And then there were six.
North Carolina playmaker Enzo Martinez signed has signed a Generation adidas contract, becoming the sixth member of the 2012 Generation adidas class, but teammate Billy Schuler passed on the final MLS offer, and ultimately signed with Hammarby.
Schuler's decision to bolt for Europe has opened the door for MLS to expand the class, with the league extending Generation adidas offers to Creighton fullback Tyler Polak, South Florida striker Dom Dwyer and UConn centerback Andrew Jean-Baptiste. The offers are considerably lower than the type of GA contracts MLS has handed out in recent years, which, coupled with the fact the players have a day to accept or reject the offers, could lead to all three players passing.
Schuler joins Virginia midfielder Brian Span as top college prospects to bolt to Europe this winter, and they may not be the only ones when all is said and done. MLS has made the decision to try and rein in spending on Generation adidas players, and reduce salaries in an effort to save money the league can use to sign Homegrown Players to bigger contracts. The league sees its future in signing more MLS academy players and after years of overspending on Generation adidas players, MLS has decided to do some belt-tightening (an MLS source also told me the fact that there weren't many Generation adidas graduates in the 2011 MLS Draft class also led to less money being available for 2012).
Martinez's signing means the 2012 MLS Draft is loaded with attacking midfielders, with four of the top six players on the Fox Soccer MLS Draft Big Board being classified as playmakers. This fact will make for an interesting draft considering not all the teams at the top of the draft are in need of attacking midfielders, and the track record for college playmakers transitioning to the pros isn't a prestigious one.
We should find out by tomorrow just which players will make up the complete Generation adidas class. It could be as many as nine players, but there is a good chance it will stay at just six.