The next crop of Generation adidas graduates is ready to take their shot at MLS, and the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team is well represented in this year’s class.
American U-20 midfielder Frankie Amaya of UCLA is the headlining name in this year’s class, according to Goal. He is joined by Syracuse’s Tajon Buchanan, Kentucky’s J.J. Williams, and four other prospects.
Amaya heads into the draft as the highest-rated prospect available, after playing his freshman season at UCLA. A skilled central midfielder, Amaya started for the U.S. U-20 MNT in their 2-0 finals win over Mexico at the Concacaf U-20 Championship.
Buchanan and Williams are two of the top forwards in the country after stellar seasons at Syracuse and the University of Kentucky respectively. The 19-year-old Buchanan earned first-team All-ACC after registering eight goals and four assists. Williams, an All-American, totaled 18 goals and eight assists in 2018 for the Wildcats.
Also in the class will be University of Maryland goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, University of North Carolina defender John Nelson, Indiana University forward Griffin Dorsey, and VCU midfielder Siad Haji.
St. Clair helped lead the Terrapins to an NCAA title in 2018, recording 12 shutouts. He will look to follow in the footsteps of former Maryland keeper Zack Steffen who completed a transfer to EPL giants, Manchester City in December.
Nelson, a second-team All-ACC defender, is a former U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team World Cup player. He will most likely be a left back in Major League Soccer.
Dorsey, a teammate of Amaya’s on the U.S U-20 MNT, recorded first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2018 after helping the Hoosiers to a Final Four appearance. He saw his point total improve in his second season at Indiana, scoring five goals and adding five assists.
Haji, a former U.S. U-17 and U-19 MNT player, recorded five goals and 10 assists for VCU this past season. He is expected to receive a call-up to the U.S. U-20 MNT, and is a versatile player who can play on the wing or in midfield.
Several other players are still on the radar for a Generation adidas deal and could very well join this group of seven in the coming days. U.S. U-20 MNT right back Manny Perez is still considering MLS or a move to Europe, with Celtic being linked with the N.C. State product.
UCLA forward Mohammed Kamara and Akron University’s David Egbo are two additional names who have yet to sign a deal after strong seasons collegiately. Egbo tallied 13 goals for the Zips while Kamara found the back of the net five times in 14 matches.
Up next for the Generation adidas class is the MLS Combine which begins on January 5 in Orlando. After that, the MLS Draft will occur in Chicago on January 10, with expansion side FC Cincinnati currently holding the first overall selection.