Top Stories

Friday Kickoff: Chelsea tie Tottenham, Galaxy sign academy star, and more

ChelseaTottenham (Getty)


In a match where both teams needed three points, London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea each had to settle for one as they played to a 1-1 draw. Emmanuel Adebayor scored to put Spurs up in the 8th minute, only for Chelsea to equalize through Daniel Sturridge fifteen minutes later.

Each team were left feeling they should have won, however, as Didier Drogba hit the post on one occasion and Adebayor let numerous chances go in the closing minutes.

The game was marked by the outstanding play of Chelsea defender John Terry, who had just learned he would be charged for recent racist remarks. Terry was solid throughout, and even cleared a late Adebayor shot off the line to preserve a point for his team.

Here are some other stories to get your day started:


The Los Angeles Galaxy added depth to an ever-changing midfield on Thursday, signing their third-ever Homegrown Player in 18-year-old Jose Villarreal.

With Juninho not returning in 2012 and the David Beckham situation still up in the air, the Galaxy pulled the trigger on the talented young midfielder, who has experience with U.S. youth national teams. Villarreal was a part of the U-23 camp held in Germany in November, and he played for the U-18s in the Milk Cup in July.

Villarreal joins Jack McBean as Homegrown Players on the Galaxy roster. Los Angeles was the first-ever team to sign a team directly from their academy when they signed Tristan Bowen in 2008.


When Barcelona drew L'Hospitalet in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey, there weren't many people who put the result in doubt. But few could have predicted what the third-division minnows would be subjected to on Thursday.

Barcelona, with a team made up largely of youth-team players, picked apart L'Hospitalet en route to a 9-0 final score. Pedro, Iniesta, and Xavi each got their names on the score sheet, while Thiago, Cristian Tello, and Isaac Cuenca each added braces. Lowly L'Hospitalet, who hail from a suburb of Barcelona, were defeated 10-0 on aggregate.

The win didn't come without a price for Barcelona, as Iniesta picked up a knock that could keep him out for two weeks.

Also held Thursday was the draw for the remaining rounds of the Copa del Rey. Barcelona drew Osasuna, while rivals Real Madrid drew Malaga. If each team wins that matchup, the eternal rivals would face off in the quarterfinals.


Yaya Toure was awarded for his outstanding play in 2011 on Thursday as he was named the CAF African Player of the Year. Chosen by coaches of the continent's national teams, Toure edged Barcelona's Seydou Keita and Marseille's Andre Ayew for the award.

Toure joined Manchester City from Barcelona in 2010 and has since flourished, helping the Citizens capture the FA Cup earlier this year. City are also atop the Premier League table this season. Toure will look to translate that success into a good showing for his native Ivory Coast, who will take part in the African Cup of Nations early next year.



  1. Chivas USA just announced an affiliation agreement with United FC last week. Hasn’t been around long enough to generate any signings, but that it was what I was referring to do when I said Chivas was doing the same thing.

    As for why, the answer is self-evident. Villarreal was going to be signed away by a non-MLS club if MLS didn’t act now and he wouldn’t have signed with RSL or any other club (with the possible exception of Chivas) because the big advantage was staying home. It is possible that what he signed was a contract to sign a contract in March 2012 as you suggest. It’s not like Academy players can’t train with the senior team before the start of the season anyway.

  2. Ok, couple questions:
    Give me the names of those players whom Chivas did the same, that is sign a U-18 from an affilliated USSD program?

    Pateadores and LAG initiated their relationship in March 2011. Why didnt MLS require that Villareal play for the academy, either Pateadores or LAG until March 2012, thus satisfying the one year requirement?

