Generation adidas update: Martinez signed, three offered deals

Enzo Martinez (ISIPhotos.com)

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.

This entry was posted in MLS Draft 2012. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Generation adidas update: Martinez signed, three offered deals

  1. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    One day to accept? These MLS types sure have a high opinion of themselves. I guess they don’t want the kids they’re underbidding to shop their offer. I hope they get paid somewhere else.

  2. TFC guy says:

    It seems like a really odd time to start this type of strategy with the potential G.A. players. They are cost effective and the league needs local talent more than ever with the expanding number of teams.

    I can appreciate the owners penchant for financial stability, but you gotta know when you’re looking at a good deal. Nobody wants to be the offer of last resort, but if you’re financial terms are worse than everyone else’s that’s pretty much where you’re at.

  3. Ricky Roma says:

    Where are the foreign youngsters this year? With Plata and Cardozo, last year was a success with these types.

  4. BellusLudas says:

    It will be interesting to see if these sort of tactics work. I would venture to guess that they will backfire.

    Perhaps MLS will begin to allow teams to each sign two GA players themselves and begin to compete a bit.

  5. Khan says:

    I hope each kid tells MLS to shove it.

  6. Dune Man says:

    It is interesting to see how the league is valuing Homegrown vs College players.

    The US is unique in that some top youth prospects will still choose the college route over MLS development programs (not only because with less then 20 teams there is not enough coverage for development programs to always be near all pockets of talent). At 18 unless you know you are the next big player…it could be difficult to pass up a free college education. You dont want to have an injury or realize after 3-4 years in the MLS you will not be able to make a long term carer out of the sport and then find yourself without a degree.

    Before players pick up bad habits in college sports, it might be an option where rather then the current GA program some of that money goes into paying Dev Academy players to join an academy program while paying some or all of the cost to be a student at a nearby college. So an 18year old can sign a contact with the Galaxy and get tuition coverage for a local LA school…they cant play on the college team of course, but this way they can be part of a professional development program and club and finish a degree….maybe they have to commit to a longer term deal with that club because they are taking a risk on your college cost while you train, kind of like the Army program where they pay for college and you commit to 6 years in the military, etc.

  7. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    could be they truly dont think the kids are worth more than what they are offering. (im playing the devils advocate on this one). In fairness not alot of these dudes have done well in europe right out the gate.

  8. ericj says:

    They were invited to the combine rather than GA…

  9. Starla says:

    I know at least some players in Scandinavia who manage to play professionally and still attend college / university. RBNY signing Holgersson, I think Diskerud studies/plans to. Ex CL-champ Jesper Blomqvist studied engineering at half pace while playing in Sweden before he moved to AC Milan.

  10. Big Chil says:

    It’s a good idea, and could be offered by any MLS team’s academy, independently of GA.

  11. Alexandria says:

    why pay more for potential then production? The NFL lowered rookie salaries it just makes sense I mean some of these guys make more than a proven starter. It rewards those who stuck it out through the system and who cares who makes a ton of money on their first contract and doesn’t expect more in the second, you got to earn it. Heck i wish those of us in the real world could at least get the chance to increase our pay like athletes do instead of a weak 3% raise imagine going from 42,000 to 175,000 in three years because you worked hard I’d be all for it. Plus these guys are young after 3 years you either get an extension or you move on to another league its a win win.

  12. adam says:

    CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF THE GA PLAYERS AND FIGURE OUT WHICH/HOW MANY PLAYERS GO ON TO MAKE A REAL IMPACT IN THE LEAGUE? NOT SAYING IT DOESNT HAPPEN (BREK SHEA, ETC) JUST CURIOUS ABOUT THE OVERALL IMPACT OF THE PROGRAM

    WE MAY BE GETTING AHEAD OF OURSELVES BY GETTING ALL WORKED UP AT HOW “FULL OF THEMSELVES” MLS APPEARS IF THE GA PROGRAM REALLY IS NOT PANNING OUT…

  13. abc says:

