As we draw closer to the 2012 MLS Draft, Major League Soccer is moving closer and closer to trying to secure the services of the players who will make up its Generation adidas draft class, and things are still very much in flux with less than a month to go before the draft.
MLS is expected to announce the first of its signings in the coming week, and offers have already been sent out to most of the top targets. The question at this point is whether MLS will be able to reach agreements with the players it wants to sign.
In the case of Darren Mattocks, one of the top two prospects in the Generation adidas pool, signing him could be tougher than the rest. According to sources close to Mattocks, the Akron striker now has standing offers from Norwegian club Viking, Danish club Brondby and Swedish club Djurgarden. At the moment Mattocks seems like a better bet to sign in Europe, but could still wind up signing with MLS.
As for the rest of the potential Generation adidas class:
One player who now looks unlikely to sign with MLS is Virginia midfielder Brian "Cobi" Span. He is currently in Sweden to negotiate a contract with an undisclosed Swedish club. According to multiple sources, MLS had cooled in its pursuit of Span, but now may not have the option of landing him.
Both Billy Schuler and Kelyn Rowe are also weighing European options, according to their representatives, but both seem better bets to sign with MLS than Mattocks.
The first player to accept a Generation adidas contract is UCSB forward Sam Garza, who sources told SBI on Saturday had reached an agreement.
UCLA forward Chandler Hoffman has joined the group of players who have been given Generation adidas offers. He had yet to reach a contract agreement as of late Saturday, but his strong run in the second half of the college season clearly impressed MLS scouts enough to propel him from Generation adidas longshot to a good bet to be a part of the 2012 MLS Draft.
Here is how the Generation adidas class rankings look at the moment, based on interest from MLS, along with whether they have been offered a contract (as far as I have heard, and I will adjust this list through the day if any changes come to light):
- Andrew Wenger…………Offered
- Darren Mattocks…………Offered
- Kelyn Rowe……………..Offered
- Billy Schuler…………….Offered
- Enzo Martinez…………..Offered
- Chandler Hoffman………Offered
- Sam Garza……………..Accepted
- Dom Dwyer…………….Not Offered
- Dillon Powers………….Not Offered
- Andrew Jean Baptiste….Not Offered
- Brian Span……………..Not Offered
- David Opoku……………Not Offered
Look for anyhwere from four to five player signings to be announced this week, with the bulk of the class expected to be finalized before the end of the month. The target size for the class should be in the range of 6-8 playes, but that could change depending on which players sign.
What do you think of how the Generation adidas class is shaping up? Disappointed MLS might lose out on Mattocks and Span? Glad to hear Hoffman will likely be part of the class?
Share your thoughts below.