  3. This is getting silly. So, if Chivas indicates they want to sign the player in the fourth year to the senior roster, but he instead signs with the Galaxy academy and after a year signs with the Galaxy senior roster, is he a home grown player for the Galaxy? If so, then point proven. Amount of money spent or time developed is not the standard. On the affiliated academy point, the key to understand here is that the Galaxy is spending more than most other clubs. They pay top dollar for a full academy and then pay lots of money for an affiliation agreement with South Bay Force and Pateadores (they are separate clubs pre-academy, but combine for the academy program). There is nothing that prohibits this and RSL could do it too if it had any players worth signing in Utah (it doesn’t, at least in a substantial number yet, which is the real reason they went to Arizona). The Galaxy aren’t getting by with development on the cheap either; quite the contrary. My understanding is that the Galaxy pays full freight for the Academy teams; the only difference is that the affiliated clubs have some teams that are non-academy, both at the same age group and especially at the younger levels (and obviously on the girls’ side). So, it may look like the Galaxy isn’t paying that much as a percentage of the clubs’ total budget, but it is no different than starting a second Galaxy academy team at that age group. The advantage to affiliation rather than starting a second team is that the Galaxy gets youth development aligned at the U-little age groups to feed the academy (rather than having to recruit them all at U13) and they get promotional opportunities for the kids and parents with the rest of the club without having to actually take over and run the whole club.

    By the way, Chivas is doing the same thing and they have signed a bunch of home grown players recently.

  4. Pretty simple answers to your questions, if the player switches to the other academy for the designated one year period, then he is the homegrown property of the current academy, full stop, not much ambiguity there. If the club spends four years on the guy and he is allowed to walk away without a senior club offer, then he gets another offer to another academy and gets a senior team offer, no issue. That was a pretty weak straw man you constructed.

    For the second argument you construct another straw man argument. Geography is important and I don’t believe another team should have “their” academy located in another team’s region. But that isn’t the issue at hand, you are saying that Pateadores and South Bay Force are now LAG academies? On top of that they have their own academy which they undoubtedly bankroll fully. My argument had nothing to do with geography or the four year argument that you brought up. I simply believe that having three academy teams, of which one you are paying for fully and the other two are only fractionally paid for by your organization is an unfair practice. Just because the LAG are in Southern California that just so happens to be a hotbed of youth soccer doesn’t mean they should be allowed to have three academies and really only pay for one. What does that mean for Chivas that are in the same region, do they get to have four academies? One they pay for and three others they give a little money to for association?

    RSL has their academy in Arizona because of the world class facility and the favorable winter weather conditions that allow for year round training. They have one academy and so should the rest of the MLS.

  5. You’re obviously wrong about the subject matter that you were responding to (Gnarly said nothing about MLS-specific academies, but just said academies helped find and develop good players), but you are fixated on the larger point, so let’s take that. If the MLS rule was supposed to be based on the amount of money paid on development, why would one year be enough? If RSL spends four years on a player and he switches for the final year to another club’s academy, he is considered home grown in the academy where he most recently played, not the one that spent the most money. Furthermore, if geography was irrelevant, than why doesn’t MLS permit clubs to set up academies in other team’s area and let the best academy win? In fact, that’s one of the reasons the Cosmos Academy West had to leave LA. It wouldn’t have been permitted if the Cosmos had been accepted as an expansion franchise. It is also the reason RLS gets away with an academy set-up outside of Utah – there is no other club there. Plus, there are no clubs in Utah that it would pay for RSL to affiliate with to develop players.

  6. Completely disagree.. He was referring to the MLS Academy system, not the USSD academy system. My claim is that if the player is in the USSD academy system and he wants to make the jump to the MLS as Homegrown, he should join the MLS academy for the minimum of one year required. If that isn’t an option, then he should be distributed like everyone else that comes into the league.

    Why should LAG benefit from have neglecting to invest in their own academy for the past 15 years and relying upon independent organizations in the SoCal area to whom they provide a small amount of financial support. So all of the MLS teams that dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into their academies are suckers if they could just do what LA does? When a good player comes along, they create some claim of association and sign him as homegrown. LA didn’t pay for his development, why are they benefitting from it?

  7. Fischy claimed he didn’t come through the Academy system after Gnarly praised that system for finding great players. I responded that Pateadores was indeed a member of the US academy system. Fischy disputed something that is a clearly accurate statement: The Academy system is developing good players and Villarreal is an example of that. Your response is a non sequitor.

  8. It’s clear the league favors NY/LAG. Ironically if MLS didn’t have parity rules NY/LAG/SEA/DC/HOU (big markets) would be US “Superclubs.” Which the wants!

