The Homegrown Prospect Almanac

Discussion in 'MLS: Youth & Development' started by Balerion, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

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    <placeholder -- accidentally posted before I was done>
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  2. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

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    It's not controversial to say that the MLS Homegrown Initiative is underperforming. Neither is it bold to say the same about this forum. So in an attempt to liven things up around here, I thought I'd start a new thread.

    Here is a list of all-time HGP signings. (Side note: Eric Gehrig? Is that an MLSS.com brainfart?) Here's how they break down in terms of experience:

    No college: 41 (everyone else)
    1 year of college: 4 (Deric, Stinson, Horton, McLaughlin)
    2 years of college: 3 (White, Hot, Ellis)
    3 years of college: 4 (Dixon, Kassel, Lampson, Speas)
    4 years of college: 3 (Soto, Lade, Richards)

    (I've excluded Gehrig and may have miscategorized one or two players. The general point remains.)

    This ratio is very much slanted towards teenagers with no college experience. I expect these proportions to change dramatically over the next few years. Here are my reasons:

    (1) MLS clubs don't have the resources to provide non-elite, age 18-20 talent with a quality developmental environment. The super-young kids like Delgado, Pfeffer, and Acosta still have two more years of DA eligibility (though the second year might not be that helpful). But for those too old for DA and too raw to play for the first team, there just isn't much.

    (2) Some of the players in the initial wave of HG signings were probably never that good in the first place. I can't prove this, but I get the sense that several teams signed players just to show that their academy was producing something or because a player wasn't going to college anyway, so why not. I believe that some of the washouts were never that talented in the first place and never had a real chance to make it.

    (3) The DA was new. Now that it's been around for enough time for ex-academy players to filter through the college ranks, there are many more mature HG targets than there were previously.


    TL;DR -- MLS has learned its lesson from the early years of the HG experiment and will now focus on signing older HG-eligible college players -- who didn't exist in large numbers before anyway. I think this offseason will be the first year that we really see the effects of this.


    While the DA and younger age brackets will always lay the groundwork for a players fundamental abilities, tracking more imminent HG signings will take us more and more frequently to the world of the NCAA. As such, I thought this forum needs a thorough HG player tracking thread.

    The intention of this thread is to provide a more comprehensive list of MLS academy alumni in the NCAA ranks than what currently exists on BigSoccer. That way, it will be easier to have a view of who might sign HG contracts this winter. It can also serve as a blueprint for following progress of various HG-eligible underclassmen in future seasons, which will be especially useful as HGs make more of an imprint on the league. Personally, I would be more interested in watching NCAA games in 2013 if I had a better idea of which players to look out for. I'm projecting here, but perhaps there are other neophytes who feel the same way.

    A note: I'm no NCAA soccer expert, so those who have invested more blood, sweat, toil, and tears into choppy streams on college websites than I have are encouraged to chime in with the insight on individual players that I sadly lack. Comments, corrections, and scathing criticisms are welcome. :)


    I'm going to post team-by-team. Let's start with the Chicago Fire.

    Seniors
    GK -- Brett Petricek, 1991, Niagara
    DF -- Chris Ritter, 1990, Northwestern
    DF -- Robert Gacek, 1991, Saint Xavier (NAIA)
    DF -- Kyle McCrudden, 1991, Wisconsin
    DF -- Matt Weaver, 1990, Lehigh
    MF -- Ian Christianson, 1991, Georgetown
    MF/FW -- Danny O'Leary, 1991, Notre Dame
    FW -- Joel Del Toro, 1991, Western Michigan
    FW -- Andy Huftalin, 1990, Marquette
    FW -- Ata Ozbay, 1991, San Diego State

    Names of possible note:

    Christianson is the biggest name on this list and has made all the "who's going to sign a HG contract" lists in the media.

    Ritter scored five goals, assisted on six, and was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year -- although conference awards don't necessarily mean much.

    Petricek had a 0.84 GAA for Niagara, who reached the NCAA tournament.

    Huftalin only started in 3 goals (played in 20), but was Marquette's leading scorer with ten goals (and four assists). Marquette was the 7th seed in the NCAA tournament but was knocked out quickly by Northwestern. All-Big East 2nd team.

    O'Leary was a regular starter for Notre Dame, the top-ranked team in the country. He did not have impressive goal or assist statistics, so one would hope he was being used as a midfielder.

    Juniors
    GK -- Piotr Kikolski, 1990, UIC (RS Junior)
    DF -- Jorge Flores, 1991, Robert Morris (NAIA)
    DF -- Mitch Albrecht, 1991, Valparaiso
    DF -- Michael Enghofer, 1991, IPFW
    DF -- Scott Lakin, 1992, Northwestern
    DF -- Billy McGuinness, 1992, Princeton
    MF -- Ben Beaver, 1991, Franklin & Marshall (DIII)
    MF -- Bryan Ciesiulka, 1991, Marquette
    MF -- Art Garza, 1992, DePaul
    MF -- Connor Holloway, 1991, Northwestern
    MF -- Jesse Ortiz, 1991, Valparaiso
    MF -- Trevor Wheeler, 1992, Wisconsin
    FW -- Kyle Spoo, 1991, Loyola (IL)
    FW -- Oliver Mayer, 1992, Western Michigan
    FW -- Chris Prince, 1992, Wisconsin
    FW -- Harrison Shipp, 1991, Notre Dame
    FW -- Wojciech Wojcik, 1992, Bradley


    Names of possible note:
    Ciesiulka was another Fire alum on a quality Marquette team. Ciesiulka also made the All-Big East second team.

    Shipp made the all Big East third team with Notre Dame. Like Ryan Finley he didn't start a single game -- he wound up with six goals and six assists.

