At the 2018 MLS Combine, Virginia Commonwealth coach Dave Giffard was there mostly for the sake of Rafael Andrade Santos.
The Brazilian midfielder was an All-American and Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year, so interest was high. Santos was eventually picked by D.C. United in the fourth round, but buzz at the Combine surrounded another Rams’ attacking player.
“Every coach or general manager came up to me saying the same thing,” Giffard recalled. “They were going, ‘Tell me about Haji. Tell me about Haji.’ Every agent the same. It was a moment of, OK, it doesn’t take long for word to get out.”
The inquiries were about Siad Haji (Manchester, N.H.), a junior midfielder who's part of the 2019 Generation adidas class. He’s likely a first-round pick at the SuperDraft in Chicago, Ill., and some pundits have him going No. 1 overall.