Generation adidas update: Mwanga, Opara, Bone and Tchani close in on deals

Major League Soccer officials may not be gaining any ground in ongoing labor negotiations with the MLS player's union, but they are having much more success in lining up what could be the largest Generation adidas class in league history.

Just a week after announcing the first four members of the 2010 Generation adidas class, now comes word that the league is closing in on most of its top targets, with at least one new target emerging.

Sources tell SBI that Wake Forest tandem Ike Opara and Corben Bone are close to reaching agreements with MLS on Generation adidas deals, as is Virginia midfielder Tony Tchani. All three are considered Top Five prospects in the upcoming draft.

A new potential No. 1 pick has emerged though and that is Oregon State striker Danny Mwanga. Buzz Carrick at 3rd Degree reported on Monday night that Mwanga was signing with MLS. SBI sources have confirmed that Mwanga is close to finalizing a deal that could be one of the largest in the class (though he has not signed yet).

The reason for the large contract offer, believed to be more than MLS paid 2009 No. 1 pick Steve Zakuani? Not only is Mwanga considered one of the top strikers in the class (along with Teal Bunbury), Philadelphia is expressing strong interest in selecting Mwanga with the first pick in the 2010 MLS Draft. Philly's interest pushing MLS into overdrive on trying to sign the Congolese striker, who had been expected to go on trial with clubs in France.

What else is new with the Generation class? There is plenty more.

Two players who have already signed with MLS are Central Florida goalkeeper Sean Johnson and Cal striker Andrew Wiedeman. UCLA freshman phenom Amobi Okugo is expected to join the group shortly. MLS is expected to hold off on any more announcements until the group is finalized.

Sources have also told SBI that MLS is in talks with U.S. Under-17 defender Zachary Herold. The young fullback is believed to have received an offer from a German club before being approached by MLS.

If MLS succeeds in closing deals with the aforementioned top prospects, here is how the 2010 Generation adidas class could look like:

  • Ike Opara
  • Danny Mwanga
  • Teal Bunbury
  • Corben Bone
  • Tony Tchani
  • Amobi Okugo
  • Andrew Wiedeman
  • Dilly Duka
  • Blair Gavin
  • Jack McInerney
  • Sean Johnson

That list does not include U.S. Under-20 midfielder Luis Gil, who had been considered one of the league's top targets. There has been no new word on the league's talks with Gil.

What do you think of these developments? Starting to get excited about the draft? Looking forward to see how these players do at the MLS Combine?

Share your thoughts below.

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57 Responses to Generation adidas update: Mwanga, Opara, Bone and Tchani close in on deals

  1. Jason says:

    German club for Herold has to be Hertha BSC hahaha.

  2. Tim says:

    I think it says a lot about the power of money. Mwanga was said to be very uninterested in MLS, but with an increased offer he seems a lock to sign. I think that this proof that if MLS because that little less stingy with its coffers then a lot less American talent would be rushing off to Scandinavia.

  3. Austin says:

    you add gil to that list and its gona be one hell of a draft, it would be without him, but that would be a dissapointment to lose such young quality

  4. Lorenzo says:

    “Even when I was a little kid I always had a dream to play professional soccer. It doesn’t really matter where I play, but I want to play on that level.” – Danny Mwanga (keepin it real blog)

  5. Jeff says:

    Danny Mwanga in a Union jersey would be pretty great. At this point I hope we draft Bunbury, Mwanga, or Tchani.

  6. ajr says:

    yeah being that he played with RSL youth last summer in spain… I think he was just playing hard to get

  7. islandofmind says:

    When does MLS publish the draft order? Or have they already done so?

  8. JL says:

    I think as a Dallas fan, getting Mwanga signed up would be great, because that would help Bone fall to FCD. It would be great to have a local kid with real talent join up, and add yet another high end youth to the roster. It would be awesome if SH could develop these guys and become a MLS version of a Arsenal, where they have to sell off the great players at a certain point, but are constantly developing their own up and coming stars.

  9. ajr says:

    havent you guys drafted like 3 tx boys already? in years pass

  10. Retro says:

    Remember, these three players have different styles. Bunbury is a pure striker. he plays with his back to the goal, and links up with his mids with great diagonal runs. Mwanga, can turn on the defence, but doesn’t run off the ball well. Tchani is a tough call, maybe a holding mid at best. Thoughts?

  11. CSD says:

    Ives,

    Does the collective bargaining agreement contain the rules for Generation Adidas players or is that a separate agreement the individual players sign with the league. I don’t remember seeing anything concerning Generation Adidas players in the last labor agreement. I am curious what kind of assurances the Generation Adidas players have they will get paid if there is a holdout. Normally before potential labor strife you don’t see a bunch of new employees making long term commitments.

  12. wk says:

    its 1.philly, 2.NY, and 3.SJ for the first two rounds.

    link to usasoccer.blogspot.com

  13. JL says:

    Shea was from College Station, about 3+ hrs away. Moor was a home grown kid that was drafted, Cooper was signed. Neither are with the club. Ugo is a somewhat local kid. Point being a club in one of the largest hotbeds should be able to constantly have guys coming through the club that they can tout as local guys, in fact I still think they have missed this as a marketing angle.