    Prince was the points leader for Wisconsin, which sounds more impressive than a 3 goals/5 assists output really is.

    Lakin was a regular starter with Sweet 16 team Northwestern.

    Sophomores
    GK -- Charlie Lyon, 1992, Marquette (RS Sophomore)
    GK -- Tom Serratore, 1991, Valparaiso (RS Sophomore)
    DF -- Brian Lunar, 1992, Loyola (IL) (RS Sophomore)
    DF -- Peter Beasley, 1993, Northwestern
    DF -- Patrick Doody, 1992, Indiana
    DF -- David Caban, 1993, Wisconsin
    MF -- Emanuel Guzman, 1992, Oakton CC (JC)
    MF -- Jacob Brindle, 1992, Wisconsin
    MF -- Felipe Cortez, 1992, Robert Morris (NAIA)
    MF -- Jabari Danzy, 1993, Northern Illinois
    MF -- Luis Medina, 1993, Saint Xavier (NAIA)
    MF -- Brady Wahl, 1992, Ohio State
    FW -- Tyler Engel, 1992, SMU (RS Sophomore)
    Names of possible note:

    Lyon became Marquette's starter after a redshirt season and a season as a backup. He finished with a 0.78 GAA and ten shutouts.

    Doody moved into the starting XI at Indiana this season.

    Engel had an interesting season with SMU. He registered 8 goals and 7 assists and was named to the all-CUSA second team.

    Wahl has been a starter at Wisconsin since his freshman year.

    Freshmen
    GK -- Sam Euler, 1993, North Carolina (RS Freshman)
    GK -- Zak Allen, 1993, Northwestern
    DF -- Jerrin Moore, 1993, Bradley
    DF -- Benjamin Kucera, 1993, Creighton
    DF -- Charlie Oliver, 1994, Northern Illinois
    MF -- Keaton Albert, 1993, Indiana Wesleyan (NAIA)
    MF -- Eduardo Cuautle, 1993, Aurora (DIII)
    MF -- Anthony Torres, 1993, Belmont
    MF -- Elliot Borge, 1994, Wheaton (IL) (DIII)
    MF -- Manny Chavez, 1994, UIC
    MF -- Drew Conner, 1994, Wisconsin
    MF -- Joel Salmeron, 1994, UIC
    MF -- Mike Winhoffer, 1994, Fordham
    FW -- Marco Gutierrez, 1991, Saint Xavier (NAIA) -- not sure about this
    FW -- Joey Calistri, 1993, Northwestern
    FW -- Jourdan Gooden, 1994, FGCU
    FW -- Chisom Ogbonna, 1994, Robert Morris (NAIA)
    FW -- Andrew Oliver, 1994, Indiana

    Names of possible note:

    Andrew Oliver is probably the most well-known name on this entire list thanks to his time in Bradenton. He got 14 games (8 starts) at Indiana, scoring two goals.

    Calistri had a much more impressive freshman season. He scored nine goals and dished two assists and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

    Charlie Oliver, Anthony Torres, and Joel Salmeron got quite a bit of playing time in their first years, but there's not much else of note yet.
  3. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

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    FC Dallas:

    I found that Dallas had less than half the number of NCAA players that Chicago did. There are two reasons for this. One, Dallas U18 squads have tended to be on the smaller side. Two, compared to many DAs, FC Dallas has a disproportionate number of Hispanic kids who do not go to college and fall off the radar.

    Nonetheless, many of the Dallas players that do go to college have been highly successful.

    Seniors
    DF -- London Woodberry, 1991, Maryland

    Woodberry is considered to be a pretty decent fullback prospect and is a lock for an HG offer this winter.

    Juniors
    GK -- Jaime Ibarra, 1991, SMU
    MF -- Clint Ramos, 1991, Air Force
    MF -- Julian Torres, 1991, UT-Dallas (DIII)
    FW -- Bradlee Baladez, 1991, South Carolina

    Ibarra was the co-CUSA Player of the Year. He looks like a viable HG target this year or the next.

    Baladez scored 7 and assisted on five as a sophomore, which put him on the HG radar. As a junior, his numbers dropped to four and three, which probably reduces the likelihood that he'll go anywhere this winter. He made the all-CUSA Second Team anyway.

    Sophomores
    DF -- Jacob Gerondale, 1992, IPFW (RS Sophomore)
    DF -- Jack Coleman, 1993, Duke
    DF -- Boyd Okwuonu, 1993, North Carolina
    DF -- Kevin Pineda, 1992, Otero (JC)
    DF -- Byron Knowles, 1992, Lubbock Christian (NAIA)
    MF -- Damian Rosales, 1991, SMU (RS Sophomore)
    MF -- Chris Figueroa, 1992, SMU (RS Sophomore)
    MF -- Skylar Hagan, 1992, Old Dominion
    FW -- Christian Garcia, 1993, East Texas Baptist (DIII)
    FW -- Victor Pinal, 1992, Richland (JC)

    Okwuonu is a guy who is constantly mentioned in connection with an HG deal. He made the All-ACC First Team as a sophomore and it feels like he'll be off to Dallas this winter or next. At 5'8", Okwuonu's future is at fullback and perhaps he'll go back to UNC next season with Woodberry ahead of him in line at the moment.

    Rosales was named to the all-CUSA Second Team, which is pretty decent for a sophomore.

    Coleman was touted coming out of the academy, but he didn't play at Indiana. After a transfer to Duke, he played much more in his second year.

