Written by Will Parchman


The battle lines in the intractable standoff over training compensation in the U.S. are fairly distinct. On one side, youth clubs are drawing up all the power they can muster behind the notion that they deserve a small cut (we’re talking 1-5 percent here) of the transfer fees doled out to players they helped develop. The MLS Players Union, meanwhile, asserts that practice is tantamount to robbing money out of the players’ pockets.

The MLSPU is, to my eyes, on the wrong side of this fight. And Don Garber, the commissioner of the players in the league that union represents, may have just undercut the message.

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Brian Straus, Garber danced through myriad topics: expansion, the validity of the investment in MLS, NYCFC, Miami. In the midst of that, we had this exchange.

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Written by Will Parchman


DeAndre Yedlin’s sale to Tottenham two years ago was maybe the most significant American transfer in history. Hear me out.

Of course, Yedlin was one of the few Americans in MLS history to command a decent chunk of transfer change, and one of even fewer defenders. So there’s that. The $10 million Villarreal paid MLS for Jozy Altidore is still the king of the castle, but Yedlin’s $3.3 fit snugly into the top seven. The fact that he’d been purchased by a club like Tottenham, which finished in Champions League position in Yedlin’s first year in London, only sweetened the pot.

But the attendant domino effect his transfer had on the American soccer landscape was (and is) an even bigger deal. It’s too convoluted a story to get into in depth here, but Yedlin’s youth club Crossfire didn’t get a dime of the FIFA-mandated training compensation portion of the transfer fee, and it took its grievance national. And then the Dallas Texans did the same for former academy product Clint Dempsey. And, just recently, South Florida’s Weston FC did the same for producing newly minted Philadelphia Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.

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