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Major League Soccer has taken its first step toward setting up what could be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory by landing one of the college game's most coveted prospects.
Maryland central defender Omar Gonzalez is set to sign a Generation adidas contract with MLS, Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner reported on Friday. Stouffer is also reporting that fellow Maryland standout Jeremy Hall also looks set to sign with MLS.
The additions of Gonzalez and Hall to the MLS draft pool don't come as a surprise, but they should serve as the first of several key signings by the league for a draft that could be loaded if MLS succeeds in signing all of its top targets. Could North Carolina defender Sheanon Williams be one of those targets? According to Stouffer, the UNC freshman is ready to turn pro as well, and his solid performance in the NCAA Final Four didn't hurt his chances any.
Gonzalez is projected as a Top Four draft pick, although opinions on Gonzalez are mixed, with some teams rating him as a No. 1 pick and others considering him a project who wouldn't necessarily start in year one. Hall is the best left-sided player in the draft and is also expected to be chosen in the top half of the draft.
What do you think of Gonzalez and Hall signing with MLS? Share your thoughts below.
The reason to go abroad is for more money. Hell, for some Mexican Americans, it’s better off to go to Mexico.
One other thing, MLS teams needs to beat the likes of Puerto Rico Islanders and Joe Public in a meaningful competition before you can say that’s it’s on par with European leagues.
MLS might be a semi decent stepping stone, but whoever signs up should resist contract extensions at most circumstances. Contract extensions are the equivalent of a permanent sentence. So many players are denied moves abroad which would have made them better off.
MLS is seen as a crappy league even from the Serbian/Romanian league point of view. I’d say our style of play is equivalent to 3rd tier Europe being that of Belgium and the Scandinavian leagues. Our pay for players are probably 4th tier based like that of Austria/Poland. But MLS is growing. Each season it gets better. See how MLS will be in 2011 or 2013. I imagine within 5years our league will be the equivalent of say 2nd tie Euro league like the Portugal/Turkish leagues in the style of play and salaries should also be way increased.
Docsoccer needs spell check.
Danny im happy you disagree but the mls isnt evenon par with mexico, brazil, aregetnina, and loses consistently to honduran costa rican and even teams from t&nt and Panama. It has nothing to do with euro snobbery. the danish swedish and swiss leagues have produced alot better talent than the mls and you also get to play in the uefa cup and some even CL where you can play high pressure games against some of the top competition in the world you just can get in the mls and you also get exposed to moer scouts than in Europe. MLS isnt even good enough for the libertadores. i love the mls and watch more mls games than any other league by far but im just being real. MLS has produced some good players that have gone overseas and thats great dempsey,McBride, Boca and their are others but these leagues just have much more in depth systems for development with academies and reserve teams (which mls had to scrap) and just better exposure in europe i believe makes it a better choice for them and will better prepare them for the national team.
Talent goes out, talent comes in. While it’s tough to swallow losing players like Chad Marshall, Clarence Goodson and Michael Parkhurst in back to back seasons, there are plenty of players in the college and U-20 and U-17 pipeline who can do a more than decent job than their predecessors who have moved on to greener (pun intended) pastures in Europe.
A lateral move to be sure for Parkhurst, Goodson and Marshall but a definite bump in the pay packet for them (which of course is the main reason why MLS can compete).
Players like Opara, Gonzalez and Sheanon Williams can hone their craft in MLS for a few seasons and if they make a substantial impact in MLS then they can cash in when their contracts run out.
I really disagree with docsoccer on this. I think people buy into the euro snobbery that is pushed by some media outlets in the U.S. and assume that MLS is a poor choice for these kids.
That simply isn’t true.
MLs is on par with many of the leagues in Europe. It’s not the BPL, La Liga, or Ligue 1, but it has its favorable characteristics. There is good football here and there is now no reason to assume that because someone is in Europe that it is better for them.
For every player you name that picked Europe and then came back to MLS I can name a player that went from MLs to Eupope and it worked out for them.
People need to quit assume Europe is better because it’s Europe. The Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Swiss leagues are NOT better than MLS.
I’m glad these guys seem to be coming to MLS. I think they’ll make good pros but only time will tell.
I know some smart people who disagree but I think Omar has relatively good skill on the ball for a central defender. His aerial skills are beyond reproach.
Hall is also pretty good. Lefties are always good to find. Look at the shallow talent pool for US left fullback where after our underwhelming favorites Heath Pearce and Bornstein the next best hopes seem to be Edgar Castillo, Claudio Reyna and John O’Brien.
Anyway, MLS is probably the best place for Omar Gonzalez and Jeremy Hall to develop their game, get playing time and earn a decent wage (as GenAd players).
Having spent some time in college they are kind of old for a good Euro team to consider them youth prospects and probably a bit inexperienced and raw for significant first team action (unless you want them to go the Albanian 2nd Division or Vietnam).
glad to hear it, he’s a nice pickup for the league.
Just wondering if anybody knows any of the details for the Gold Cup this summer?
GA Contracts are like gold with the new roster rules, especially for teams that are going to push the cap with a few expensive contracts (several 80%+ max cap or two DPs).
Teams like Seattle or TFC for example.
High Fidelity – with Jet Black, John Cusack, Lisa Bonet and Tim Robbins
Some movie (name escapes me) where John Cusack plays a DJ/record store owner with some issues in the love dept. His sister Joan is also in the movie
Oh yes both groups in the movie the same character (not Cusack)
(by the way, what do our screen names have in common?)
dissapointing tis only going to slow their development. should got over to europe like gooch, Demerit,Pearce,spector, simek, zimmerman work up throught the ranks of Europe for a few years then develop into a starter for a good team. like zizzo, arguez, lichaj are doing. players who train in europe come vevr to mls like cooper, thorrington, casey, rogers and become one best players in mls when they get to the league.