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MLS announces First Generation adidas signings

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The 2010 Major League Soccer Draft is shaping up to be a strong one, and the league took steps toward that reality on Tuesday with the announcement of the signing of seven quality draft prospects.

Teal Bunbury, Jack McInerney, Dilly Duka and Blair Gavin were announced as the league's first four Generation adidas signings of the winter, while Toni Stahl, Andre Akpan and Zach Loyd were also announced as senior signings, meaning they already have MLS contracts heading into next month's draft.

Bunbury is the most highly-coveted of the group, and is a candidate to be the first player taken in the draft, while Stahl and Akpan are both candidates to be the first senior taken off the board.

MLS had been expected to announce five Generation adidas signings, but sources tell SBI that the group was reduced to four because of delays in the completion of the deal with U.S. Under-20 goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who is expected to have his deal finalized in the coming days.

Generation adidas players are underclassmen whose contracts don't count against their team's salary caps. The seniors who have signed with MLS do have contracts that count against the salary cap.

MLS should announce a half dozen or more Generation adidas signings between now and the MLS Combine, which takes place in Florida beginning on January 9th. The MLS Draft is set for January 14 in Philadelphia. Ike Opara, Corben Bone, Tony Tchani, Danny Mwanga, Andrew Wiedeman, Amobi Okugo and Luis Gil are the leading candidates to join the Generation adidas class.

The SBI MLS Draft Big Board as well as the first SBI MLS Mock Draft will be coming on Wednesday and Thursday so stay tuned for those. For now, what do you think of this initial group of draft signings? Which player would you most like your team to land in the draft from this group?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Teal makes his home in Prior Lake Minn., but was born in Canada. As stated above, his dad Alex is one of the best players to ever play for Canada. He’s also the highest scorer in the history of Maritimo of the Portuguese League.
    Here’s a question: If Teal goes to MLS, will this be the first father-son combo in the history of the league. His dad played a spell with the Wizards before retiring…

    He has already played with the Canadian U20s.

  2. What’s your point? That you know nothing about top players in the NCAA and USA youth teams? I guess you have better things to do with your time. Bully for you.

  3. I wasn’t suggesting they tank it. I was just wondering about the incentive (or, if you prefer, the reason) to even participate in the Combine.

    (SBI-GB has it right. There are incentives tied into draft place, so you can go from a better-paid first round pick to a second round (or worse) pick who ends up with a base salary and few or no bonuses.)

  4. Why, cuz he was the only defender actually running around trying to stop up holes? His partner, with the impossible name, didn’t make a single tackle that I saw.

  5. Combine is critical for pre-combine signees as bonuses are based on draft positions. Also, the contract can be voided if not drafted in the first or second rounds. Poor performance in the combine can cost these young players significant dollars.

  6. If Gil where to play in houston, salt lake, seattle or dc. Then he can and would become a great player some teams are better at developing players then others. I think just going overseas to these acadameis doesn’t always turn out a great player, many of these acadameis especially in the epl turn out two or three good players, look at chelsea whose come from their academy? Fulham? Arsenal other than wilshire? So I mean it doesn’t always equate.

  7. @Ives — That doesn’t seem to make sense — What is the incentive to get drafted higher? Unless their salaries aren’t set in stone…

    Otherwise, there’s probably benefit to being picked lower, since you play for a better team…(psychic benefits, plus playoff bonus money).

    (SBI-These guys are athletes, they’re not going to tank it and look bad for some perceived potential advantage of being taken by better teams, and who’s to say those better teams won’t also be turned off by a player tanking? I agree that already being signed takes away some of the incentive to do well, but you’re still out there representing your name and no serious player is going to mail it in with the entire league watching.)

  8. I’m not sure how that logic works. If there is a hard cap for the foreign players’ wages, but not the EU wages, that’s an incentive on owners to bring in foreign players who are OK with the capped salary.

  9. Wow. I’d love to have an EU law license. There’s no way such a restriction could hold up in court. I realize Bosman and to EU citizens, but this is a level of discrimination that seems unsupportable.

  10. Looks like a really strong draft for the second year running. Looking on Wikipedia, there’s only 9 players from the 2009 MLS SuperDraft who haven’t gone pro and 2 of those, Brad Ring and ‘Jide Ogunbiyi will surely be pro soon enough – Ring to San Jose after his recovery from injury and Ogunbiyi whenever he picks a club/gets signed.

  11. You are right about how he looked at the college cup, but don’t forget that akron plays a certain style which forced unc and virginia to stack the defence at the 18 yard line. The only way bunbury would have looked good was to dribble penetrate, and that not a strength of his. Hopefully, he develops that skill at the next level.

  12. People complain that LA has two DP players while everyone else has one ( legit complaint )

    This is equally unfair, not sure why MLS would do that ?

    I would think the rich teams would draft the GA players like the Sounders did last year?

    Why wouldn’t they, it enables them to get a better player with the “extra” money.

    For a league that doesn’t want to become the joke leagues like EPL, LaLiga etc,

    they are walking a fine line of trying use available money to get talent/fans versus keeping it fair.

  13. I understand how all the negative news can lead one to believe that, but I am confident that if the World Cup were tomorrow, Jones would be lacing up his boots, and getting the cortisone injections ready.