  9. Sure, a USSD Academy, but they aren’t LA’s academy, otherwise they would be named LAG Academy. That is how the system should work. Just because LAG provide financial support for Pateadores doesn’t make them their academy. What is the difference between Pateadores and LAG Academy? What you are saying makes no sense, does LAG own and pay the entire cost associated with Pateadores? Do the LAG managment team make all of the decisions associated with Pateadores? I would venture to say the answer to these questions is a resounding no.

    Pateadores are clearly an independant organization to which LAG have provided some financial support. Looks like they are gaming the system.

  10. And look at where the goals came from: six of nine from Thiago (who really wants more minutes), Cuenca (who, despite recent sub minutes with the first team, is still a Barcelona B player and desperately wants to make the jump), and Tello (a Barcelona B player). It was indeed a “statement match” — namely, those players trying hard to make a statement to Guardiola.

  11. Actually, fischy, you are incorrect. Pateadores is an academy club. So, if Gnarls is praising the US Academy club system, then the praise is accurately placed.

  12. Tony Cascio and Nick DeLeon are two RSL academy products that are in the top 25 prospects of the MLS draft. RSL attempted to claim homegrown status on these two and were denied by MLS for some reason. They both spent longer than a year in the RSL academy in AZ, RSL spent resources on them. Of course they both played college soccer, but it bears noting they are our academy products and we are being denied our previous affiliation.

    Compare that to the LA situation, Villareal isn’t an academy product and yet they are allowed to sign him as one. Seems unequitable.

  13. statement match, barca only beat them 1-0 in the first leg with a medium strength side. So I think Pep wanted to make sure they didnt suffer the same fate as Athletico and Villarreal.

  14. Except you can’t praise the success of the Academy system and hold up Jose Villareal as an example. Whatever you may think about whether LA should be allowed to sign him, he wasn’t in any meaningful sense a product of the academy system. He learned his game elsewhere, with local clubs. So, if anything, Villareal’s development undercuts the supposed gains in the Academy system. The kid got a deal with LA, and he did not come through the Academy system.

  15. Not sure what you’re saying about college players — don’t know the specifics about the RSL prospects you reference. However, it must be more complicated than you say. DC United was able to bring in Ethan White as a homegrown player last year, even after he’d spent 2 years at U.Md. as a starter.

  16. Many of the local clubs couldn’t affiliate with the Galaxy until March of 2011 when a new league was created (SCDSL). The dominant league that South Bay Force and Pateadores broke off from, Coast Soccer League, doesn’t permit affiliations with professional clubs. So, it wasn’t because of this kid that they started the affiliation. At the same time, the Galaxy just started having teams at younger levels (down to U13, which started recently with a roster that included Beckham’s son). That is one of the reasons they started affiliations (to promote seamless transitions from large youth clubs to professional development academies for select players). So, even Bowen and McBean were “developed” by someone else initially because there literally were no Galaxy academy teams available before the past year or so. As a result, Villarreal is as much developed by the Galaxy as any other player. The gripe, if there is one, is that a player’s home grown status is wiped clean once they go to college (or presumably another club).

  17. Barcelona hardly put out a team of youth players. Their starting lineup:

    G- Pinto (plays all cup games)
    D- Puyol, Pique, Fontas
    M- Fabregas, Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets
    F- Pedro, Cuenca, Thiago

    So, by my count two players in that lineup have not seen regular minutes in La Liga this season – Fontas and Pinto (who is very much not a youth player). It is true that three substitutions were made, but Puyol, Pique, Fabregas, Pedro, Cuenca and Thiago all went 90. Considering Villa is injured and Sanchez is nursing a slight injury, they really couldn’t have put out a much better squad – especially as Pep chose to go with a 3-4-3. Just because Messi didn’t play doesn’t mean this was largely a youth team.

  18. Couldn’t agree more, I hope someone investigates this further and makes a big stink about this. Hopefully the other clubs raise this as total BS. Galaxy claim that they have affiliation with Pateadores since March 2011, then bring the kid into the academy later in the year, he plays a total of six academy games and MLS allows him to be signed as “homegrown academy”.

    That is like a top level college football team throwing a little money at all of the high school programs in an area they deem to be fertile for talent and claiming they have affiliation with all of the potential talent coming out of the schools. Just because there was a small financial support transaction between LAG and Pateadores, the kid isn’t an LAG academy product, his development wasn’t 100% paid for by the LAG over the past year prior to his signing as the rule states.

