MLS Academy Thread

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by David Kerr, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
    Thread about MLS academies, the big time prospects in their pipelines, how they are progressing individually and as a whole, and how they rank among each other.
     
  2. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
    To start I want to see what people rank as the top 10-15 MLS academies and why. I'll post mine this weekend too
     
  3. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Not including the Canadian ones.

    1. Dallas- Doesn’t need any explanation
    2. Seattle- Advanced recruitment strategy and the area also has good players
    3. LA Galaxy-Backwards recruitment strategies, but the area produces so many good players
    4. Atlanta-The area produces a lot of talent, and good recruitment strategies. We need to separate the academy from poor player development in first team.
    5. NYCFC-Excellent coaching is what stands out the most. They don’t always have the depth of other teams, but have also produced some good products.
    6. Philadelphia Union-Improving a lot. In a few more years, they could be top 2-3.
    7. SKC-For an area that doesn’t have much talent, they recruit very well.
    8. LAFC-No track record yet and I see a lot of the same problems as LAG, but they’ll produce talent because it’s SoCal, so they can’t be too low.
    9. NYRB-They develop the talented players they have very well and are very well coached, but there are significant talent ID problems with their recruitment.
    10. DC United-Not a good academy, but the area produces some talent, so they can’t be too low.
     
  4. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
  5. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
  6. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    Dystopia
    Not college - whatever are they thinking? :(
     
  7. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
    Good for them for getting an education. But from a USMNT and future professional perspective it is better if they don’t. For the kids who could go pro right away they have to leave home to go to another academy to do that. Detroit is a big enough area where they should have a team and not have to do that. Same thing goes to other non MLS areas like Phoenix, Vegas, and down south (NOLA, Bama, Missisippi)
     
  8. HoustonUnited

    HoustonUnited Member

    Jul 27, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    DC United
    DC united fan here, and I agree with the above. A lot of pro players come out of the DC area... But in the past, DC united just hasn't invested much in the academy/recruitment/player development. Now that they finally have the stadium in place, im hoping this starts to change. United now has a USL team in Loudoun, where several of their youth players (Griffin Yow, Moses Nyeman, Bryang Kayo) got a lot of minutes last season. They are also building their training complex out in Loudoun. So hopefully we see these investments continue...but that remains to be seen.

    My rankings:
    1.FC Dallas- They are the best. Best scouting network, solid plan in place for kids that don't live within immediate driving distance of Frisco

    2. NYRB- They have a system that works, and solid track record of developing and promoting their kids through the Academy to Redbulls II and then to the first team

    3. RSL- Same story as NYRB. RSL isn't a big budget club, so they depend on their youth development. They have a residential academy, which helps with recruitment of players from outside the area

    4. Philadelphia- Eastern PA/South Jersey has produced a good amount of pro players and the Union have done a good job of talent identificiation and promoting players through their system (See Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty)

    5. Seattle- Seattle has really only started to invest in their academy the last couple of years, when Garth Lagerway (From RSL) came on board. They are doing a great job of recruiting, and player development...and are starting to see the rewards as some of their academy kids are starting to get first team minutes

    6.LA Galaxy- So Cal is the most talented soccer region in this country. So the Galaxy has always had academy teams that do well...but they don't have many players make it to the first team. The Galaxy are a bigger budget club, so they do spend bigger money on their first team then most MLS teams, which makes it harder for youth players to make their way through. The Academy has also burned some bridges over the years as they have recruited kids from other clubs, without even acknowledging the previous club. When LAFC started their academy, they were very open about how they didn't want to make this same mistake... It will be interesting to see if LAFC gets a leg up in recruiting in the future

    7. NYCFC- NYC has a lot of talent...and the academy has great coaches. The biggest knock on them, is they don't have a USL team. If they have a talented 17 year old who is excelling at the U19 level...they have no where to promote him and get professional minutes other than the first team (which he would not be ready for). They really need to get a second team...but im sure their focus right now is figuring out their current stadium situation


    For most of the other clubs you could really just pick a name out of a hat...most of the other clubs don't place much of an emphasis on the academy. I think LAFC will end up being one of the better academies...but they are not a full academy yet (No U19 level), and will eventually need to figure out their second team (USL) situation
     
  9. ielag

    ielag Member+

    Jul 20, 2010
    It’s not amongst the elite, but the Rapids producing Sam Vines, Cole Bassett, Sebastian Anderson, and Matthew Hundley is pretty solid. And at one time, Shane O’Neil and Dillon Serna were promising prospects.

    Kroenke won’t spend crap on that team, and it seems management is wisely focusing more on younger players. Denver per capita is very strong at producing players (men and women), so not sure if it’s solely them taking advantage of that or also coaching them up.
     
  10. WheezingUSASupport

    Dortmund
    United States
    Aug 28, 2017
    Completely agree with your rankings except bumping NYRB down a bit. Their USL team last season was mostly made up by 21-23 year olds that likely aren’t going to develop into decent NT prospects. Wish they’d play some 17-18yr olds.

    They have a good academy but need to look as if they’ll give us a player or two that could pan out to be as good as Adams rather than a bunch of mediocre prospects. Eg. Seattle has Leyva and AOC.

    Same could be said for RSL, but their far more limited geographically.
     
  11. letsdothis

    letsdothis New Member

    Crew
    United States
    Jan 7, 2020
    Not sure how DC United beats out the Crew Academy.... just saying. Not the best or fanciest facilities but they crank out some decent talent.
     
  12. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
    Crew academy does a very poor job of signing and playing their homegrowns. Wil Trapp and Aboubacar Keita are the only two successful homegrowns that they have had. They have a lot of talented players in their system right now but who knows what will happen with them. Columbus also missed out on Emmanuel Sabbi which is a huge loss after he was lighting up USYSA with OP Eagles and bounced for Chicago Magic immediately after.
     
    ussoccer97531 repped this.
  13. letsdothis

    letsdothis New Member

    Crew
    United States
    Jan 7, 2020
    The original story seems fishy to me. Why does a decent soccer player turn down an MLS Academy to stay and play high school ball? My guess is that he is not ready to leave home, which is fine and a decent reason. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense. You can still go to a good D1 school if it doesn't work out professionally at the MLS club. It isn't an either/or situation.
     
  14. letsdothis

    letsdothis New Member

    Crew
    United States
    Jan 7, 2020
    Good point. My focus was on the development aspect and not on the promotion/signing aspect, which you are correct is a strong indicator of the quality of the academy.
     
  15. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
    Sabbi really didn’t break out until he was a u15 and demolished teams at the usysa national championships. He was completely unknown before then. After that he went straight to the Magic in the DA. He played for Gahanna Christian which is a super small private school where they maybe had 12-15 kids on the team. When the academies went and recruited him we went to an academy with a good history of moving players to Europe
     
  16. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member+

    Dec 16, 1999
    Monterey, Ca
    San Jose Earthquakes have been dropping strong hints since the arrival of Matias Almeyda, but now the General Manager just straight out said that they will become a “develop and sell” team. I take that to mean they will put most of their energy into their academy prospects. It makes me wonder if Almeyda and his staff will receive financial bonuses for youth development.

    https://apple.news/ALZbAp94YQiKK7OR4Dd8sZA
     
  17. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    Is there an authoritative (or close to it) article/site/post/etc. that gets into annual academy expenditures by MLS clubs, fully funded and/or otherwise?
     

Share This Page