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DC in no rush to sign Youth Academy players

As you learned last week, D.C. United is one of three MLS teams to qualify for the league’s new policy which allows teams to sign players directly from their own youth development programs. Don’t expect D.C. United to take advantage of that ability any time soon.

According to D.C. United technical director Dave Kasper, D.C. United will not be signing any players from its highly-regarded youth program in the immediate future.

"I don’t now if we’ll sign any youth players now," Kasper said. "It’s possible that we’ll look to do it during the middle part of the year. Right now there’s no one we’re ready to sign.

"There are players we feel have a lot potential but we want to make sure they’re really ready," Kasper said. "Right now we’re not prepared to select anybody in the program."

The D.C. United youth development program began in 2001 and currently consists of two year-round teams (U-16 and U-18), with 40 players coming from the Maryland-DC-Virginia area. Another 75 players in younger age groups are taking part in summer soccer programs with the club.

D.C. United, Chivas USA and the Red Bulls are the first three teams to have youth programs in place that qualified for the league’s new player development initiative that allows teams to sign their own youth academy players. All three teams had programs in place before the league announced the new policy after the 2006 season, which means all three have reached the two-year requirement for programs to qualify.


  1. You all are stupid, I play for the DC youth team and almost all our coaches are former players for DC United, with Championship rings, were highly regarded becase we won the opening U-17 SUM by a ladslide and if you look at our training pool youll see enough players with National Team experience to field a team on its own.

  2. DC’s program is highly regarded because it has been around for 7 years. They have had a remarkable head start and have had Marco Etcheverry recently involved with youth development.

  3. How can a teams youth academy be “highly regarded” when they have hardly been around – and no “name” coaches?? Come on now.

  4. it’s a smart move. I am sure they have someone they are looking at. But with that rule that your academy is opened up to the other two teams once you’ve signed 2 players, it makes a lot more sense to wait until the madness of the season starts and the other 2 have less of a chance to look into what you have. (or their cap is too full to take on anyone else)
    Because let’s face it, if Chivas came barking up the tree and the kid found out about it and DC didn’t make the trade for his rights, he’s probably going to be pretty miffed that he wasn’t allowed to go pro.

  5. Why wait to sign the Youth Academy players when all you have to do is invite some high school kid to come train with you and BAM! you own him? It’s as stupid a rule as I’ve ever seen.

  6. Agreed LaLique. Nobody is suggesting that DC or Chivas or the Red Bulls should be signing youth players already. I wrote this piece just to let people know what DC is up to. I’m sure at least a few people were wondering if DC had any immediate plans to bring up youth academy talent.

  7. It actually makes more sense to wait to sign an academy player, than to do it before the season. Nothing is stopping the players from training with the 1st team, but each team might as well see what is uncovered via the draft, etc and only sign if there’s a void of talent on the developmental squad or if there’s an injury. However, if an academy player is signed early, they already take up a valuble roster spot.

    In the case of RBNY & Kassel, since college doesn’t start until next Fall, he could be signed midseason and all is still good.


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