Earlier this week, the U16 non-MLS Development Academy frontrunners had their due. Now it’s time for the U18s to get their moment in the spotlight.
MLS clubs have the dangling carrot of Homegrown minutes at the end of their academy careers, and it’s hard to overstate how immense a thing that is. The prospect of a pro career is the pinnacle for an academy kid, and it’s an uncomfortable fact of life that only around about a fourth of the league’s teams can offer that outright. Otherwise, the options are either to go to college for four years, switch to an MLS academy or sign abroad. And for most, the latter choice isn’t even an option until their 18th birthday.
So it’s a bit more touch-and-go for non-MLS kids, but they still pop up in the pros with regularity. And the fact that the DA is producing non-MLS guys like Jeremy Ebobisse? Yes, there’s talent here.
Today ends a two-part series in which we take a closer gander at the top five currently performing academies in the DA at the U16 and U18 age groups. The skill here should not be missed, and today we close with the U18s.