Gentile, Francois enter waiver draft after leaving school, signing with MLS

Christiano Francois (3)

By IVES GALARCEP

Two of the more highly-regarded college prospects not to be a part of the 2014 MLS Draft are on their way to Major League Soccer after all.

University of Charlotte forward Giuseppe Gentile and University of Maryland forward Christiano Francois have signed contracts with MLS and have been made available in a waiver draft that will take place over the course of the next few days.

Gentile, a player who was on the fringes of the discussion for Generation adidas spots, leaves school after a stellar three-year college career. Rated as a Top 20 prospect had he been available in the 2014 MLS Draft, Gentile should draw interest from teams looking to bolster their forward lines with a strong forward known to be a good finisher.

Francois was a standout for Maryland as a freshman in 2012, but sat out the 2013 season due to being academically ineligible. A former Haitian Under-17 National Team, would have been regarded as a strong candidate for a Generation adidas contract had he played his sophomore season.

What do you think of these signings? See either of them having an impact in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.

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34 Responses to Gentile, Francois enter waiver draft after leaving school, signing with MLS

  1. CoMo says:

    I anticipate the day when college soccer falls by the wayside on the men’s side…………
    no longer will kids want to go to these prestigious soccer universities but more so be signed and train with their hometown club and work their way up. I don’t think soccer will leave but the quality will decline greatly. Still many years away but just my thoughts……

    ……never the case on the women’s side though

    • froboy says:

      What is wrong with it? Guys like Bradley/Donovan are good enough to go straight to the pros, some guys (Dempsey) weren’t. Not like basketball/football where people are forced to go. I think college will always be good for late bloomers or guys who slip through the cracks. Easy to bad mouth college soccer, but a lot of good players came through it and college sports in general are a big part of what gives the US an athletic advantage over the rest of the world in most sports.

    • Chicago Pete says:

      Nope. That will never happen. College soccer will always be there. Scholarships will always be there. The level of play will go down, yes, but college soccer will always be there.
      Here in Illinois, high school soccer has been hit with better players not playing for there high school but staying with their club team. (In Illinois, you cannot play club and high school in the same season) The state does not care about the level of play. They only care about a champion. That’s it. College will become the same. And that’s fine. To people who know soccer, the college game will not be the producers of players like it was in the past.
      And that’s fine. Taking the best players out of the college game helps the fringe players who may not play in college. Now they can play. Lower level but they can play soccer.

      GO FIRE!!!!

    • slowleftarm says:

      College soccer will continue but will no longer be the typical route for most top players.

    • Reid says:

      Its a nice thought, but I also like going to UConn matches and seeing their brand of soccer, the alternative is giving money to Bob Kraft which it gets harder to do as the years go on.
      College ball is also a nice avenue to have for the likes of Francois, Zakuani, Dorman, and Ryan Nelson to come to the US and MLS to have the opportunity to have a look at them.

    • Snaves says:

      Considering college soccer still exists in England (met a kid who played for his University side, said way less people come to their games than college games in the States) I’d say it would continue, as people will still want an education and still put that as their priority. Look at Tesho Akindele. He just stayed at a DII school simply because it was one of the best engineering schools in the country and he wanted his degree. That kid can do whatever he wants in soccer. He’ll have plenty of opportunities waiting for whether he’s a star or a flop.

      • slowleftarm says:

        College sports in England is not really comparable. It’s more like the club sports that exist at some US universities.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      My old club would probably beat the local MLS academy teams. Until it becomes more of a development exercise and less of rights cherry-picking, the two routes are equally useful.

      Every rookie of the year — including Dillon Powers last year — with the exception of Andy Najar, was a college product with at least a year of school. It remains like baseball. I can draft college players who played at a fairly high level — emphasis on played as opposed to sat — who are somewhat older and thus have shorter shelf life, but are more ready to go. Or I can sign an 18 y/o HGP and see what happens, but I have more potential career if they ramp up to pro level……except some have played USYNT level and others nothing higher than club and HS. The issue to me is the 18-23 bridge and until MLS can do that better than college, college is quite viable.

      There is in fact a substantial problem with HGP turnover. Many people sign that way now but how many stick?

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Never happen in a million years.

      No parent is going to say, hey instead of getting an education while you try to make your pipedream of making MLS come true, you should play XBox in your free time….no way, not gonna happen. guys who signe for millions…sure….everyone else, not gonna happen.