    You guys are all delusional. Look at how many GA guys have been busts or mediocrities. Why should they get a ton of money? Even guys who work out, the Kitchens and Velantins, are they worth 2-3x more than a George John? Yeah right, they’re worth 2-3x less. If they can get on Scandinavian teams, fine, let them, we all want to see more Americans try their luck in Europe. But remember Gale Agbossomounde refused an MLS offer and went abroad, and after a couple years of shuttling between various teams and countries, he is now coming back to MLS, for much LESS money than they initially offered him. That’s the downside to going abroad. And what makes you think all of these guys have European options? For some the other choice may be staying in college and earning $0. They could improve their stock, or they could end up in the position of Dillon Powers, who is no longer regarded as worth the GA spot/money. It’s not so simple, and MLS isn’t the bad guy, it’s an economic calculation.

  14. abc says:

    Or maybe they have one day to accept because we’re nearing the combine and if they don’t accept, MLS will make GA offers to other players further down their list? Ever think of that?

  15. abc says:

    Brilliant, you are a genius. Because it’s all about who has more testosterone. They’ll show MLS who’s really boss…

  16. abc says:

    TWO GA players per team? That would be quadrupling the GA program. Did you not see the part about how LESS money was available this year because there were fewer graduates from the GA program?

    What they need to do is allow certain underclassmen who are not signed to GA contracts but who teams have expressed a strong interest in drafting, to enter the draft.

  17. ericj says:

    Zakuani… etc

  18. adam says:

    very good points. fact is, most teams who pick high in the take GA guys b/c they don’t count towards salary cap. however, they are drafting high b/c their team was shite the year before, so winning, rather than developing young players, is priority. thus, the GA kid probably wont be brought along and developed because the team needs to play more experienced players to get better results on the field.

    in the win-now mentality of mls today, teams may be better off with the more proven players even though it counts towards their cap….

  19. wilyboy says:

    Good. If MLS signs Polak, DC has options of which GA they want to draft.

  20. Burn says:

    My thoughts exactly. I hope it’s Polak, because United desperately needs a left back.

  21. fischy says:

    It’s not about testosterone. It’s about getting paid. If MLS isn’t offering them enough to get them to sign with MLS, they should tell the league. Por ejemplo — Polak. If he doesn’t take the lowball GA deal and decides to return to school, MLS will have to shell out real bucks to get him next year, or lose him to Europe. So, what exactly will the league have gained?

  22. fischy says:

    That’s the distinction, I suppose. If a team decides to shell out bucks to bolster their academy program, that’s their money and their business. The GA money is the league’s money.

  23. fischy says:

    Could be that they think the kids won’t get much better offers at this stage in their career. That’s a different valuation than what they’re worth. Polak, if he passes and comes out next year, will probably be the most coveted defender in the country — so, he’ll get paid what he’s worth. However, he’d probably be an ever better player in a year, if he were already in MLS — and he wouldn’t be paid what he’s worth. It ain’t about worth — it’s about leverage. The league thinks it has it.

  24. fischy says:

    Given DC’s tight budget constraints, they’ll probably go for a GA player. I’m partial to Polak, but then again, I’ve never seen Martinez play.

  25. Steve McSteve says:

    Gale is coming to MLS?

  26. abc says:

    That’s the rumor. In any case, things are not exactly going well for him in Europe.

  27. abc says:

    Ives:
    Latest Generation adidas news: Tyler Polak and Andrew Jean-Baptiste have agreed to Generation adidas deals.
    I’m hearing Dwyer has signed, which would make it 9 GA players in draft.
    MLS also still courting U.S. U-17 playmaker Junior Flores.

    Looks like these guys are smart enough to ignore all you “tell MLS to shove it!!1!” folks….

  28. abc says:

    Looks like all three accepted, so that’s that.

  29. Anthony Toledo says:

    Or maybe it’s not about money for these kids; there are hundreds of underclassmen. If you are selected and you don’t want to stay in school this is the best way to get better, in a professional environment.