    Freshmen
    GK -- Eduardo Cortes, 1993, IUPUI
    DF -- Mikey Ambrose, 1993, Maryland
    DF -- Nicholas Rochowski, 1993, New Mexico
    DF -- Mark Ashby, 1994, Harvard
    DF -- Aaron Guillen, 1993, FGCU
    MF -- Danny Garcia, 1993, North Carolina
    MF -- Flavio Guzman, 1993, Richland (JC)
    MF -- Alonso Gallegos, 1993, San Jacinto (JC)

    Ambrose had a strong first season with Maryland and was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team and All-ACC Second Team. It may not be this winter, but I don't think he'll have to wait too long before offers start coming in.

    Garcia did one better than Ambrose, being named to the same ACC teams and also being named ACC Freshman of the Year. Garcia scored four goals and set up another six in his first year. Another very strong bet for an HG offer down the line.

    Cortes was named the Summit League's Newcomer of the Year. He has a tough gig with Ibarra and Richard Sanchez around.

    Guillen had a good first year at FGCU and was named to the Atlantic Sun's All-Freshman Team.

    Guzman was considered good enough to earn a cameo with the U-20 team, but from what I understand he's not really the college type. Still, he's landed in JC so at least he's still playing. But in general, a player with this profile really doesn't have a lot of options unless he's good enough to earn a pro contract age age 17/18.
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  4. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

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    And now for something completely different....the New England Revolution. The Revolution academy alumni are probably going to be the best educated out of all the MLS DA programs. However, in terms of soccer there is a lot of work to do. Fagundez has been a great find and Scott Caldwell is also a likely HG. Outside of that, the Revs have sent less than half of their academy players to DI programs (and that doesn't even include those who played a few years of JC or who went to DII programs and quit at some point).

    Seniors
    GK -- Evan Polanik, 1991, Holy Cross
    MF -- Scott Caldwell, 1991, Akron
    MF -- Ruben Resendes, 1991, Southern New Hampshire (DII)
    MF -- Jordan Branco, 1990, Southern New Hampshire (DII)
    FW -- Enco Lika, 1991, Anna Maria (DIII)
    FW -- Chris Tsonis, 1991, Southern New Hampshire (DII)

    Caldwell is a likely HG signing.

    Juniors
    DF -- Dan Sangster, 1992, UMass
    MF -- Sawyer Kisken, 1991, University of Chicago (DIII)
    MF -- Josh Vlasich, 1992, Saint Michael's (DII)
    FW -- Cody Osgood, 1992, Bentley (DII)

    N/A

    Sophomores
    GK -- Jose Silva, 1992, Merrimack (DII)
    DF -- Matt Keys, 1992, UMass
    MF -- Felipe Fagundes, 1992, UMass-Lowell (DII)
    MF -- Marlon Ramalho, 1992, Wheaton (MA) (DIII)
    MF -- Michael Rincon, 1992, Merrimack (DII)
    MF -- Cameron Bielski, 1993, New Hampshire
    MF -- Bryan DaSilva, 1992, Framingham State (DIII)
    MF -- Yannick Kabala, 1994, Southern New Hampshire (DII)
    MF -- Andrew Waddington, 1993, Loyola (MD)
    FW -- Homero Morais, 1991, Umass-Lowell (DII)
    FW -- Fabio Machado, 1992, Drexel
    FW -- Cole DeNormandie, 1993, Cincinnati

    DeNormandie has been okay at Cincinnati. Machado did well in JC and transferred to Drexel. Keys is a regular starter at UMass. The rest don't play or are in DII or DIII.

    Freshman
    GK -- Tyler Zon, 1993, Swarthmore (DIII)
    DF -- Eric Buck, 1993, Johns Hopkins (DIII)
    DF -- Andrew Burnham, 1994, Hartford
    DF -- Colin Patch, 1993, Connecticut College (DIII)
    DF -- Mitchell Taintor, 1994, Rutgers
    MF -- Tanor Jobe, 1993, Central Connecticut State
    MF -- Adrian Reifsnyder, 1993, Wesleyan (DIII)
    MF -- Colin Sweeney, 1994, High Point
    MF -- Jerry Tamfu, 1994, Burlington County College (JC)
    MF -- Manny Andrade, 1993, Providence
    MF -- Jack Hilger, 1994, Princeton
    MF -- Forest Sisk, 1994, Amherst (DIII)
    FW -- Matt Bitchell, 1994, Connecticut College (DIII)
    FW -- Chandler Hoffman, 1994, UMass
    FW -- Devin Devoy, 1994, Northeastern
    FW -- Rainer Rendell, 1994, Salve Regina (DIII)

    Taintor looks like the best one to watch from this group.
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  5. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

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    Columbus seems to have quite a few immediate and future HG signings in the college ranks.

    Seniors
    GK -- Justin Luthy, 1991, Boston College
    GK -- Paul Hendricks, 1991, Ohio Wesleyan (DIII)
    DF -- Chad Barson, 1991, Akron
    DF -- Matt Wiet, 1990, UCLA
    DF -- Logan Thompson, 1990, Messiah (DIII)
    MF -- Kyle Hyland, 1991, IUPUI
    MF -- Brian McGue, 1991, Davidson
    MF -- Andrew Edler, 1990, Ohio Dominican (DII)
    FW -- Andy Lubahn, 1991, Wake Forest
    FW -- Tyler Pollock, 1990, Butler

    Wiet and Barson are two centerbacks often mentioned in conjunction with HG deals. It will be interesting to see whether the Crew sign both or choose only one. If Columbus passes for whatever reason, either would be expected to be drafted. Barson made the All-Mac First Team, while Wiet made the All-Pac 12 Second Team.

    Luthy is a guy who got a U-20 look in the 2011 cycle. I'm not sure how he has progressed in his last two seasons, but he's another HG candidate. The question is whether Columbus is comfortable with moving last year's HG signing Matt Lampson up to #2.

    Lubahn has been active in YNT circles over the years. A concern: his goal output at Wake has gone from 10 to 8 to 4 to 0. He missed nearly all of his senior season with an injury -- will he come back for a RS senior season?