      • slowleftarm says:

        I think reality shows that this is not accurate.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        (a) The whole point of GA is you can play soccer with higher education covered if it doesn’t work out.
        (b) But if you aren’t GA I agree to an extent. The player and their parents are faced with a choice. That many sign HGP suggests your absolute is an inaccurate absolute, but many also attend college so surely some feel as you do, just not absolutely so.

      • slowleftarm says:

        I think it the right move will vary for each player. For marginal MLS prospects, college might make more sense but for top players, it probably makes more sense to start your career right away and go back to school later if things don’t work out.

        From the perspective of American soccer, I think it makes more sense to minimize the reliance on college soccer, which I don’t think offers adequate development opportunities.

    • JoeW says:

      I used to think like you did. And I was wrong then.

      Here’s the deal: some guys like Landon Donovan or Jozy Altidore or Luis Gil will skip college altogether. Others like Clint Dempsey will go 1-2 years. Others like Eric Wynalda will go for the duration. Right now, American soccer needs all of the development options it can get. Despite MLS improving it’s level of play, there are now guys who get drafted and come in to MLS and START as forwards or attackers. 15 years ago you didn’t see that. That’s b/c college soccer as gotten significantly better. Let’s continue to grow academies. And let’s allow for Gen Ad (early entry). And let’s still draft guys out of college. It’s a win-win for everyone.

      • Um, yeah says:

        While your greater point is valid, Eric Wynalda left after his junior year, as did Clint Dempsey.

        • JoeW says:

          Exactly my point. Some guys seem to benefit from a couple of years of college rather than going straight in to the pros at 16 or 18. I just happened to think that Wynalda did 4 years in college.

  2. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    Is Gentile an international like Francois? What is the current waiver draft order?

  3. adam says:

    have they signed actual contracts with the league, or are they just eligible to be picked up and trial? if they’ve signed, what kind of money are they going to make? underclassmen but not GA kids….would they have been GA kids had they stayed?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I assume they have low salary leverage having missed the draft. They can argue I’d have been x pick but it’s a subjective game the team won’t have to play. They can threaten a Lewis.

      The league is probably doing them a favor by making them available even though they missed the draft but probably won’t sign them until they go to camp.

      The interesting question to me is why they missed the combine and draft but suddenly became interested. One feels the influence of an unidentified object affecting the gravitational field.

      • Joe+G says:

        One of them was academic issues. Sounds like he wasn’t going to be eligible for a while, but still had eligibility left. Probably didn’t figure it out until too late to get considered.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Sorry but Francois already was academically ineligible for the fall 2013 semester soccer season aka the NCAA season (most schools also work out and play some games in a shortened spring season). He would have had his grades sometime in December (they would either make or break my holidays).

          If he was a bright and attentive guy he would have known then he was toast and should go combine/draft. But he’s apparently not the brightest so I assume he showed back up to school and was told his scholarship had been pulled because he’s chronically ineligible. Or maybe he went on academic probation or suspension even, because I recall eligibility being roughly equivalent to academic good standing aka a 2.0. So he’s out of school or off scholarship or both.

          You still wonder why people are coming out right after the draft. I also wonder if they were being led in a direction and then saw what happened to Lewis and decided to go back with MLS.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Also, GA is not just an honor but also a get out of cap free ticket that coaches like. So the fact they won’t be GA matters a lot. They were potentially free cap filler, they are now an expense in the paycheck and cap senses.

  4. froboy says:

    Why wouldn’t they have entered into the draft?

    • Jake says:

      The league didn’t offer then a GA deal and they are underclassmen.

    • JoeW says:

      Actually, Gentile was a possible candidate for a GA spot and Francois would have been a lock for GA. Gentile just decided to leave school I believe. And Francois was academically ineligible this past season and would have been next season (after scoring 10 goals as a freshman). Francois doesn’t have good english so it shows with his grades.

      As for draft order, DCU is first–it’s reverse order of finish (unless someone trades their slot).

  5. Travis says:

    A list of the current waiver priority would be appreciated here.

  6. Vic says:

    Cristiano Francois is a very talented player. A little raw but amazing ball skills. Sort of like Freddy Adu but bigger/stronger.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      If he has some speed and a motor and gets stuck in, that’s precisely what stands between Adu and senior impact.

  7. Nate Dollars says:

    would love to see dc united go after francois. kid is so good. anyone know what the draft order is?

  8. beto says:

    Are you sure these guys arnt under contract with the Cosmos?