By IVES GALARCEP
The 2013 MLS Draft class continues to take shape as we draw closer to the new year, and at least one more Generation adidas prospect has reached a deal with Major League Soccer.
Sources have told SBI that North Carolina midfielder Mikey Lopez has signed a Generation adidas contract and is now the fifth player to reach terms on a GA deal with MLS. He joins Andrew Farrell, Walker Zimmerman, J.J. Johnson and Kekuta Manneh as signed players. Central Florida forward DeShorn Brown has been offered a contract, and is expected to sign, but sources tell SBI he has yet to reach an agreement.
That leaves Indiana forward/centerback Eriq Zavaleta as the last player expected to be offered a Generation adidas deal. As of Friday, Zavaleta has yet to sign a deal, according to sources with knowledge of the GA class.
Here is the latest on the senior front:
Notre Dame forward Ryan Finley has signed a senior contract with MLS, becoming the fourth college senior to sign a deal. He joins Maryland midfielder John Stertzer, UConn playmaker Carlos Alvarez and Notre Dame midfielder Dillon Powers. Sources tell SBI that New Mexico’s Blake Smith and Santa Clara’s Erik Hurtado are the next in line to receive offers, though both may have to impress at next month’s MLS Combine to secure pre-draft contracts.
In other MLS Draft developments, sources have confirmed to SBI that Cal-State Northridge fullback Joe Franco will miss the MLS Combine due to a torn ACL he sustained in his final college game of the season. Franco had been projected as the top natural right back in the draft, and is said to be recovering well from ACL surgery, which makes it a good possibility that he will still be selected in the two-round 2013 MLS Draft.
Franco’s injury raises the number of players set to miss the MLS Combine to three. he joins UCLA’s Ryan Hollingshead (stepping away from soccer to do charity work) and Louisville Paolo DelPiccolo (going on trial with German side Eintracht Frankfurt) among those who will miss the Combine. No word yet on replacements.
What do you think of these developments? Think Lopez can be an impact player? Hoping MLS can sign Zavaleta?
Share your thoughts below.