U.S. U-20 players headline 2006 class
NEW YORK -- Major League Soccer and adidas today announced the second class of Generation adidas players that will enter the professional ranks for the 2006 Major League Soccer season.
Six U.S. youth national team players headline the 11-member class of the top soccer players playing in the United States that signed MLS and adidas contracts. All of the players will participate in the 2006 adidas MLS Combine at the Home Depot Center from January 12-15 and are eligible for selection in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, which takes place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. on Friday, January 20, 2006 in conjunction with the annual NSCAA Convention.
Leading the 2006 Generation adidas class are six players from the U.S. youth national teams, including five players who participated in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland: 19-year old UCLA defender Marvell Wynne, UCLA midfielder Patrick Ianni (20), Clemson midfielder/ defender Nathan Sturgis (18), Indiana forward Jacob Peterson (19) and Seton Hall midfielder Sacha Kljestan (20). The U-20 team won their group by upsetting Argentina, drawing against Germany and defeating Egypt before losing to Italy in the Round-of-16.
The class also includes two players from the U.S. Under-17 men's national team players that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru: defender Blake Wagner (17 years old) and forward Josmer Altidore (16). The U-17 team advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating South Korea and Italy and tying the Ivory Coast before falling to the Netherlands to finish in fifth place for the second straight FIFA U-17 World Championship.
All nine collegiate Generation adidas players were also selected as 2005 NSCAA/adidas All-Americans. Wynne was joined on the first team by Cal State Northridge junior forward Willie Sims (21). North Carolina sophomore midfielder Dax McCarty (18), a former member of the U.S. youth national team system, earned second-team honors along with Ianni. Indiana University defender Jed Zayner (21), who led a defense that recorded 13 shutouts in 22 games, was selected as a third-team All-American along with Sturgis, Kljestan and Peterson. Forward Kei Kamara (21), who scored 15 goals during the 2005 season at Cal State Dominguez Hills, was selected to the NSCAA/adidas All-America Division II Third Team.
Sims and Kamara, who were born in Guatemala and Sierra Leone respectively, hold green cards and therefore will not be classified as International players on their MLS roster.
Generation adidas, which was established ahead of the 2005 MLS season, is Major League Soccer's youth player development program designed to identify and nurture the elite youth soccer talent in the United States. The youth players who join MLS as part of the Generation adidas program receive unprecedented opportunities to develop their game and hone their skills at the professional level in Major League Soccer. In addition to training and playing on a weekly basis with one of Major League Soccer's 12 professional clubs, Generation adidas players will also receive educational grants to further their college education.
2006 Generation adidas class
Josmer Altidore F
Patrick Ianni D/M
Kei Kamara F
Sacha Kljestan M
Dax McCarty M
Jacob Peterson F
Willie Simms F
Nathan Sturgis D/M
Blake Wagner D
Marvell Wynne D
Jed Zayner D