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MLS Adds to Rookie Class

With the scouting combine starting Friday in Fort Lauderdale and the draft in Philadelphia 10 days away, MLS is in the process of finalizing its collection of first-year players who will be available for selection.

The Generation Adidas list includes 12 players who have left school early:

MF Corben Bone (Wake Forest)
D Zac Herold (USA under-17 national team)
GK Sean Johnson (Central Florida)
F Danny Mwanga (Oregon State)
MF Amobi Okugo (UCLA)
D Ike Opara (Wake Forest)
MF Tony Tchani (Virginia)
MF Andrew Wiedeman (California)
F Teal Bunbury (Akron)
MF Dilly Duka (Rutgers)
MF Blair Gavin (Akron)
F Jack McInerney (USA U17s)

The league has also signed seniors .....

GK Brian Perk (UCLA)
MF Austin da Luz (Wake Forest)
F Andre Akpan (Harvard)
MF-D Zach Loyd (North Carolina)
MF Toni Stahl (Connecticut)

These players are under contract and won't require negotiations following the draft. Seniors who do not sign with the league before the draft have the right to pursue opporunities overseas.

By Steve Goff  |  January 4, 2010; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS  
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Next: Tuesday Kickaround

Comments

Tchani gone! Ugh. Big blow to Virginia. Maybe he'll land at DC- we could use a guy like him

Posted by: carmines757 | January 4, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Re: players signed-up by the league before the draft even occurs, how is their salary decided upon? Does the league negotiate a salary amount with the player, without any input from any team (since no team has drafted that player yet)? If so, presumably that means that any team that drafts that player is implicitly taking on that salary and cap hit (with at least a year's delay, in the case of GA signings). What if nobody likes the salary the league negotiated for a particular player, and thus nobody picks him up (unlikely, I know; but hypothetically)?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | January 4, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd be surprised if Tchani is still around when DCU picks. I'd guess the team will be looking at Stahl, Okugo or Wiedeman (or Johnson, if they decide they're really unhappy with their options in goal.

@Metzler -- I guess it depends on whether these contracts are guaranteed -- which, as it happens, is ene of the 2 big bones of contention in the labor talks.

Posted by: fischy | January 4, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Players signed to Generation Adidas contracts do not count against a team's salary cap, at least for a certain number of seasons. The contracts are mostly guaranteed and mostly paid for by the league rather than the team that drafts the player (it's a little more complicated than that as all the teams contribute money toward this pool in a single entity structure). It is unlikely that a player signed to a GA contract would go unsigned as one reason these particular players were signed to these contracts was based upon input from the teams as to whom they wanted the league to sign. A team that drafts a player not signed to a GA contract risks losing that drafted player to another league (such as an overseas league). Even if team ultimately signs the player, that salary counts against the team's salary cap.

Posted by: timpramas | January 4, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

timpramas wrote: "Players signed to Generation Adidas contracts do not count against a team's salary cap, at least for a certain number of seasons."

Yes, I know. That's why I said "with at least a year's delay in the case of GA signings."


timpramas wrote: "A team that drafts a player not signed to a GA contract risks losing that drafted player to another league (such as an overseas league). Even if team ultimately signs the player, that salary counts against the team's salary cap."

Yeah, I think we all know this part; but that's not really relevant to my questions, though.


timpramas wrote: "It is unlikely that a player signed to a GA contract would go unsigned as one reason these particular players were signed to these contracts was based upon input from the teams as to whom they wanted the league to sign."

*That's* a piece of information I didn't have -- that GA signings by the league are done in consultation with the teams. Thanks.

ASIDE: not for the first time, I'm reminded that the editing interface for blogs here really, really sucks.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | January 4, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I am fairly certain that no player is signed to the league unless a team has expressed interest. Mls didn't sign Akpan, for instance, without being pretty sure he'll get picked, to have that not happen would make it harder next year. I bet someone from the league office calls around to clubs and takes the pulse of what sort of cap hit teams are likely to absorb for a particular player first. Has anyone signed to the league ever gone undrafted?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | January 4, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

It was obviously a hypothetical question. The players signed by MLS will all go in the first 2 rounds. Most of the unerclassmen signed will go before any senior is even picked. Only Akpan, Stahl, Lloyd and da Luz are even likely to go in the 1st round. MLS has done a pretty good job of taking the risk out of this draft. There won't be any Andrew Jacobsons jumping to sign in Europe...at least not out of the 1st Round. As to the hypothetical, one can certainly imagine some circumstance -- injury, arrest, etc. -- where a signed player is no longer desired come draft time. Again -- it would depend on the contract. I'm guessing that these guys aren't signing with MLS if they're not offered guaranteed contracts.

Looking forward to seeing Goff's reporting tomorrow on the Freddy Adu to Aris story....

Posted by: fischy | January 4, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

would love to see Okugo come here. great ball skills and very physical.

Posted by: troy6 | January 5, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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