  14. CSD says:

    Good to see the league willing to be competitive on the international market for some young players. Hopefully it is an indication of a little bit more money flowing into the players pockets in the MLS.

  15. islandofmind says:

    Thanks wk.

  16. Goalkeeper72 says:

    How many of these kids are eligible for the USMNT?

  17. steponhens says:

    Ramon Nunez also grew up in Dallas and played at SMU

  18. Jeff says:

    Definitely agree with Bunbury and Mwanga. As for Tchani, he is definitely a holding mid. Many compare him to a Sharlie Joseph mold.

  19. Joe Mama says:

    Fair assessment, Retro. However, I can’t imagine Tchani as simply a holding mid. Maybe time will prove me wrong, but I think his skills are much broader and that he has proven himself capable of offensive creativity that borders on playmaking.

    Maybe your definition of a holding mid isn’t that limited either. But that’s my read.

  20. Northzax says:

    Actually, it could be a problem, if the GenAd kids are banking large paychecks, and the journeymen who make up the backbone of the league are poor, that cam cause strife. Plus, talk about ab incentive to leave school early! As a junior, you might be worth 75k cap free, as a senior, maybe half that, and capped.

  21. Johnny says:

    Ditto – who are the guys on this list I should be getting way too excited about their potential and ultimately disappointed by?

  22. Johnny says:

    SEUSS

  23. south says:

    Yes, and keep them coming, some of the best in the nation develop in Texas.

  24. wilyboy says:

    I am glad about Mwanga, if for no other reason than I would like to have more options when it comes to that 7th pick. Obviously a DC fan. I’m thinking Okugo or Wiedeman, though McInerney looks like a strong prospect for the national team.

    Would also love it if we could rope Arguez and Needham back (Arguez looking for a club, heard the latter was looking to MLS). But boy, would that be unlikely.

  25. tim from texas says:

    any one know the allocation order? Sbi?

  26. tim from texas says:

    ain’t it the truth. just look to the nxt up coming u-15 and u-17 classes

  27. tim from texas says:

    SMU is everywhere man. Ramon Nunez, damn i wish we would of kept him

  28. tim from texas says:

    Needham, another texas boy

  29. DC Josh says:

    Wow, so MLS is impressing me. I think I’ve only said that a handful of times.

  30. Brooke in Fort Mill says:

    Regarding US eligibility, Bunbury has dual Canadian and US citizenship but has played for Canada’s youth teams but isn’t cap-tied.

    Tchani (Cameroon) and Mwanga (the Congo that used to be Zaire) both came to the US for a year or two of HS and are both sophomores so they’ve only been in the US a few years and neither are US citizens.

    I have no clue how close either is to US citizenship or if they’d prefer to play for the US or their home country.

  31. Brooke In Fort Mill says:

    Forgot to add that the rest of the players Ives has mentioned are all US citizens and most, if not all, have played for various US youth national teams.

  32. tim from texas says:

    also a free agent and would be an ideal holding midfielder for fc dallas!!

  33. pooperscooper says:

    its getting to the point i don’t think anybody could really go wrong in the first round, i’d love to be the redbulls or fc dallas right now!!

  34. Stevo in ATL says:

    What are the salaries GA players receive?

  35. Jeff says:

    I’d also like to add that in Mwanga case, being able to make runs off the ball can be taught. I’m sure that Nowak and the staff would be able to work on that skill over the course of a couple offseasons.

  36. Retro says:

    Joe Mama, uva played a 4-5-1 that allowed Tony to roam. In the pros every team plays a 4-4-2. Do you think he can play attacking mid?

  37. Retro says:

    Mwanga is great with the ball on his feet. Those types of players are not pure #9s, they are more like 9 1/2. That doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be the #1 one player taken overall. I was just making the distinction between him and Bunbury. By the way, i think it’s great to have these two blue chippers in the draft. It will be fun watching them in the coming years.

  38. Retro says:

    It would be great if the US figured a way to get Bunbury in their system. He was a part of odp region II for years, but never made their youth side. That tells me he wanted to be part of the US program. Stating that he will remain with the Canadian program, could be holding a grudge on his part.

  39. timothy says:

    It really pains me to see this: CLB has COL’s pick (Noonan)

    Noonan sucked this year.

  40. afrim says:

    that Dominic Odduro for Houston’s first round pick (14) is looking beter and better right now. keep the GA players commin MLS.

  41. montsocc2 says:

    montsocc2

    all this nonsense is laughable. after the u20s its duka for number 1 or 2, and then after the college playoffs he’s now somewhere between 9 and 15? this leads me to 1 of 5 conclusions…

    1. you were wrong initially.

    2. you were right, but now you are wrong.

    3. duka’s skills have dropped significantly in the past month.

