After a scoreless first half, goals were flying in the second half during Saturday’s game 1 of the MLS Player Combine between Team Nemeziz and Team Predator.
Two goals in four minutes from Florida Gulf Coast forward Albert Ruiz and Oregon State product Jordan Jones lifted Team Predator to a 2-1 victory over Team Nemeziz at Orlando City Stadium.
“We’re feeling good. The team for some reason, the personality, got together pretty good. It’s surprising because I’ve been in other combines,” Ruiz told Pro Soccer USA after the game. “It’s actually hard to get people together so they can get to know each other, but it showed today on the field.”
“Good win, and good goal for me… I think we played excellent in the first half. In the second half, a little bit more spaces, we got a couple goals. Now, it’s time to recover and focus on the next game,” added Ruiz.
Ruiz gave his side the lead in the 52nd minute after finishing a close-range strike off a pass from Wake Forest forward Jon Bakero. Jones doubled the lead in the 55th minute after a ball from Leon Schwarzer was whipped in the box. Jones headed the ball toward goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell only to return a rebound header for the goal.
Ricky Lopez-Espin of Creighton University scored Nemeziz’s lone goal in the 59th to cap the game’s three goals in seven minutes.
Day 2 of the MLS Player Combine continues Monday when Team Nemeziz takes on Team X at 12:30 p.m. and Team Predator takes on Team Tango at 2:30 p.m. Both games will be played at Orlando City Stadium.