    Hyland was IUPUI's leading source of offense -- eight goals and two assists.

    Juniors
    GK -- Eric Osswald, 1991, South Florida
    DF -- Matt Griesinger, 1991, Bowling Green
    DF -- Luke Helmuth, 1991, Messiah (DIII)
    DF -- Kevin Blakely, 1991, Transylvania (DIII)
    DF -- Ross Friedman, 1992, Harvard
    DF -- Sage Gardner, 1992, Ohio State
    MF -- Matt Dodrill, 1991, Ohio Wesleyan (DIII)
    MF -- Jacob Eganhouse, 1992, Ohio Wesleyan (DIII)
    MF -- Joey Haught, 1990, Rhode Island (redshirt)
    MF -- Ian O'Keefe, 1992, Ohio Wesleyan (DIII)
    MF -- Brandon Silva, 1991, Bowling Green, (redshirt)
    MF -- Ryan Snashall, 1992, Bowling Green
    MF -- Vaughn Spurrier, 1991, Temple
    MF -- Eric Stevenson, 1990, Akron (redshirt)
    MF -- Matt Walker, 1992, Xavier
    FW -- Tyler Ranalli, 1992, George Washington

    Stevenson started all 22 of Akron's games and finished with 7 goals and 5 assists. He made the All-Mac Second Team.

    Matt Walker is another "college supersub" -- a player who never starts, but usually plays most of the game. He scored 11 and assisted on 10 for Xavier, a very impressive haul. He made the all-Atlantic 10 First Team.

    Spurrier joined Walker on the All-Atlantic 10 First Team, with 10 assists to his name in 2012.

    Gardner has been a three-year starter at left back for Ohio State

    Sophomores
    GK -- Andrian McAdams, 1992, Akron (redshirt)
    GK -- Jacob Rice, 1992, Carnegie Mellon (DIII)
    DF -- Alex Bechtol, 1992, Ohio State
    DF -- Matt Hill, 1993, Xavier
    DF -- Mason Hoge, 1993, Ohio Wesleyan (DIII)
    DF -- Charlie Macias, 1992, Evansville
    DF -- Max Riehemann, 1993, Davidson
    MF -- Michael DiCesare, 1992, UMBC
    MF -- Alexander Obbey, 1992, Louisville (redshirt)
    MF -- Wil Trapp, 1993, Akron
    MF -- Will Walker, 1992, Xavier (redshirt)
    FW -- Chris Davis, 1993, Cincinnati
    FW -- Jack Thompson, 1992, Messiah (DIII)

    The biggest name here is Wil Trapp. While the Crew have an above-average number of HG prospects, Trapp is probably the crown jewel. I've watched him play on a few occasions and always come away impressed. I'm not sure if Columbus will go after him this winter or wait another year. Perhaps Porter's departure from Akron will be a catalyst....or not.

    Like his twin brother and Xavier teammate, Will Walker also had a good season -- 7 goals, 6 assists.

    Bechtol's freshman season at Bowling Green led to a transfer to Ohio State for his sophomore year.

    Freshmen
    GK -- Ryan McLaughlin, 1993, College of Charleston
    GK -- Mike Thomas, 1994, Bowling Green
    DF -- Kyle Culbertson, 1992, Columbia
    DF -- Zach Mason, 1994, Ohio State
    DF -- Connor McCafferty, 1994, Wright State
    DF -- Andrew Souders, 1994, Akron
    MF -- Connor Klekota, 1993, Notre Dame
    MF -- Zak Leedom, 1993, West Virginia
    MF -- Rhodes Moore, 1993, Xavier
    MF -- Cheick Diawara, 1994, Barton CC (JC)
    MF -- Tommy Granot, 1994, Fordham
    MF -- Alex Ranalli, 1994, Akron
    MF -- David Witkoff, 1994, Georgetown
    FW -- Gavin Craig, 1993, Jacksonville
    FW -- Brett Elder, 1993, Wright State
    FW -- Raymond Olavarria, 1994, Ohio State

    Souders is a former U-17 international who was a spot starter in his first year at Akron. He's definitely not HG material yet but he's one to watch in future years.

    Elder had a good debut season with Wright State (9 G, 3 A). He won Horizon League Newcomer of the Year and was named to the All-Horizon First Team.

    Mason started for Ohio State and was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.
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  6. chapka

    chapka Member+

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    Not that the lists aren't worthwhile...but I don't see any reason to think the homegrown rule is underperforming.

    Three years and about 50 signings in, it's produced a couple of strong young MLS starters (Hamid, Najar, Agudelo) and a few young players poised for a 2013 breakout (Henry, Fagundez, McBean, Lade, Morgan). That's in just about 3 years, with academies that have been running for a few years in most cases. 29 of the 57 or so homegrown players got MLS league minutes in 2012. And almost all of the players who haven't broken through are 1990s or younger--in other words, as young or younger than this year's drafted senior rookies will be.

    While college is always going to make sense for some players, I think the league is going to go the opposite direction from what you're predicting, and focus more on younger players, both for homegrowns and for drafted players; I think you're going to see more Jack McInerneys entering the draft out of high school and fewer Corey Hertzogs coming out as juniors.
  7. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

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    There have been some early success stories and I'm also hopeful that more will really show something in 2013, but there have been a lot of washouts and a lot of players who haven't made progress in even making the 18. There's hope for the future as MLS academies have done a much better job of recruiting than they did in the earliest days and, hopefully, they are doing a better job of teaching the game.

