January 12, 2019, 10:59 pm

Bone balances MLS dream, Air Force commitment - Pro Soccer USA

Tucker Bone is an MLS SuperDraft prospect, but will his discipline commitment prevent teams from drafting him? The Air Force product doesn't think so.

Bone balances MLS dream, Air Force commitment - Pro Soccer USA

Jan 5, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Tucker Bone works the ball during the Adidas MLS Soccer Combine at Orlando City SC Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Tucker Bone was never rather sure how far soccer could take him.

He started kick balls into goals in recreational leagues when he was 5 years old. At 9, he was musical performance competitively for a young person club near Granite Bay, Calif.

“By the time I got into high school, it was realistic that I could play in college,” Bone said.

But what astir the nonrecreational ranks? Did Bone have the possible to play in Major League Soccer, where his idols David Beckham and Clint Dempsey created a bustle of highlights?

After this week, Bone is person to respondent that question. He competed in the MLS Combine in Orlando and is now in Chicago, awaiting Friday’s SuperDraft. Bone named the harvester an “amazing” experience, partially because of the league’s munificent accommodations for its possible approaching players.

“Just musical performance at that flat and, you know, we show up at the building and it’s a Ritz-Carlton,” Bone told Pro Soccer USA by phone from Chicago. “There was literally nil to kick astir. Getting to know some of these guys over the past few days is decidedly thing I’ll retrieve for the rest of my life.”

At the harvester, Bone got to chat with force from respective MLS teams astir how he mightiness fit into their systems. A emblematic No. 10, Bone was the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann award in 2018 at the United States Air Force Academy.

That last part — approaching from the Air Force Academy — has left teams with questions.

Will Bone have to sit out to carry through his discipline obligations? Can he only play for teams near Air Force bases? Will the current government shutdown impact his eligibility?

The answers are: probably not, no and no.

For that first one to be a definitive no, the Air Force must agree with how MLS teams rate Bone and accept him into the World Class Athlete Program, also known as WCAP. Being accepted would accelerate Bone’s path to a career in nonrecreational soccer.

The program was created so Air Force athletes could train for the Olympics and “allows top-ranked Soldier-athletes to perform at the international flat while also serving their nation in the discipline,” according to the WCAP website.

If accepted, Bone could train with and play in games for MLS clubs. After two years, Bone can go into the Air Force reserves and continue as a nonrecreational athlete.

“It’s not too familiar, because we don’t get a lot of athletes that (turn nonrecreational), but they do have these programs in place so an athlete can pursue this sort of career,” Bone said. “I’ve tried to find out as much as I can astir it and I’ve tried to be transparent with teams astir it. (The Air Force) wants to see you get drafted by a team and see that you’re a legitimate candidate.

“I don’t see a situation in which the WCAP program wouldn’t work out.”

Congratulations to @AirForceSoccer's Tucker Bone the #WACmsoc Offensive Player of the Year! Here are some of his highlights from this season

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