MLS Reaping The Benefits of Their Club’s Youth Academies
When Major League Soccer opened up shop back in 1996 it was mostly to create and sustain this division one league that would help the US National Team to grow and get better in every single match they perform in as well as all the clubs to do well. But the one thing that didn’t happen right off the bat was the creation of their own youth Academies.
Sure the Super Draft is a pipeline to the college players wanting to go pro like the rest of the professional sports leagues in Canada and USA. When it came time for all clubs in MLS to create their youth academies, that’s when the real growth of the sport will help make their clubs better. The youth finally gets a chance to show their stuff and attempt to make the clubs stronger.
Andy Najar showed what he can do once he got his chance from DC United and so has Tristan Bowen formerly a Galaxy academy prospect who is now with Chivas-USA. But currently making news from the New York Red Bulls is Forward Juan Agudelo, recently signed graduate Matt Kassel & defender Sacir Hot.
Juan Agudelo has been touted already as an upcoming player through the ranks and so far has paid dividends late last season and for the US National Team this season. He set up Juan Pablo Angel with a beautiful cross that was headed in during the Quarterfinal playoffs against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Got his first cap off the bench at South Africa and scored his first goal as a seventeen year old making him the youngest for the National Team. In the first friendly of the 2011 season he gave Chile fits and got a penalty while being tripped up in the area & his strike partner Team Bunbury converted the equalizer.
Matt Kassel has played his last three seasons with the University of Maryland, but before he plied his trade with the ACC side at College Park, Maryland. He was touted as a top midfield prospect with then MetroStars Academy and now RBNY. As a Terrapin he helped the school as a Freshman win the National College Cup in 2008 and scored a personal high nine goal this past season.
Sacir Hot from Fair Lawn, NJ has already started to make the rounds for trials in Germany. The young Central defender who plays his collegiate ball at Boston College has been the talk of the training pitch for RBNY. He has already gotten some nice reviews from Head Coach Hans Backe and it sounds like he could be on the qualifying roster for the CONCACAF U-20 Tournament for this July’s U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
Right now there are alot of young players within the different youth academies and those coming out from the college super draft. This is what most of us who follow the sport wanted to see. Grow your talent and make the league and our National Team stronger. Finally things are looking good and positives are going around the entire league.