    Here's a list of HG players ranked by minutes in 2012:

    Morgan -- 2525
    Hamid -- 2337
    Lade -- 2265
    Najar -- 2113
    Agudelo -- 1567
    Henry -- 1139
    Fagundez -- 774
    Leyva -- 435 (released)
    Bowen -- 248
    Luna -- 207 (released)
    Richards -- 199
    Lampson -- 139
    Villarreal -- 128
    Teibert -- 116
    Dixon -- 113
    Top -- 103
    Deric -- 90
    Stinson -- 88
    Ouimette -- 66
    Speas -- 64
    C. Hernandez -- 27
    McLaughlin -- 17
    Delgado -- 17
    Clarke -- 15
    McBean -- 8
    Armstrong -- 4
    O'Neill -- 4
    Pfeffer -- 4

    I must be forgetting someone because I only have 28, but I note that only 10 players played more than 200 minutes and two of them have already been released. I share your optimism about the players you mention, but outside of a small handful of good players, there hasn't been much success on the field yet. There have been enough young washouts that we should proceed with caution when projecting other young players whose resumes are still thin.

    Here's the way I see it: most domestic MLS-level talent isn't ready for the league when they are high school aged. And the league itself doesn't have the right developmental infrastructure to bring them up to speed. And yet, due to MLS academies' recruiting advantages and placement in many of the country's largest metro areas, a very sizable chunk of talent is going to fall under HG eligibility. How are these players going to get into the league? The most elite players will be brought in at a young age -- Agudelo, Acosta, Fagundez, et al -- but others just won't be ready. Even if a team could develop everyone properly, teams can't afford to devote much roster space to players who won't be ready for 2-3 years.

    So much of this future MLS-level talent will go to college, where they'll receive more playing time and be in a more comfortable social environment. And because they are MLS-level, they're going to get into the league somehow. That's going to be through the GA program or signing cheap HG deals as seniors (Connor Lade). Additionally, maybe teams will figure out how to lure underclassmen with non-GA deals or maybe the league will spread some of the GA money out instead of throwing larger sums at players like Corey Hertzog. Connor Lade is the tip of the spear. Between when Lade was in the DA and now, teams have gotten a lot better at recruiting. A lot of the HS emphasis on HG signings has been that HS players were the only HG game in town. That's no longer the case.

    I'm not sure if it will decrease the flow of teenagers into the league. I do think that it will eat into the value of a low 1st round/2nd round draft pick because I think more college players will be coming into the league under the HG banner.
  8. Hararea

    Hararea Member+

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    Along with Calistri, Drew Conner was a unanimous pick on the Big Ten all-freshman team.
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  9. Hararea

    Hararea Member+

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    Three, they have very few opportunities to play high-level college soccer without moving a long way from Dallas.

    With the elimination of pay-to-play at some MLS academies, more kids will have a hard time getting by on the fractional scholarships that are college soccer's stock in trade. In a different funding environment, Cortes and Guillen would likely have landed at significantly bigger programs than where they did.

    On a separate FC Dallas note, it's going to be interesting to see where Mikey Ambrose's ceiling is. As impressive as he's looked every time I've seen him, I wonder if he might struggle against better athletes.
  10. Hararea

    Hararea Member+

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    It's almost like there need to be two separate branches of the HG program. One branch is for producing the Agudelos who have the potential to be multi-million dollar stars. You don't want prospects like these marking time in college or on the end of a bench. The other branch is for the Connor Lades who have the potential to be solid starters. They can help you eventually, but you don't want to bother signing them until they're ready to help the first team.

    Unfortunately, what this implies is that if a kid isn't college-bound and isn't prodigiously talented, there may not be enough return on investment to justify a place for him. Sorry, Herculez.
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  11. chapka

    chapka Member+

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    One thing that might help would be letting MLS teams keep season-long loans off their roster and salary budget. So Philly could sign a kid who's not going to college for $35k a year, then loan him out to Harrisburg or Reading for a year without taking a cap hit or using up a roster spot. If there was a season-ending injury they could then call him back. Sort of a limited baseball-style minor assignment.
  12. harvcat

    harvcat Member

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    It will be interesting to see how MLS teams deal with this question. There is a growing group of academy players (YNT/kids with a Euro passport/Mexicans) who have little interest in or access to college soccer. If there is a legitimate prospect with pro opportunities who’s not on the Agudelo-Najar-Gil-Fagundez level, how should a team respond? A lot of it comes down to whether you view development costs as investments in potential assets as part of some broader club philosophy or in more crass ‘can this teenager contribute more than a 4 year college player/fringe MLSer over the next few seasons?’

    A couple potential data points are college-committed, potential HGs Ben Spencer and Benji Lopez who have interest from Molde and Monterrey, respectively.
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  13. UcIceD2011

    UcIceD2011 Member+

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    Subscribed. Think I am going to like this thread.
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  14. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

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    Country:
    United States
    The Colorado Rapids have not been known for having a particularly strong academy in the short history of the DA. In comparison to some of the more successful clubs, the overall achievement level of the Rapids Academy alumni in the college ranks is poor. While the Rapids have not been effective at churning out even moderate numbers of solid DI performers, they do have a handful of legitimate MLS prospects. The Rapids have signed two HGs already. Davy Armstrong has played very little in his 2.5 years with the club, while Shane O'Neill was signed too recently to have much of an impact. O'Neill was otherwise slated to play at the University of Virginia in the fall.

    The Rapids are another academy that has players of Hispanic origin that fall off the radar after HS. They also have a sizable contingent that went to school and seemingly quit soccer after a year or two of college. Between these two factors, Colorado has a relatively small number of academy alumni toiling in the college ranks.


    Seniors
    GK -- Brendan Roslund, 1991, San Francisco
    FW -- Marc Herschberger, 1991, Metro State (DII)
    FW -- William Koki, 1990, Mercy College (DII)

    Roslund is a 6'6" giant who made the All-WCC second team in 2012 and was the WCC GK of the Year in 2011.

