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Thursday Kickoff: On the Galaxy and Generation adidas

Good morning all. I hope your enjoying this Christmas Eve (and aren't in that group of millions who will be scouring for late Christmas gifts.)

Things have slowed down a bit on SBI as you can tell, but we will have some gifts of our own in the coming days in the form of a new MLS Draft Big Board, an MLS Mock Draft, and some more Q&A answers. We also have some Team of the Decade squads to name between now and the New Year (and yes, we will FINALLY post those lost You Write the Captions that many of you have been asking about).

While I finish up the latest Draft Big Board, here are some updates to peruse on this Christmas Eve:

The Los Angeles Galaxy added a serious amount of samba flavor on Wednesday, landing three young Brazilians on loan from Sao Paulo.

Defenders Alex and Leonardo, and midfielder Juninho, join the Galaxy after having trained with Los Angeles back in October. Alex, 21, is a 6-foot-1 left-sided player capable of playing left back or left midfield who has played for the Brazilian Under-20 national team. Leonardo, 21, is a 6-foot-2 central defender and Juninho, 20, is a diminutive playmaking midfielder.

All three players were on the Sao Paulo team that won the Super Group at the 2007 Dallas Cup, beating Real Madrid and Chelsea along the way. All three will count as senior internationals for the 2010 season.

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The Generation adidas class had its first four players named earlier this week, and the buzz around league circles is that the league will succeed in luring many of its top targets. The closest to commit of the unsigned standouts is freshman phenom Amobi Okugo, a strong holding midfielder from UCLA who boosted his stock considerably with a good NCAA Tournament. Having just trained with the U.S. Under-20 national team camp, Okguo will be a first-round lock if and when he signs.

Wake Forest tandem Ike Opara and Corben Bone are close to signing as well, sources tell SBI, while one prospect who is looking less likely to sign is Oregon State striker Danny Mwanga.

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That's all for now. I will finish up the MLS Draft Big Board this afternoon so keep an eye out for that. For now, feel free to share your thoughts on the above items, or any other soccer news of the day, in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. If the three Brazilians will count as senior internationals, then whom will they replace? The only senior internationals I can think of on the Galaxy roster are Beckham, Ricketts and Birchall. The first two aren’t going anywhere. How many senior internationals can each team have?

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  2. Indeed, I stand corrected in that there is certainly at least one “Gonzalo purchase” exception for DCU… starting forwards on Real Madrid named Gonzalo are welcome @ DCU. Hope Dave Kasper is working a deal as we speak

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  3. Sanneh can go the backline will be aj, omar franklin, dunivant thats pretty stout. So Sanneh can retire, berhalter will be the cheerleader. They just need a better midfield,I wouldn’t be surprised if most of their offseason moves are to strengthen the midfield because thats their biggest weakness.

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  4. I wonder if someone said “Hey (enter brazilian name), there are going to be quite a few scouts from europe watching LA games to see Donovan and Beckham, could be notice you too”

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  5. These are loans — not really signings. If these guys contribute beyond giving depth for Open Cup and international tournaments, I’d be surprised. It would say a lot about how lame MLS is, if these Sao Paolo rejects play.

    (SBI-These Sao Paulo “rejects” are all young prospects who aren’t cracking the Sao Paulo squad, but whose pedigrees are impressive. This isn’t a case of journeymen in their mid-to-late 20s catching on with MLS teams, these are real prospects who I believe Sao Paulo want to A) get experience and B) get exposure by having them play on a team with Beckham. Let’s face it, if any of those three actually emerges as a player, that’s a big win for Sao Paulo. You shouldn’t just assume these are castoffs with no ability who aren’t regarded well by Sao Paulo.)

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  6. yea this is completely diffferent. The galaxy are an side with a lot of vets and with these players (all on loan versus the the DP and senior contracts DC gave their players), the galaxy can bring in some blood, who will hopefully bring energy, creativity and other positives to their respective positions.

    For those who don’t work out, the Galaxy can just have their loans terminated. And for those who do and if they like them, hopefully the can proceed from there to a possible purchase.

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  7. Late breaking news: The Red Bulls announce that they will have 3 Brazilians come to the new stadium once next year. They would like to thank Jeff Agoos and Grassroots marketing for making it happen.

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  8. Well the rosters are small, someone is going to have to go on the LA roster right? granted Sanneh, Berhalter, and Kirovski are aging folks who could all go…

    I trust in Arena’s judgement, but there are a TON of youth players coming from Riverplate, Boca Juniors, Sao Paulo, etc who are nothings, in fact end up in 2nd division mid table sides in ARG, BRA.

    LAG actually have a crap load of young players… and I’m sure they’ll draft at least 2 players they want to keep (no?). Maybe they will loan a lot of their young players out, not sure, guess we’ll see.

