Major League Soccer officials may not be gaining any ground in ongoing labor negotiations with the MLS player's union, but they are having much more success in lining up what could be the largest Generation adidas class in league history.
Just a week after announcing the first four members of the 2010 Generation adidas class, now comes word that the league is closing in on most of its top targets, with at least one new target emerging.
Sources tell SBI that Wake Forest tandem Ike Opara and Corben Bone are close to reaching agreements with MLS on Generation adidas deals, as is Virginia midfielder Tony Tchani. All three are considered Top Five prospects in the upcoming draft.
A new potential No. 1 pick has emerged though and that is Oregon State striker Danny Mwanga. Buzz Carrick at 3rd Degree reported on Monday night that Mwanga was signing with MLS. SBI sources have confirmed that Mwanga is close to finalizing a deal that could be one of the largest in the class (though he has not signed yet).
The reason for the large contract offer, believed to be more than MLS paid 2009 No. 1 pick Steve Zakuani? Not only is Mwanga considered one of the top strikers in the class (along with Teal Bunbury), Philadelphia is expressing strong interest in selecting Mwanga with the first pick in the 2010 MLS Draft. Philly's interest pushing MLS into overdrive on trying to sign the Congolese striker, who had been expected to go on trial with clubs in France.
What else is new with the Generation class? There is plenty more.
Two players who have already signed with MLS are Central Florida goalkeeper Sean Johnson and Cal striker Andrew Wiedeman. UCLA freshman phenom Amobi Okugo is expected to join the group shortly. MLS is expected to hold off on any more announcements until the group is finalized.
Sources have also told SBI that MLS is in talks with U.S. Under-17 defender Zachary Herold. The young fullback is believed to have received an offer from a German club before being approached by MLS.
If MLS succeeds in closing deals with the aforementioned top prospects, here is how the 2010 Generation adidas class could look like:
- Ike Opara
- Danny Mwanga
- Teal Bunbury
- Corben Bone
- Tony Tchani
- Amobi Okugo
- Andrew Wiedeman
- Dilly Duka
- Blair Gavin
- Jack McInerney
- Sean Johnson
That list does not include U.S. Under-20 midfielder Luis Gil, who had been considered one of the league's top targets. There has been no new word on the league's talks with Gil.
What do you think of these developments? Starting to get excited about the draft? Looking forward to see how these players do at the MLS Combine?
Share your thoughts below.