    Juniors
    DF -- Colton Briscoe, 1991, UC-Colorado Springs (DII)
    DF -- Patrick Slogic, 1991, Cornell
    MF -- Zach Bolden, 1991, Denver
    FW -- Drake Stewart, 1992, Wright State

    Slogic, another 6'6" guy, made the All-Ivy League First Team.

    Bolden was named to the All-MPSF First Team.

    Sophomores
    GK -- Ryan Pakieser, 1992, Fort Hayes State (DII)
    DF -- Carlos Linares, 1992, Fort Hayes State (DII)
    DF -- Matt Taphorn, 1993, Central Arkansas
    MF -- Logan Konkol, 1993, Kenyon (DIII)
    MF -- Jake Beerman, 1993, Metro State (DII)
    FW -- James Rogers, 1993, New Mexico
    FW -- Amara Soumah, 1990, Illinois Central College (JC)

    Rogers has earned U-20 callups this cycle and had a nice year at New Mexico -- 8 goals and 5 assists. He made the All-MPSF Third Team.

    Freshmen
    GK -- Joe Kuzminsky, 1994, UAB
    DF -- Jason Prichard, 1993, Sterling College (NAIA)
    DF -- Jordan Spring, 1993, Regis College (DII)
    DF -- Jeff Kading, 1994, Elmhurst (DIII)
    MF -- Dillon Serna, 1994, Akron
    MF -- Karsten Hanlin, 1993, Denver
    MF -- Josue Chavez, 1994, Lipscomb
    FW -- Idrissa Camara, 1993, Midwestern State (DII)
    FW -- Chris Gurule, 1993, New Mexico

    Serna is a well-known former U-17 and current U-20 who was named to the All-MAC First Team and was the MAC Co-Newcomer of the Year in 2012. Some in the media have suggested that he'll sign with the Rapids as soon as this offseason.
    Sandon Mibut repped this.
  15. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Country:
    United States
    D.C. has extracted more value from their academy than any other MLS club to date. Andy Najar and Bill Hamid have emerged as important first team players and have been capped by their countries. While D.C.'s academy gets less hype than several others, no one else has yet matched that production.

    DC has also signed Ethan White after two years at Maryland and Conor Shanosky out of high school. White was forced into extensive injury duty in 2011, but rarely played in 2012. Shanosky spent all of 2012 with Fort Lauderdale in the NASL, a loan stint which is frequently cited as a blueprint for other young HGs unready for MLS action -- although he's still very much unproven in MLS.

    D.C. has also had numerous players go on to sign with minor clubs abroad: Paul Torres, Lester Dewee, and Shaquille Phillips. Interestingly, OJ Porteria now plays domestically in the Philippines and for the Philippines national soccer team.

    That being said, D.C.'s academy hasn't produced much depth in terms of good DI college players. With the professionals out of the picture, they haven't had many standout players in the NCAA ranks, which means that unlike some other teams, they won't have any "free draft pick" senior HG options for a while. However, this looks like it is in the process of changing. D.C. has a number of promising players who just completed their freshman seasons.

    Seniors
    FW -- Chris Hegngi, 1991, Ohio State

    Juniors
    DF -- Shane Cooke, 1990, Virginia (redshirt)
    DF -- Kevin McBride, 1991, Virginia
    DF -- Alex Herrera, 1991, George Mason
    DF -- Nicky Yin, 1992, Penn
    MF -- Chris Perez, 1991, William & Mary (redshirt)
    MF -- Julio Arjona, 1992, George Mason
    MF -- Allan Flott, 1992, West Virginia
    MF -- Tobi Iguade, 1992, St. Francis (PA)
    MF -- Joel Nash, 1992, Evansville
    MF -- Aslinn Rodas, 1992, Cleveland State

    Herrera was named to the All-CAA Third Team.

    Sophomores
    DF -- Myles McGinley, 1992, Princeton
    DF -- Jordan Manley, 1993, American
    DF -- Julian Saldana, 1993, Loyola (MD)
    MF -- Steven Mashinski, 1992, James Madison (redshirt)
    MF -- Mikias Eticher, 1993, Maryland
    MF -- Dario Redondo, 1993, Radford
    MF -- Tyler Rudy, 1993, Georgetown
    FW -- Patrick Etoughe, 1992, Howard CC (JC)
    FW -- K.C. Onyeador, 1991, VCU

    Redondo was named to the All-Big South Second Team.

    Freshmen
    GK -- Alec Dockser, 1994, Michigan
    GK -- Sam Legg, 1994, Radford
    DF -- Jalen Robinson, 1994, Wake Forest
    DF -- Brad Vorv, 1993, Louisburg College (JC)
    DF -- Edgar Zepeda, 1994, George Mason
    MF -- Michael Burgos, 1991, UMBC
    MF -- Ghiles Harmouche, 1993, George Mason
    MF -- Michael Russo, 1994, Central Florida
    MF -- Damilola Adetola, 1994, Villanova
    MF -- Jannik Eckenrode, 1993, Radford
    MF -- Cody Albrecht, 1993, St. John's (redshirt)
    MF -- Ahmed Ismail, 1993, George Mason
    MF -- Bernardo Majano, 1993, Louisburg College (JC)
    MF -- Collin Martin, 1994, Wake Forest
    MF -- Dylan Regan, 1994, Carnegie Mellon (DIII)
    FW -- Marcus Salandy-Defous, 1993, Virginia

    Martin has received several U-20 callups; he received All-ACC Freshman Team honors this season.

    Robinson also has been to a U-20 camp this cycle -- he joined his teammate on the All-ACC Freshman Team.

    Salandy-Defour was the D.C. Academy's third representative on the All-ACC Freshman Team.

