The 2019 Generation adidas class was announced at the end of last week, and the first game of the MLS Combine is in the books.
Once the supply of most young, up-and-coming talent, the rise of the Homegrown program and MLS franchises’ aggressive recruiting leaves an even bigger chunk of the college player pool already accounted for.
The program has struggled to produce over the past few years. Joao Moutinho, picked No. 1 overall last year, was already traded from LAFC to Orlando. In 2018, a four-year Homegrown signing (Corey Baird) earned the Rookie of the Year honor, and the seven-player class saw just 2,315 minutes cumulatively. Two players signed didn’t even make a single first-team appearance. And while part of that represents the gulf between MLS and young talent, it’s far from a one-off. Of the 2016 class of seven players, five are already gone from the league (Jack Harrison was transferred to Manchester City); just one is still with the team that drafted him.
So how might this year’s group stack up? The league has made a point to sign a more domestic group, as none of the new Generation adidas signees for 2019 hail from outside North America – last year’s class had just one domestic player out of seven, Mason Toye.
Most of this year’s class has decent upside and could end up developing into MLS contributors. Below is a ranking of the seven players signed to GA contracts.