call myself a D mid or attacking mid. Maybe like a box-to-box midfielder" -- a position the Fire added to Monday by signing Colombian Rafael Robayo. Urso also tried right back Sunday at the combine.

His soccer resume is strong but not overwhelming. He scored 15 goals and had 24 assists in four collegiate seasons. He graduated from the U.S. national team's residency program at Bradenton, Fla., and played in the 2007 U-17 World Cup in South Korea.

Most mock drafts have Urso as a second-round pick who might sneak into the end of the first round. One recent mock draft even had him coming home to Chicago.

"I look at them," he admitted. "Just interested. I don't know how much you can actually put on that. Draft day so many things change and trades are made and people get picked up in different spots.

"I'm honestly more concerned with getting picked up with a club and then proving my worth to a coach."

• Follow Orrin Schwarz on Twitter @orrinsoccer.

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