    This just smacks of the moving goalposts the MLS allows teams like LA and NY to do all the time. I have no issue with him playing for LA, they should just have to follow the rules like everyone else is forced.

    So when RSL attempt to claim back two players that were our academy homegrowns, that we supported financially in our academy that we shell out the money for, we get smacked down and told that since they played in college they are no longer our academy products. Not the same situation, but LAG get away with what they want.

  19. the technicality of what’s deemed an “academy player” is pretty mickey mouse with our league.

    (and i’m a huge supporter of MLS)

  20. No. I’m saying some laws are ridiculous. We’ve got plenty of ridiculous ones, too. English-language only laws. Voter id laws that reject student ids but embrace hunting licenses, teaching creationism, restricting right to marry…I could go on and on.

  21. Not to mention that this is an incredible waste of public resources. I would think the Crown’s Attorneys would have more important matters to focus on.

  22. Except that he didn’t “come through the Academy system.” He arrived at the LA academy this summer as one of the best high-school age players in the country…the star of the national U18 national champs.

  23. I thought I might be the only one wondering about this.

    I posted this comment on the mlssoccer piece:

    Great stuff for Jose V., but this seems like a real abuse of the Academy Homegrown rule. He was developed with Pateadores. He plays less than half a year with the Galaxy Academy and he’s eligible for Homegrown status? He may be homegrown in the sense that he’s from LA, but it seems like the Galaxy brought him into the Academy just to pull this stunt. I suppose this helps maintain better relations with local youth clubs, instead of pillaging them when they’re younger, but it doesn’t seem fair.

    I don’t think it’s fair to other clubs — at least, not in the spirit of the rule. If they want to just carve out regions for teams and say hands off all the local players for the other teams, I guess the league could do that. However, it doesn’t seem fair, as it really gives an advantage to clubs in talent-rich environments, like LA. Also, I don’t think it’s fair to the kid — as it basically means he (and all kids in his situation — have just one route into MLS…with the local franchise…unless they can get a GA deal, in which they’re forced into a lottery like Gil, or the draft. Based on his less than half-year with the Galaxy, I am not sure I see why they get this exclusive right to sign him — it really just looks like it was arranged to exploit the rule.

  24. What’s ridiculous to me is that he’s facing criminal charges. I really don’t understand the Europeans fetishization of political correctness. Terry may be a jerk. He might even be racist. But, being prosecuted for an insult?

  25. The Jermaine Jones stomping-on-the-foot story has legs that will keep it running into the new year. The Bild tabloid wrote an editorial calling for him to receive the maximum 6-months suspension and apparently the Borussia M’Glaback district attorney is going to file criminal charges.

    BILD fordert: Höchststrafe für Ãœbel-Treter Jones!

    Here is a link to one very interesting story about “bad-boy” Jones.


    Jermaine Jones angezeigt – Der Bad-Boy aus Bonames

  26. That is very funny. First of all Terry is still innocent until found guilty, but I hope that MLS would boot whoever was found guilty of racist comments out of the league, not some joke of 8 game suspensions.

  27. Galaxy need to makes some more signings. I wonder what kind of salary Santos offered to Juninho. Its a shame to lose such a skilled young player.

  28. Stoked on the homegrown signing for LA. The future of MLS and American soccer lies in these kids coming through the academy system. It’s pretty exciting.

  29. Pretty sure this wasn’t meant to be an article on the allegations, which have been covered in detail elsewhere. The title of the article doesn’t say “John Terry To Face Racism Charges.” It was mentioned in passing while describing the match, which WAS the subject of the article.

  30. Kyle McCarthy seems to think that Villarreal is not really a home grown player according to MLS rules. I don’t know why..can anyone shed some light on this ( then we can bash MLS for favoring LA 😉 )

  31. Innocent until proven guilty I suppose. I in no way support John Terry or even like him, England or Chelsea (in the football sense), but its possible Joey isn’t trying to be judge and jury as he glossed over it.

  32. Why did you gloss over the recent racist allegations about Terry? If he said what he is being accused of, he’s a punk. And this isn’t the first time Terry has gotten into such trouble.

    If Terry was an American, you would have been all over him like white on rice. Why do American writers idolize all things Brit? It’s time to get real!


Leave a Comment