    Harmouche was named an All-CAA Rookie.

    Eckenrode made the All-Big South Freshman Team.
    scoachd1 repped this.
  16. scoachd1

    scoachd1 Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    Southern California
    Great thread and nice job. Hopefully it brings some quality discussion to this area. I gathered a bit of data MLS teams performance in DA. I'll see what I can add that might be of interest.
    Balerion repped this.
  17. SweetOwnGoal

    SweetOwnGoal Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    16.3k from BMO Field
    Club:
    Toronto FC
    FWIW - The All-Time top 10 by minutes played:

    1. Bill Hamid – DC United -- 4,729
    2. Andy Najar – DC United -- 4,635
    3. Ashtone Morgan – Toronto FC -- 3,428
    4. Juan Agudelo – New York -- 2,931
    5. Connor Lade – New York -- 2,265
    6. Ethan White – DC United -- 1,928
    7. Doneil Henry – Toronto FC -- 1,642
    8. Diego Fagundez – New England -- 1,088
    9. Nizar Khalfan – Vancouver -- 1,066
    10. Matt Stinson – Toronto FC -- 764
    Edit to add: This is from 2011, when the league opened the rule fully to allow unlimited signings.
    rwhunter4 repped this.
  18. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Country:
    United States
    Next up, the New York Red Bulls. From my perspective, New York has a fairly typical academy profile, at least among its alumni in the NCAA ranks. The older cohort has some decent players, but the freshmen and sophomores were recruited to better programs on the whole and have accrued more individual accolades. It's a similar pattern found in may MLS academy programs; it was harder to recruit good players to an academy at the very beginning.

    New York's academy has been a direct pipeline to Seton Hall in particular. I found no fewer than nine NY alumni on the Pirates' roster in 2012. Unfortunately for SH and NY, the Pirates weren't very good this year.

    New York, of course, has already signed up a number of HG players to varying degrees of success. Juan Agudelo is the obvious name, but he never really got going in NY before being traded for Heath Pearce. Connor Lade surprised everyone by having a good rookie year in 2012. On the downside, Giorgi Chirgadze, Sacir Hot, and Matt Kassel were released having made no impact on the team.

    The Red Bulls are situated in such a huge metro area (and in the case of New Jersey, one that has been fertile ground for US soccer) that their academy really should be one of the most productive soccer factories in the country. It seem that each college class of ex-academy players is stronger than the last and their current academy players seem to be everywhere in the younger YNTs. I don't think you can say that RBNY has capitalized on their position here, but perhaps they are moving in that direction.

    Seniors
    GK -- Brandon Paul, 1991 Delaware
    DF -- Jack Freeman, 1991, Middlebury (DIII)
    DF -- Jason Wells, 1990, Fairleigh Dickinson (redshirt)
    MF -- Hennie Bosman, 1990, Hamilton (DIII)
    MF -- Mark Brode, 1991, Syracuse
    MF -- Nick Gendron, 1991, Northwestern
    MF -- Dragan Naumoski, 1990, Rutgers

    Wells, Brode, and Gendron played with successful college teams in 2012, but I'm not sure that any of them are MLS material.

    Juniors
    GK -- Kevin Bonder, 1991, Seton Hall
    GK -- Sheldon Parkinson, 1990, New Jersey City (DIII)
    DF -- Christian Battistesa, 1992, Seton Hall
    DF -- Chris Garcia, 1992, Seton Hall
    DF -- Edison Sanchez, 1992, Belhaven (NAIA)
    MF -- Widner St. Cyr, 1990, Maryland (redshirt)
    MF -- Zac Gomez, 1991, Rutgers
    MF -- Dylan Mencia, 1991, Michigan
    MF -- Victor Manosalvas, 1992 Seton Hall
    MF -- David Najem, 1992, Columbia
    FW -- George Velasquez, 1992, Seton Hall
    FW -- Jonathan Gonzalez, 1992, Notre Dame de Namur (DII)

    St. Cyr is the most well-known player here thanks to his presence in a big time program. He was a regular in 2011 after missing 2010 due to injury, but missed more time with an injury in 2012.

    Sophomores
    GK -- Keith Cardona, 1992, Maryland
    GK -- Jacob Wagmeister, 1993, UConn
    DF -- Brandon Adler, 1992, Providence
    DF -- Paul Ehrenworth, 1992, West Virginia
    DF -- Clint Caso, 1992, New Hampshire
    DF -- Kyle Roach, 1992, Maryland
    MF -- Damian Bziukiewicz, 1993, Seton Hall
    MF -- Sean Davis, 1993, Duke
    MF -- Christian Johnson, 1992, Boston College
    MF -- Dan Metzger, 1993, Maryland
    MF -- Konrad Plewa, 1992, Seton Hall
    MF -- Bolu Akinyode, 1994, Seton Hall
    FW -- Michael Innocenzi, 1992, Harvard
    FW -- Kyle McCord, 1992, Virginia

    This group appears to be stronger than their older counterparts, and that's without counting Akron defender Bryan Gallego, whose rights were traded to Portland for Kosuke Kimura.

    Cardona backed up Earl Edwards at the 2009 U-17 World Cup. He's now a starter for a very good Maryland team.

    Dan Metzger is also a regular with the Terps and has been active in the current U-20 cycle.

    Sean Davis made the All-ACC Second Team at Duke this season.

    Bolu Akinyode received a U-20 call up early in the cycle (and hasn't heard from Ramos since) -- for whatever that's worth.

