MLS Draft 2010

Generation adidas update: Mwanga, Opara, Bone and Tchani close in on deals

Major League Soccer officials may not be gaining any ground in ongoing labor negotiations with the MLS player's union, but they are having much more success in lining up what could be the largest Generation adidas class in league history.

Just a week after announcing the first four members of the 2010 Generation adidas class, now comes word that the league is closing in on most of its top targets, with at least one new target emerging.

Sources tell SBI that Wake Forest tandem Ike Opara and Corben Bone are close to reaching agreements with MLS on Generation adidas deals, as is Virginia midfielder Tony Tchani. All three are considered Top Five prospects in the upcoming draft.

A new potential No. 1 pick has emerged though and that is Oregon State striker Danny Mwanga. Buzz Carrick at 3rd Degree reported on Monday night that Mwanga was signing with MLS. SBI sources have confirmed that Mwanga is close to finalizing a deal that could be one of the largest in the class (though he has not signed yet).

The reason for the large contract offer, believed to be more than MLS paid 2009 No. 1 pick Steve Zakuani? Not only is Mwanga considered one of the top strikers in the class (along with Teal Bunbury), Philadelphia is expressing strong interest in selecting Mwanga with the first pick in the 2010 MLS Draft. Philly's interest pushing MLS into overdrive on trying to sign the Congolese striker, who had been expected to go on trial with clubs in France.

What else is new with the Generation class? There is plenty more.

Two players who have already signed with MLS are Central Florida goalkeeper Sean Johnson and Cal striker Andrew Wiedeman. UCLA freshman phenom Amobi Okugo is expected to join the group shortly. MLS is expected to hold off on any more announcements until the group is finalized.

Sources have also told SBI that MLS is in talks with U.S. Under-17 defender Zachary Herold. The young fullback is believed to have received an offer from a German club before being approached by MLS.

If MLS succeeds in closing deals with the aforementioned top prospects, here is how the 2010 Generation adidas class could look like:

  • Ike Opara
  • Danny Mwanga
  • Teal Bunbury
  • Corben Bone
  • Tony Tchani
  • Amobi Okugo
  • Andrew Wiedeman
  • Dilly Duka
  • Blair Gavin
  • Jack McInerney
  • Sean Johnson

That list does not include U.S. Under-20 midfielder Luis Gil, who had been considered one of the league's top targets. There has been no new word on the league's talks with Gil.

What do you think of these developments? Starting to get excited about the draft? Looking forward to see how these players do at the MLS Combine?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Sgc

    The formation is secondary to the player role, and I would say that the role you’re describing is played by at least a couple of players on successful MLS clubs. Brian Carroll in Columbus and Brad Evans in Seattle come to mind. Each has a pure destroyer behind him (Moffatt/Alonso) and a pure creator ahead (Schelotto/Ljungberg), and those two are hybrids between them.


  • Karol

    FSV Mainz 05 is close to signing American midfielder Jared Jeffrey from Club Brugge. Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel has said that he will have a look at him over the coming days and will then decide whether he will join the first team or begin in the reserves.

    The transfer is basically a done deal though the clubs still need to negotiate the transfer fee.


  • Karol

    Oh, and my source:


    Kicker tells a little bit more:

    Jeffrey`s agent Steve Kelly had offered his client to Mainz a year ago. However, the move didn`t work out then for “financial reasons”.
    According to kicker, Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel says that Jeffrey might get a chance in the Bundesliga this season (“He his it in his own hands”).



  • Charles

    MLS seems to be getting younger. In some cases in sports, like my Seattle Mariners in the 80s, maybe you think that is because the salaries are cheaper.

    In this case however it just appears the younger players are very talented and by doing so MLS is getting better.

    Very exciting. Get the CBA done, I cant wait for the end of March to see it all kick off.


  • Retro

    I don’t know Sgc. Formations aren’t secondary. It dictates your shape, and how you resolve conflict on the pitch. The players execute the game plan. Maybe we are saying the same thing differently.


  • Joe Mama


    My original point was that where and what Tchani plays will be contingent on where he winds up.

    You make a good point, I’m not sure he would be an effective attacking mid, but as others have already mentioned, formations change and evolve depending on available personnel. At UVA, he played with Villanueva, so he never had the opportunity/necessity to play attacking mid.

    Shalrie is a perfect example: he started out as a pure def mid when he broke in with the Revs years back. Now, I’m not sure what he is anymore. And yes, Nicol has used him as both attacking mid and a striker.

    Whatever club and coach Tchani winds up playing for will dictate his field position.


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