    4. 10 players have really developed significantly in the past month

    5. (most probable of all the conclusions) you have no idea what you are talking about.

    it seems like we are all suffering from something they call “out of sight, out of mind.” duka dropped out of rutgers, so he didn’t get to play in the college playoffs. if he did, rest assured he would magically be back up there at # 1 or 2. i followed dilly at rutgers, and this kid tore it up as a freshman and sophomore, surrounded by a bunch of guys who couldn’t string a pass together. i can’t even imagine how much he would’ve ripped it up this year.

    then he gets called up to u20s, is handed the #10 shirt. scores in his first game ever in a wc qualifier against jamaica. scores in his first start in the wc, and sets up the other two goals. and if you watched him play, you’ll notice his vision, awareness, movement with the ball, movement off the ball, composure, technical ability, first touch, ability to play equally well with both feet, 1 v 1 skills, unselfish play, decision-making, and most importantly, the kid knows how to make the dangerous pass without losing the ball.

    and the best part is, he has the most potential of anyone in college soccer. the more he plays with better talent, the more he will develop, and i don’t see him hitting a Freddy Adu plateau anytime soon. he was only scouted a few months ago. he hasnt been in the media’s eye all that long, so he is not just a product of hype or professional pr departments the way opara and some of the others are. all he has to go by is what you see on the field. and if you’ve been watching, you’d be mad to think you can scoop him up with the 14th or 15th pick.

  42. El Michael says:

    In regards to the foreign plyers with possible US citizenship. IMHO if any of them have USMNT potential I think a lot of pressure will be on them to play for the US. Congo, Canada, or ?? I know it may sound arrogant but the US makes the most sense if they truely have WC aspirations

  43. Joe says:

    Every team? DCU runs out a 3-5-2 whenever they think they can manage to go with 3 in the back, and I don’t think they are the only team in MLS that does so. And even in a 3-5-2 or a 4-5-1 having at lease one holding mid who can pass well is key to generating goals.

  44. timmy_u says:

    Some team is going to end up selling their soul to Dallas for that #5 & #6 combo. Now if only the preseason would start on time…

  45. Retro says:

    Good point! I guess i am having a hard time imaging the perfect position for him at the pro level.

  46. Smith says:

    Not every team plays a 4-4-2. RBNY played a 4-5-1 on the road EVERY game last year.

    Ooops. Sorry, Ives.

  47. fischy says:

    #3 and #4, mostly. A little bit of #5. Not that Duka’s skills have dropped, but those who were rating him very highly have had a chance ot see the other prospects and now have a more realistic assessment.

  48. Retro says:

    All of those formations are quasi 4-4-2

  49. einar says:

    props to MLS

  50. Eddie says:

    LOL will see at the combine what top players can match duka,i have seen him play a couple of times great skill gets better every time i see him play don’t forget duka has the European style of play, i cant wait!!!!

  51. Sgc says:

    The formation is secondary to the player role, and I would say that the role you’re describing is played by at least a couple of players on successful MLS clubs. Brian Carroll in Columbus and Brad Evans in Seattle come to mind. Each has a pure destroyer behind him (Moffatt/Alonso) and a pure creator ahead (Schelotto/Ljungberg), and those two are hybrids between them.

  52. Karol says:

    FSV Mainz 05 is close to signing American midfielder Jared Jeffrey from Club Brugge. Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel has said that he will have a look at him over the coming days and will then decide whether he will join the first team or begin in the reserves.

    The transfer is basically a done deal though the clubs still need to negotiate the transfer fee.

  53. Karol says:

    Oh, and my source:

    link to bild.de

    Kicker tells a little bit more:

    Jeffrey`s agent Steve Kelly had offered his client to Mainz a year ago. However, the move didn`t work out then for “financial reasons”.
    According to kicker, Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel says that Jeffrey might get a chance in the Bundesliga this season (“He his it in his own hands”).

    link to kicker.de

  54. Charles says:

    MLS seems to be getting younger. In some cases in sports, like my Seattle Mariners in the 80s, maybe you think that is because the salaries are cheaper.

    In this case however it just appears the younger players are very talented and by doing so MLS is getting better.

    Very exciting. Get the CBA done, I cant wait for the end of March to see it all kick off.

  55. Retro says:

    I don’t know Sgc. Formations aren’t secondary. It dictates your shape, and how you resolve conflict on the pitch. The players execute the game plan. Maybe we are saying the same thing differently.

  56. Joe Mama says:

    Retro,

    My original point was that where and what Tchani plays will be contingent on where he winds up.

    You make a good point, I’m not sure he would be an effective attacking mid, but as others have already mentioned, formations change and evolve depending on available personnel. At UVA, he played with Villanueva, so he never had the opportunity/necessity to play attacking mid.

    Shalrie is a perfect example: he started out as a pure def mid when he broke in with the Revs years back. Now, I’m not sure what he is anymore. And yes, Nicol has used him as both attacking mid and a striker.

    Whatever club and coach Tchani winds up playing for will dictate his field position.

  57. Retro says:

    Excellent point!