Two former Philadelphia Union 2 players and another who spent a season in the Philadelphia Union Academy are on the list of players invited to the 2021 MLS College Showcase this weekend in Cary, N.C.
Upper Darby native Aboubacar Camara, a freshman forward for the University of Louisville, and Virginia Tech freshman midfielder Danny Flores are on the list. Maryland midfielder Ben Bender, who spent a season playing for the Union U14 team, is also among the 45 names invited to the event, which gives MLS technical staffs a chance to scout potential MLS SuperDraft picks.
Camara, who competed for Philadelphia Lone Star in USL League Two over the summer, scored 19 goals and dished out 3 assists in 30 games for the Cardinals across the spring and fall seasons in 2021. Though he never featured for Union 2 in an official match, he trained regularly with the team and was a prolific goal-scorer in his academy days.
Flores, a Half Moon Bay, Calif. native who joined the Union Academy from Shattuck-St. Mary’s in 2018, made 20 appearances for Union 2 before joining Oakland Roots on an amateur contract. He made 12 appearances for the Roots before his freshman year at Virginia Tech, where he had a standout season that earned him a place on the All-ACC Freshman Team.
Bender played for the Union U14 team during the 2015-16 Development Academy season. The Baltimore native was recently named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy and was the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. He is attending the event but will not be participating in the on-field portion, according to a news release from Maryland.
The second edition of the college showcase event will take place from Dec. 10-12 in conjunction with the 2021 NCAA Men’s College Cup in Cary. The 45 names on the list below — based on school announcements and a list published on TopDrawerSoccer.com — does not include any players from the four College Cup teams.
Full list of 45 invitees and 44 players expected to participate.