MLS announces roster for inaugural Homegrown Game

DeAndre Yedlin

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The next big stars in Major League Soccer will be on display in Portland next month.

MLS announced that they’ve selected 20 Homegrown players to take part in the inaugural Homegrown Game, which will take place on Aug. 4 in Portland during the MLS All Star Game festivities. The Homegrown team will face the Portland Timbers U23s and will be coached by former Metrostars coach and USA assistant Alfonso Mondelo, who is currently MLS director of player programs.

The 20-man squad features U.S. Men’s National Team right back DeAndre Yedlin, key MLS starters Wil Trapp, Shane O’Neill, and Gyasi Zardes, as well as Rookie of the Year candidate Harry Shipp. Twelve MLS clubs are represented in the squad, with half of them contributing at least two players.

The match, which will kick off at 10 p.m. ET, will be streamed live on WatchESPN and MLSSoccer.com, and tickets are free to fans on a first come, first serve basis. Fans can secure tickets by clicking here.

Here’s a look at the MLS Homegrown Team Squad:

2014 MLS HOMEGROWN GAME SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS: Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Lampson (Columbus Crew)

DEFENDERS: Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Karl W. Ouimette (Montreal Impact), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS: Steven Evans (Portland Timbers), Wandrille Lefevre (Montreal Impact), Chris Ritter (Chicago Fire), Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire), Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)

FORWARDS: Caleb Calvert (Chivas USA), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

——–

What do you think of this squad? Excited to see some of the next best stars in MLS play at the All Star Game? Do you feel that anyone missed out?

Share your thoughts below.

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66 Responses to MLS announces roster for inaugural Homegrown Game

  1. Vik says:

    Are S. Johnson or Hamid too experienced to be considered “home grown?”

    • Nate Dollars says:

      don’t think johnson was ever homegrown, and i’d rather our dcu players not participate in any meaningless games, thanks anyway. :)

      • futbolisimo says:

        Oy vey, here comes the MLS marketing machine. What a waste of a match…

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          What?! You’re not dying to see the MLS Ingrowns versus the Portland Saplings?

        • Sean says:

          I like these games. Anything that gives us more exposure and connection to Homegrown players perks my ears. I’m very excited about the young players the league is developing. Sure, the game is virtually meaningless from a competitive standpoint. But, it’s great to get more acquainted with the players.

        • Gill King says:

          YIKES! I can see it now. This stupid game is going to result in an injury to at least one of these players. Definitely not worth it. Too risky for nothing more than a scouting event.

      • Landy Cakes says:

        So the rules out the last 10 years of DC United games.

    • beto says:

      Hamid would qualify

    • dude1 says:

      DCU denied Hamid and Martin’s participation. Otherwise, they’d definitely would be on here.

  2. J says:

    Great idea by MLS. However, it would be even better if they went up against a Mexican reserve/U23 side (or similar squad).

  3. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    Homegrown game ?

    Why ?

    • TomM says:

      Getting us excited about the development of our league, and maybe more importantly, selling our homegrown talent to scouts…..

      • futbolisimo says:

        Ahhh… why don’t those scouts just observe them playing in a real match in which something’s really at stake?

        • TomM says:

          Good point; however, with an all-star game you gather them all in the same place at once, and at the same time when all the senior all-starts are gathered in one place.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Just seems VERY weird to exclude players that came from another country or a player that didn’t get recruited to play by a MLS team on their youth team.

        Why would you exclude them ?

        MLS development as a league will be exciting when they quit having to cater to bloggers who are excited about weird stuff.

  4. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    DeAndre shouldn’t have to play in this game with a bunch of scrubs. He’s a World Cup vet now and is Eurobound. They can’t ask some Chivas player or someone to take his spot?

    • JayAre says:

      Same thing I was thinking. Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes are key players for their teamsI don’t think this is worth the risk and what happened to all the FC Dallas HGP?

      • Scott says:

        According to Big D soccer blog, FC Dallas had to opt out since they play in LA the day before and have another game less than 7 days later.

    • josh says:

      I think this game exists because of Yedlin. He is the showpiece.

      • US100Ebook says:

        Oh get over yourself. Yedlin isn’t the only important player in this game. In fact, I doubt his European career is going to go so well unless someone teaches him how to defend for a couple years before he gets to play.

    • iggy says:

      yeah, i agree. It’s ridiculous to have a world cup player play in a game like this.

    • petedx says:

      A world cup vet? Yep, you are worst.

  5. Seth says:

    Matt Miazga?

  6. jimd says:

    ok dont you need 22 players to play a game? Even with no subs?

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      It’s 20 ingrowns versus another squad. So that’s a total of 40+ players.

      • seaoctopus says:

        I want hockey style subbing then, everyone running to side and jumping over the bench. If it is a meaningless game, let’s make it fun

  7. Jeff says:

    I understand promoting homegrown players to an extent but it is hard to watch the Chicago Fire games anymore as they have to mention Harry Shipp is homegrown about 15 times per game.

  8. DjKing says:

    Doneil Henry, Johnathan Osorio ?

    what

  9. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Sounds like small-town county fair navel-gazing to me—something more appropriate for MLS in 1995, or maybe USL today.

  10. slowleftarm says:

    This seems pretty pointless. Connor Lade? Dude has barely seen the field in two years because he stinks. Why is MLS showcasing scrubs like this alongside players like Yedlin?