    I think he just knows that there are still many months ahead. His main priority needs to be the friendly against the Netherlands on March 3rd. That’s basically his last chance to prove he should be in the starting eleven. Even if he gets fit right before the Cup, if he’s not fit for the March game there’s no way Bob would give him a starting position in the first two games or so.

  14. You are partially correct. There are two minimums in Holland , 177k Euro for U-20s and 400k Euro for 20+. Obviously, these don’t apply for EU passport holders. This is designed to allow signings of top-flight players, but discourage simply importing players to save on wages.

  15. I guess he doesn’t want to play in World Cups then! Hahaha

    The kid can do whatever he wants he was born in Canada and his dad is a Canadian national team legend. Canadians have gotten screwed over worse than us. Owen Hargreaves, Jonathan De Guzman, etc.

  16. This is all making it seem less and less likely that we’re ever gonna see him suit up for the red, white and blue. Got my hopes up…

  17. Concerning the EU status and salary in Holland, I’m pretty sure it’s not a 400k ‘cap’ for foreigners, but a 400k minimum salary. So foreign youth are a big gamble for Eredivisie clubs, which generally don’t have large wage bills.

  18. From what I’ve heard, they also get their college paid for when they decide to go back to school, I believe by Adidas. I’m not sure what the restrictions are.

    So… Does anyone know how long their salaries don’t count against the cap? I thought I thought I heard that a GA signing remains a GA signing until they finish school. There has to be some limitations on that. I also believe any team can only have a certain number of GA players on their squad at any one time.

    Zakuani had a salary of around $167K….

  19. Would it be correct to assume that a senior signing prior to the draft will not need to attend the combine? If that is correct, at what point will the MLS announce those additions to the combine as replacments. Anyone have a thought?

    (SBI-The seniors who sign usually still play in the Combine. They play presumably to improve their draft position.)

  20. Yeah. It’s not really news. Just something Ives might want to be aware of.

    Jones has got a contract until 2014, so I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

    As the season wears on, they’ll need Jones’ experience (provided he’s fit), so I can’t really imagine him not getting his spot back.

    But Schalke is trying to save money.

    As I mentioned, the article does not mention the source, so who knows where this story is going.

  21. I think this is a very strong draft compared to previous years. Would probably pick Opara first, DC could really use him, as I thought he actually was the star in central defense during the WC. Also wouldn’t mind McInereny, who looks like another Taylor Twellman. Dilly Duka will go to New York, someway, somehow. Luis Gil isn’t staying, period, so picking him up might be more of a cashcow than a long term investment. At any rate, 7th pick looks pretty good this year.

  22. Hey Ives,

    So that you stay in the loop– there’s a story in Bild about Jones having difficulty with Magath and one of his conditioning coaches.

    They’re saying Jones is threatening to quit.

    Keep in mind this is Bild, so while there’s probably some truth to it, it’s always very difficult to say what the source of the story is.

    It may be Jones agent trying to make sure the media stays on Jones’ side.

    Before anyone starts questioning Jones’ professionalism, they should know that it is widely known that Magath has a tendency to treat players like absolute crap.

    I personally just hope Jones gets better and keeps his nose out of trouble (rehabilitation in Frankfurt sounds bad).

  23. Denmark does tax but I’m not sure how much. That is one reason Jerry White is leaving because his club didn’t want to pay the tax.

    Hollands cap is for players who don’t have an EU passport. Its around 400-500,000 euros. If you have an EU passport then you don’t have a cap.

  24. Isn’t it Holland that has a cap on how much foreigners can make isn’t it like 400,000 euros? And isn’t it Denmark that taxes foreginers more than nationals? I know Spain is bringing that Law back and England is raising the tax rates for earners over 1 million. I only ask because maybe this influenced Jack Mac. I always find this interesting because is it really worth going to a scandanavian country for say 750,000 if your going to pay a 45% tax?

  25. Three trials does not equal a sure fire contract. He would be stupid to flat out say no to a GA deal before going on his trials. My bet is that he does get a deal overseas, but his MLS deal is still on the table.

  26. They get a higher salary then just a developmental player. I believe part of the salary can be used to continue their studies in college.

  27. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if Teal Bunbury has played for either the US or Canadian youth national teams? Also, would he be eligible to play for the US senior team (if he earns it of course)?

  28. Oh, I thought Danny Mwanga has all but said no thanks to MLS. I believe I read he had a trials setup with a 3 French clubs one of which (Lille) was confirmed.

  29. I’m excited about Blair Gavin. As a fellow Kentuckian it’s not often we have professional players, there are a few, like Ray Burse, but Gavin by far has the most potential. Definitely the first Kentuckian to be a GA signing.

    So far I like the signings. Each of the guys has a ton of potential led by Teal. On paper it’s shaping up to be a stellar draft. If last year’s draft is a measuring stick there’s a lot to live up to. I’m not keen of the idea of a draft but if it keeps exposing talent I’ll rethink my position.

  30. so is bunbury more in the mold of nyarko or marcus tracy? i ask ’cause there seems to be quite a bit of hype, but he didn’t look all that great in the college he expected to step right in or are we looking more of about 2 yrs down the road more.


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