By VINCE MADURI
The Houston Dynamo have signed their fifth homegrown player, Eighteen-year-old Bryan Salazar. The first Dynamo Homegrown Player to pass through all levels of the Houston Academy system, Salazar officially joined the team after a press conference held Thursday in Houston. Salazar has been a part of the Dynamo system since 2009 when he joined the Dynamo U-16 squad.
“This is a dream come true,” Salazar said. “When I joined the Junior Academy, I was told this was my chance to be a professional and I’m excited this day has arrived. I want to thank everyone in the Dynamo Academy who helped me achieve my dream and I look forward to continuing my career under Dominic Kinnear.”
“Bryan is an exciting young player,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “When he gets the ball, he is not afraid to run at defenders. He has put up some good numbers with our Academy teams and I think he has a very promising future.”
Here are some more recent MLS news items and notes to get you through your Thursday:
SAN JOSE RE-SIGN CORRALES AND FUCITO
The Earthquakes have announced the team has re-signed defender Ramiro Corrales and forward Mike Fucito Wednesday.
Ramiro Corrales is the final alumni of the 1996 MLS inaugural season and has signed on as a player-coach. The 35-year-old played in 22 games for the Earthquakes last season, starting 19 in a back line that allowed 43 goals.
Mike Fucito joined the Earthquakes through a trade with Portland in January, but was left unsigned until now. The 26-year-old has scored three goals over four years with Seattle, Montreal and Portland.
MIKAEL SILVESTRE IN SEATTLE CAMP
Manchester United veteran defender Mikael Silvestre is not done touring MLS camps. After spending some time with the Portland Timbers and scoring a goal in an exhibition against the Sounders, the 35-year-old has joined up with Seattle who is in need of a veteran central defender after the loss of Jeff Parke this off-season.
Silvestre retired from international play for France back in 2006 and has been out of contract since leaving Werder Bremen last year but has been looking for a new club opportunity.
GALAXY TROUNCE UCLA
The Galaxy eased past UCLA Wednesday in a 7-2 victory over the college side.
Jack McBean picked up three assists in the game while rookie Charlie Rugg and Sean Franklin had two goals each. Rugg was playing in his first match of the preseason after recovering from a groin injury. Michael Stephens, Omar Gonzalez and Hector Jimenez also scored goals in the emphatic win.
What do you think of these developments?
He looks interesting. What concerns me is the last part of the footage is him against the senior team, you can see recognizable faces like Ching. I understand that helped seal his deal. But the fact that he’s running by a bunch of people like they are standing still makes me worry the team’s gotten too old and didn’t get enough offseason roster turnover. We’ve always been a little shy on speed, but….
It’s not just that, in recent scrimmages they’ve been allowing the first goals to college teams like SMU and HBU.
He has gotta get games. USL partnership cant come fast enough.
Corrales still around after all these years.. I hope he keeps contributing and becomes the Ryan Giggs of MLS
Even if he only plays open cup games its a positive move would be nice if the redbulls started doing this.
Salazar looks real good in his highlight film. Like to see him in the US youth teams.
Silvestre was solid with Man U. he might have one more season in him.
But he was HORRENDOUS at Arsenal and that was about 3-4 years ago. He’s just looking for one more paycheck. Send him on his way to Qatar or China; I’d be embarrassed if a team signed him.
Too old. He will be injured half the time.
Oh goodness I am an Arsenal fan and a Sounders fan, I can not handle more Silvestre, please no.
Not to be cynical but I hope this is not just a publicity stunt.
I think he means publicity stunt to show people that the academies work. They usually throw you out after your first contract is up like Bryan Leyva, Ruben Luna, Josue Soto, Gerson Mayen, Cesar Zamora, Sacir Hot, and rest of the other guys that were cut at age 20. Teams rarely give these guys fair shaks.Then they become NCAA ineligible to play soccer.
Or publicity stunt because teams are bringin ex-champions league players?
FWIW, this was the way a team official described the rollout: “Dynamo to make major announcement tomorrow at BBVA Compass Stadium.”
I am a little concerned that there’s not been enough offseason roster turnover.
Welcome to how it works in every other country in the world. Sign 100 players at 18. One makes your starting squad. You burn through ten thousand kids looking for a national teamer. How many 18 year olds or younger sign professional deals in England every year? 10,000? If we want to improve te talent pipeline, and eliminate the college obstacle (that many people cite, I’m a fan of it myself) this is what we’ll get, a system that burns through kids.
I’m sorry dude but if you look at the history of MLS rookies of the year, all but one (Najar) had college experience. The three finalists for the 2012 ROTY were two Louisville products and an Akron player. The U23s and U20s still contain a mix of pros and college players. Considering the mixed history of homegrown/teen signings, I think it presently remains a viable, cost-benefit choice whether to go for likely PT but amateur quality coaching and play, or to take the paycheck and roll the dice that you emerge from a reserve system that is still soft on the academy-senior transition.
I do see a shift over time towards professionalization of the player pool. Back in the 90s everyone would have had some college and many of the players in the youth NTs would have been not just college products but still in college. I’ve argued on other threads the professionalization of the pool makes it harder for the US YNTs to hold their prior lengthy camps and gel teams, and may impact the selectability of players, which may mean our maturing soccer nation will find it harder to get international results compared to when it could gather a team and train it together for months, with only limited player selection problems.
But the transition is not complete, MLS’ reserve system was whacked and is in flux, and one can argue that college can be just as positive a stepping stone to US pro play as fighting for one’s career at 18 iagainst full grown adults n the reserves. I might buy your argument when the system grows up some more, but right now I think it’s like NBA or MLB, there are different paths one can take, with different risks.
Considering the Dynamo have signed 5 academy players since its inception and 4 of the are still with the team, I don’t think this is a publicity stunt. The fifth is playing in Colombia B. Alex Dixon and Tyler Deric are still with the team and get regular minutes in cup competitions, and Soto plays with the SA Scorpions on loan in the NASL.
Deric has played 3 MLS games since 2009 (2 of which were at the tail end of the awful 2010 season when both the first two keepers got hurt); Dixon 11 (total 198 minutes). Soto (0 games) and Cobo (1 game, 1 minute) were cut. Grand total of something like 469 minutes, slightly more than 5 regulation games between them.
The catch 22 that Houston underlines is that a coach high on professionalism may also be conservative on player use. In other words, a good training environment might be paired with a coach who is not going to (in his perception) risk games actually playing them.
For example, I’m a Dixon fan but he rarely plays even after helping beat RSL a couple years ago all by himself.