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.

8 thoughts on “MLS Reaping The Benefits of Their Club’s Youth Academies”

  1. So danny what are you sayin??? Academies can be ok but only really benefit the team, I guess, but the draft if smart wins you championships. Right now there is no wrong way about it. But building thru the draft leads to winning. If you draft well.

  2. Academies are paramount to a clubs success. Look at Barca and you will see. MLS needs to keep this going and hopefully certain clubs will start to churn out world class stars. If MLS can hold on to them we have a world class league. this is a while away tho

    1. BARCELONA??? LOLOL Look in MLS you need to draft smart to be successfull. the academy cant help you develop as fast. especially with the instability of Head Coaches in soccer agendas change the best adjustment is the Draft. Development from the academies hasnt yet proved any real results except for probably selling off players to europe, if they are good enough. Any intelliegent person Knows to have a true chance in winning in Major league soccer and to be successfull quickly is to take the draft to your advantage get a prospect you know you can get at least two yrs out of along the additional support, also CAP control has to be dealth with as well. You will have a much more successful team them trying to spend a eternity cropping High school Kids who arent even much of a factor. No matter how much talk yall eurosnobs love to see MLS being some wannabe europe league, bottom line you need true success on the field and right away. IMO give the MLS cup in three yrs planning thru the draft than taking 5 to 10 yrs to see if a Kid can actually be worth something.

      1. DCUdip you are thinking too short term. Who really cares about the MLS Cup when we can’t even win CONCACAF Champions league. Soccer is a global sport unlike all the other sports that are popular in the US. College is a joke of a development system for soccer players. If we want to make the product on the field better we need to get away from spoiled white kids using soccer as a way to get a degree and develop kids from all back grounds when they are young.

        1. CTBLUES- thats the problem right there some of yall dont get it. Who cares what else goes on in the world, american soccer has to care about american soccer, it will only grow that way, not some euro wanna copycat, for soccer to be a success in the US only can be done the American way.

          1. AMEN DCD.

            CT Blues, just keep watching Chelsea. They use academies without college, must be the way MLS should do it right ?

            “Who really cares about MLS Cup ?” -What the heck is wrong with you ?

            Some guy above quoted Barca in his arguement for MLS teams path to success. People read Moneyball and realize that Barca and Chelsea have bigger budgets than all the MLS teams combined.

            “Who really cares about MLS Cup ?” !?!?!?!? WOW !

          2. In order of importance.

            #1 CONCACAF Champions league title = UEFA Champions league title
            #2 Supporters’ Shield = EPL Title
            #3 MLS Cup = FA Cup
            #4 US Open Cup = Carling Cup

            MLS has been using the draft since its inception and the MLS is still garbage, but is getting better. It is way better to develop kids than it is teens as it shown through out the rest of the world. Pay to play is WRONG! and until the US understands that we will not be a soccer power and Japan and Australia will pass us by.

  3. 1 CONCACAF Champions league title = UEFA Champions league title
    #2 Supporters’ Shield = EPL Title
    #3 MLS Cup = FA Cup
    #4 US Open Cup = Carling Cup

    CT Blues you are so Funny and so wrong. anyone knows that the SS is not important (only to the eurosnobs) the MLS Cup is the League Championship. as for the USOC and CCL is just a consolation and at times can be a watse of time because it doesnt fit in the MLS calendar

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