    Freshmen
    GK -- Max Brown, 1994, Northeastern
    GK -- Luke Rossi, 1994, Columbia
    DF -- Antonio Matarazzo, 1993, Columbia
    DF -- Diego Ceron, 1994, Holy Cross
    DF -- Gabe Robinson, 1994, Cincinnati
    DF -- Ross Tetro, 1994, Rutgers
    MF -- Brandon Alvarado, 1993, Manhattan
    MF -- Scott Thomsen, 1993, Virginia
    MF -- Mael Corboz, 1994, Rutgers
    MF -- Frederick Elliot, 1994, Columbia
    MF -- Eric Lagg, 1994, Seton Hall
    MF -- Sean Sheridan, 1994, Villanova
    MF -- Chris Thorsheim, 1994, Bucknell
    FW -- Brandon Allen, 1993, Georgetown
    FW -- Danny Bedoya, 1994, St. John's

    After scoring a goal a game for RBNY's U18 team during the last two seasons, Brandon Allen did nearly as well for Georgetown. Allen has scored 15 and assisted on 2 so far this season. In the process, he was named to the All-Big East Second Team and All-Big East Rookie Team and awarded the Big East Rookie of the Year.

    Mael Corboz at Rutgers joined Allen on the All-Big East Rookie Team.

    Villanova's Sean Sheridan was NY's third representative on the All-Big East Rookie Team.

    Scott Thomsen racked up eight assists for Virginia, but that wasn't enough to make the All-ACC Rookie Team, which seems a little harsh to me.

    Chris Thorsheim was named to the All-Patriot League Second Team.
    FlipsLikeAPancake, Zamphyr and rwhunter4 repped this.
  19. Hararea

    Hararea Member+

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    No disagreement with your general point, but for players born in the 80s, New Jersey really wasn't very fertile ground for US players. Michael Bradley moved away at a young age, and of course Rossi jumped ship. Which means the best New Jersey player born in the entire decade was ... Danny Szetela! :p

    Ok, it's not that bleak, but I think it's fair to point out that the Red Bull academy wasn't entering a particularly strong landscape. The other point I'd raise is that they've actually been in the youth development game for longer than most other teams. Below is a roster from 2004, which probably includes a lot of their original 2003 U17 team. Not much in the way of recognizable names.

    http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3021951

    U-19 MetroStars
    Player[​IMG]

    Development Roster Name (Hometown) GK - Eric Geiger (NJ), Matt Gnall (Morristown, NJ), Amir Haghshenas (Wyckoff, NJ), Jarrod Schlenker (Cranford, NJ) D - Christian Acuna (Harrison, NJ), Stephen Franchini (Franchini, NJ), Keith Nye (Wyckoff, NJ), Piero Olivares (Harrison, NJ), Sam Roca (Wayne, NJ), Bobby Swift (Summit, NJ), Jon Wells (Montclair, NJ) M - Christopher Cano (Staten Island, NY), Brian Glennon (Ridgewood, NJ), Yomar Gonzalez (Lodi, NJ), Peter Kasyanenko (Maplewood, NJ), Will Lee (NJ), Anthony Moy (Princeton, NJ), Cristian Raigoza (Paterson, NJ), Andi Saliasi (Haledon, NJ), John Yazo (NJ), Erhan Zekiroski (Pompton Lakes, NJ) F - Ryan Cordeiro (Clarkestown, NY), Fernando Londono (New Rochelle, NY), Shaun Moamem (Bridgeport, NY), Carlos Salazar (Kearny, NJ), Pino Tubito (East Hanover, NJ)
    rwhunter4 and Balerion repped this.
  20. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2000
    Location:
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Club:
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Country:
    Bolivia
    On reviewing the staff of the various academies, I think only Toronto and DC United have the caliber of staff that would make me excited to join. Maybe the Galaxy.
  21. Hachiko

    Hachiko The Akita on Big Soccer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Country:
    United States
    Looking forward to the section on the Galaxy.
  22. COMtnGuy

    COMtnGuy Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Higher than you
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Country:
    United States
    I think you forgot that first 20 slots count to cap but there are 10 other slots that don't. Anyone getting $35K falls into those slot. The min for the "senior" slots is $40K+.
  23. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    It's weird. FCD has fewer players on their list............................but they have a lot "high end" talent. They've got 3 recent academy graduates that are seriuos options for the U20 World Cup qualifying team (Daniel Garcia, Boyd Okwuono, Mikey Ambrose). Woodberry should be a homegrown signing this year as well. Jaime Ibarra had a great 2012, being named Conference Player of the year. And let's not forget Emerson Hyndman, Matt Dunn, and other kids that have been thru the FCD system.

    By the way................the team that Guillen went to, FGCU, has made the NCAA tournament in 2011 and 2012. While it's not one of the "big boys" it's also not small beans either. FGCU is a growing athletic department. Guillen is one of the players that FCD got from it's El Paso affiliate. Mikey Ambrose also came from that club. FC Dallas El Paso (previously called the El Paso Fire) is a rock-star youth club nobody talks about. Omar Salgado of Vancouver, Lalo Fernandez of RSL, Daniel Medina of Tigres, Christian Zamora of Chivas, and others came thru there. Last I checked there were 7 current players from El Paso that are on FCD's academy teams.

    I would agree about the bizarre nature of Texas soccer. I'd argue, based on results and the number of players on USMNT/USYNT squads, that Texas is the second best state for the youth game after California (and Germany :) ). There are routinely one or two Texas-based academy teams in the Development Academy U18 semi-finals. And yet there is only one major NCAA soccer program in the whole damn state. That is SMU, which is in FC Dallas' backyard. That, of course, is also where Schellas Hyndman came from. So players from Texas scatter across the country. The elite talent gets great opportunites, but the average talent has a problem.......................
  24. McSoccerdad

    McSoccerdad Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Club:
    Celtic FC
    Excellent thread
  25. 22SteveD

    22SteveD Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Country:
    United States
    Great work on this thread!

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