    DCU will make the playoffs without CCL and SuperLiga, biggest problem for all teams is schedule congestion

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  9. …which is to say the Gals will go far in Concacaf CL. I have a feeling the real compensation for these guys wont be revealed till after the new CBA and new salary cap go into affect.
    In other words, I bet they got them based on future salary cap availability. Was Juninho a regular starter for Sao Paolo?

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  10. I agree, Bruce is doing what he has to do to be competitive in Champions League this year, it is good to see someone in MLS taking that competition seriously. You start to see why Donovan wants to stay.

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  11. do you have some specific bit of evidence to point to that a rule has been broken? If now, then generic accusation based on reputation is boring.

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  12. See my response above. We tried rebuilding on a team that didn’t need rebuilding. LA are simply building on a great foundation to begin with. Defense is still a week spot for them and another creative central midfielder should ease Beckham’s loan move (hence why I imagine it being a loan and not buy).

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  13. No we tried replacing – LA are building. We went for older guys, they’re going for younger. Their guys are playing in positions they need support in – ours were just trying to buy better.

    My comment wasn’t toward them going out buying South American players. It was A. buying where they need reinforcements, B. buying young instead of over the edge and C. buying what appears to be actual talent.

    There’s a difference in building and rebuilding. We tried to rebuild with far too many variables and failed. LA appear to be building on a strong foundation.

    Even now with DC, I wouldn’t advocate rebuilding. We got a speedy left winger. Now let’s get a proper striker (bye bye Emilio), a leader in the middle now that Olsen is gone and another side back. CB if possible. Others may say goalie but Wicks just needs anger management and our backups are respectable. We’re also meant to have a couple decent prospects coming up the developmental ladder. Stay tuned fellas!

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  14. Great news that LA was able to lure those players away from Sao Paulo. Also, I like how MLS is really putting a ton of effort into getting the top young talent in this country to stay state-side. It just shows that the league is making huge strides in luring these players away from Europe and South America.

    Well done Garber and Co.

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  15. whoa whoa whoa. this is the galaxy we’re talking about ives. how come these 3 players count towards the salary cap, take up SI spots, and if i had 3 grievance to gripe about, it would go here.

    i mean its the galaxy! MLS bends over backwards to accommodate this team. what the hell?

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  16. Just want to pass on my regards and thanks to you, Ives, for your fine site, the first place I turn to for the latest in the US soccer world.

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  17. Isn’t that what DC tried to do.. made a whole bunch of changed to their supporter shield winning side, Gallardo, Franco Neil, Gonzale, etc, and the side stunk…

    Ives wrote about it on his ESPN peice last week

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  18. Excellent news for MLS and Gals….I believe the past failures were more a reflection of the quality and expectations being off. For MLS to land solid young talent from South and Central America it is essential that the league and teams (listen up DCU) take the CONCACAF CL and other international tournaments seriously, and realize that it is a window into MLS for many players who know little or nothing about US football and have ignored looking to el norte to ply there trade.

    Good moves this week from the Gals and DCU with there acquisitions.

    Happy Holidays Ives and all posters

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  19. Both Josh and Matt make good points. I like MLS teams picking up young potential talent from places like Brazil and Columbia which also means taking a risk that none of these players pan out. That said, if 1 does and becomes an impact sub or starter – then you get a decent return on investment (not sure how much LA is paying to take these Sao Paulo players on loan but its MLS so can’t be that much) and begin establishing a track record of integrating new talent like Seattle with Montero and Hurtado.

    Happy holidays to everyone in SBI nation

    And here’s wishing for DCU to purchase no more “Gonzalos”

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  20. interesting, ambitious move by the galaxy front off ice.

    however, i think we will have to reserve judgements until we actually see them play. it looks like neither juninho nor leonardo have ever been in sao paulo’s first team despite their age. makes me suspicious of their current abilities given the tendency for players to be blooded in at younger ages in the brazilian championship.

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  21. Josh,

    Recall that DC did get a bunch of high-credential’d south americans a couple of years ago. All five were out of the league within a year, with none making any form of impact.

    Its been a bad couple of years for foreign signings all around MLS. But the good news is that LA is getting younger at least. They were looking a bit long in the tooth.

    Beckham, Lewis, Klein, the central defender whose name I can’t seem to remember, Migglio all did yeoman’s work last year but aren’t the long term options Arena would like. Maybe these young guys in conjunction with a talented draft pool might help in the LA youth movement.

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  22. Ives,
    If you have the time you should do a post on the US team of the decade (so far) based on the best players at their peak fitness and performance levels. Just a thought. Cheers.

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  23. Massive signings by LA. That’s how you build on an already well put together team. Haven’t seen the three play but their credentials sound top notch (plus the defenders sound huge).

    DC please take notes.

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