    • Mike R says:

      Because Yedlin is the only one with special talent. The only one who has a chance for USA 2018

      • Matt J. Brooks says:

        Trapp has a very good chance with our 2 current D-mids are on the wrong side of 30 and Serna and Zardes have a chance as well

        • Mike R says:

          If those three are on the US squad then we are in deep doo doo

          • Freddy Adu says:

            Your head is in “deep doodoo” if you think Trapp doesn’t have a real shot. And should Zardes ever learn how to dribble in anything but a straight line then he may have a chance (but not as much potential as Trapp)

  11. Puffer says:

    Isn’t Fagundez homegrown?

  12. PD says:

    I thought Philly had a decent academy system… Is homegrown status a different thing?

  13. H-Town says:

    Tyler Deric should be on that list from Houston.

  14. beto says:

    Great news that after 18 years MLS has finally been able to develop enough quality players via their academies to make a 23 man roster!

    Playing a match together is rather useless. Should just name a first team and second team xi

    And do the same with the all stars… All-star games are sooooo lame!!!

  15. Bellus Ludas says:

    I actually like the idea. What I would like even more is a Mexico-esque rule requiring each team to always have at least two U23 USA eligible players on the field for every MLS match (no requirement for Canadian teams).

  16. marcia says:

    Congrats Yedlin on the great news…you’ve made the BIG TIME!

  17. Luke says:

    Wow! Way to capitalize on the huge interest from the World Cup? I’m sure the fans will be lining up!
    Whomever came up with this idea in the MLS marketing department needs to find a new job.

    Maybe an all MSL World Cup team with a few past WC members to fill in the roster.

  18. William the Terror says:

    Shouldn’t the “homegrown” game be in Colorado or one of the other states where homegrown is legal?

  19. Mike R says:

    Sadly, aside from Yedlin the talent on this team is underwhelming. Nothing special here. Hopeful out next generation of German-Americans will be up to par

    • Matt J. Brooks says:

      You only follow the “big teams” huh?

    • SonicDeathMonkey says:

      That’s silly. I would like to see a player (Palmer-Brown) that Juve deemed worthy enough to offer KC a transfer fee. And I think players like Shipp, Teibert, O’Neill and Trapp are being tapped by many as future National Teamers. Hardly underwhelming.

      • reignman says:

        Zardes is clearly a talent as well

        • Mike R says:

          Shipp Zardes and prob those others are on the wrong side of 21 or close. if they were special we would know about it. If they are just good enough to make the squad like Wondo or Davis, then that US squad will be lucky if they live long enough to get bounced in the round of 16.

          • Drew11 says:

            I’m no Fire fan but Shipp has pretty much torn through MLS so far. He’s very similar to Zusi who just played a bunch of WC minutes.

            • reepicheep says:

              And he’s arrived on the scene much earlier than Zusi, who didn’t have his break-out season until he was 24/25.

              • Mike R says:

                And like Zusi I fear he is too slow. I think this will render him ineffective against World Cup level competition much like Zusi was inneffective in Brasil

  20. tw says:

    Smart move by MLS. Assuming scouts will come to see Yedlin and Palmer-Brown, and the rest of the team will have a chance to impress a foreign club that they wouldn’t otherwise have. I’m surprised they don’t open it up to showcase other U-23 MLS stars like Luis Gil, but then again it probably isn’t worth the cost. Playing the hometown U-23 Timbers is cheaper, more convenient, and gives the home crowd a rooting interest.

  21. Chris says:

    Is the SBI comment section just a place for people with anger issues to come vent because their life is terrible?

    Why all the hate and negativity? The MLS is hosting a game that does a little advertising for the leagues developmental programs – just a little reminder to the young kids coming through the ranks that they are valued. God forbid.

    Also its just a sidebar to the All-Star game. Nobody is making a huge deal about this but you guys.

    Also, the NBA does this every year.

    • Mike R says:

      I don’t hate the game they should play it before or after the MLS All Star game do E and West, or do homegrown vs Brandenton or do home gore vs us youngsters overseas cause we know Gyau and Lleget aren’t gonna see a real first team game or it could be homegrown vs a Washington generals type team like USL or College all stars or the USWNT.

      Don’t hate the concept just disappointed in the lack of elite talent coming up. Yes there will be more MLS filler talent but that just might not even be enough to maintain out current natl team level. Heck it might not even be enough to not dilute the already mediocre quality of soccer MLS has and will always have as long as thy keep expanding.

  22. shawn says:

    Sbi has come to this? You’d think the people might have enough knowledge to realize there are alot of great prospects on this homegrown team

    • Mike R says:

      Every talent with Yedlin being the exception has been vastly overated.
      Heck what’s special about Yedlin are the qualities he was born with and very little to do
      With his coaching. He is Cobi Jones with better crossing ability.

      • Drew11 says:

        Yedlin has gone from Akron to MLS to WC to a Euro transfer in like 2 years. Saying he is “over rated’ is LOLworthy.

        • Mike R says:

          I said he is the exception that proves the rule. However, the qualities that make him special were inborn not coached. In other words MLS has done a poor job finding and developing any special homegrown players. Heck they call. Shipp homegrown but in reality Notre Dame did more to coach him up than the Fire ever did.

  23. Ryerson89 says:

    New MLS fan here so forgive me if this is an ignorant question but can someone explain to me what it means to be a “single-entity” league? I looked it up online but I am still unclear. What I understand is that the league controls everything but the teams still have owners. If anyone can elaborate, I would greatly appreciate it. I am loving the league so far.

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