Written by Will Parchman

LA_Galaxy_U-16_National_Championship

While it’s shrinking to the point of nonexistence, MLS’s academy structure is fragmented, allowing each club to create its own pay-for-play model to fit its market. This is a list of each club’s pay scale (or lack thereof) for DA entry for the 2013-2014 season.

This does not take into account scholarships, which most clubs dole out to qualified individuals. These numbers are based on the most recent annual metrics available, and these fees can change in either direction from one season to the next. In terms of the fee number, this is also restricted to the yearly costs required of players that includes facilities, travel, equipment, tournaments and more. This is culled only from the U14-U18 level, the range for eligibility in the Development Academy. Source articles have been provided where available.

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Written by Will Parchman

This is so very confusing.

During this past weekend’s 2-2 draw (during which Patrick Nyarko’s skinning of Christian was just the best thing) between the Fire and D.C., Jair Marrufo clattered into reigning MVP Mike Magee in just the weirdest way. Like he confused Magee for kid from Free Willy, and it was damn time to hop him and swim out to open waters.

Swim, Jair. Swim until the bad men can’t harm you anymore.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

macmath

The footsteps echoing behind Zac MacMath are those of Andre Blake, the No. 1 overall choice in the 2014 draft who’s languishing on the Philly Union bench. Blake was the most MLS-ready player in the 2014 draft, and unless MacMath suddenly gets very good or Blake is dealt (both unlikely consequences), Blake’s footsteps behind MacMath will only get louder as the year progresses.

How loud? He’s always there.

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Written by Will Parchman

A week ago, Matt Pickens was a gainfully employed MLS keeper for the Colorado Rapids. Today, Pickens is a member of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. What?

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Written by Will Parchman

A day after the Galaxy fell 4-2 at Tijuana, Sporting KC was thrashed 5-1 away to Cruz Azul. Turns out MLS is still largely cursed in Mexico. Within that 5-1 beating, Cruz Azul did something pretty crazy: they moved the ball roughly 30 yards by taking just two touches via foot. The third was the goal.

Not sure if you’ve ever seen a headed through ball, but here’s your chance.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

mls acadds

Grant Wahl’s annual MLS Ambition Rankings dropped on SI today, which you can read here. It ranks teams based on criteria like practice facilities, sponsorship and season ticket sales. As usual, specific figures within a league that zealously guards its books were hard to come by.

But there were a few particularly interesting nuggets on the youth development side. Six teams divulged how much they’ve spent on development. This from Grant’s article.

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Written by Will Parchman

cruzin

Camilo’s well-publicized decampment from Vancouver to Liga MX led to another round of scurrilous criticisms pointed toward the league that lost him. In some ways, it’s hard to begrudge them. Camilo, the league’s reigning scoring champion after bagging 22 goals last year, promptly left Canada for Mexico’s Queretaro on the doorstep of the 2014 season. And he did it in the most underhanded way imaginable.

The real disappointment lay in all that Camilo represented. MLS has had athleticism and straightaway speed for years, but the league’s growth now is measured more by its strides on the technical side of the game. Camilo was a totem for this growth, a player for the league’s new decade with shiny foot skills and unreal golazos. And now he’s gone.

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Written by Will Parchman

NYCFC

 

On Monday, Gothamist’s Dan Dickinson revealed the final two competitors for NYCFC’s badge design. After a seemingly endless parade of selfies and ironic selfies and proto-ironic selfies (you don’t want to know) and whatever else was shoved into NYCFC’s Twitter feed during their badge competition, we have two very un-ironic competitors.

For me, it’s perfect if you take the more colorful interlocking NYCFC from the misshapen badge and import it to the circular badge. Then you’ve got a hit.

 

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Written by The 91st

Porter

At times, we all need a little direction. Even if that direction is leading us right off a cliff. Which is where we intend to guide you today.

As the 19th MLS season kicks off this weekend, we give you a reason to watch and a reason to ignore all 19 of the league’s teams. And it wouldn’t be TDS if we didn’t talk about some exciting young prospects too, right?

Chicago Fire

One reason you should care: Mike Magee. Is there anything else to say? Switching clubs in 2013, Magee went on to claim MVP honors, scoring seemingly at will. Now the race is on for him to go on an Edson Buddle-like run all the way onto the 2014 U.S. World Cup squad.

One reason you shouldn’t care: Frankly, there was a lot of turnover in Chitown during the offseason. Frank Yallop replaced Frank Klopas in the head coaching role, which means that the Fire is entering 2014 with a lot of new faces and a potentially new look. And a lot of times, newness in MLS doesn’t lend itself to the best soccer — at least at the beginning of the season.

Young player to watch: U.S. U20 international Victor Pineda signed with the Fire back in 2010… and has yet to make an appearance for the first team in a regular season match. Can he convince Frank Yallop he’s worthy of minutes this season? He showed flashes of excitement at last year’s U20 World Cup and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the question to see him finally debut this season.

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Written by Will Parchman

TimbersD TimbersO

The Timbers just redid the paint in their training center in Portland, and it’s just so… Portland. All the things we enjoy about the Portland Porters: Pressure, possession, steely glares in the gloaming, Will Johnson’s annoyingly effective face, Darlington Nagbe’s lifeforce, all that damn green… maybe my wall mural would’ve looked different.

 

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