While this news is fairly inconsequential to the Portland Timbers at the moment, considering they traded away both of their SuperDraft picks last month, this is still rather big league news. Additionally, even if the Timbers can't get one of these players, you can bet we'll be seeing their names throughout the 2013 season and it's good to know who they are and how they got on one of our rivals' rosters.
In any case, Major League Soccer has announced its first four Generation Adidas player signings in:
- Andrew Farrell
- Mikey Lopez
- Walker Zimmerman
- Jason Johnson
We've spoken aboout a couple of these players before and, in fact, some pundits even had the Portland Timbers selecting Mikey Lopez before their picks were traded away.
One particular player of note is Jason Johnson who is actually a Jamaican national team player who earned his first cap for his national side in 2010. He now joins a host of other Jamaican internationals in the league including Portland's former defensive midfielder and right back Lovel Palmer, who happened to have signed with Real Salt Lake yesterday.
What do you guys think of these first few Generation Adidas players?
Full press release:
Three All-Americans and Jamaican National Team Player Sign Generation adidas Contracts
2013 adidas MLS Combine to kick off next Friday in Fort Lauderdale
NEW YORK (January 3, 2013) – Major League Soccer and adidas today announced the preliminary list of 2013 Generation adidas players. These players will participate in the 2013 adidas MLS Player Combine and enter the professional ranks through the 2013 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas. Additional 2013 Generation adidas class members will be announced at a later date.
Among the 2013 Generation adidas class are three NSCAA All-Americans: Andrew Farrell, Mikey Lopez and Walker Zimmerman. Joining that group is Jamaican National Team member and Virginia Commonwealth University standout Jason Johnson.
A native of Lawrenceville, Ga., Zimmerman’s size at center back makes him one of the top prospects in the country after just two seasons at Furman University. The six-foot, three-inch teenager comes from a long line of athletic prowess as his grandfather and great grandfather were former captains in Auburn University’s storied football program. While his brother was a punter for the Atlanta Falcons, Zimmerman took his talents to the soccer field and became a regular for the U.S. U-20 National Team. A two-time NSCAA All-American and All-SoCon selection, the 19-year-old was also named to the College Soccer News All-America First Team this season.
After picking up the game in Lima, Peru while with his father on a mission trip, Farrell took the Louisville youth soccer scene by storm before committing to the University of Louisville. Farrell anchored the Cardinals defense in 2012 and was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year. After leading his team to a 0.62 goals allowed per game average, he was also named a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist.
Few in the college game play with as much heart and energy at as Mission, Texas native Mikey Lopez. Born in Dallas, the young midfielder played an integral role in North Carolina’s run to the National Championship last season, and the 2011 ACC Freshman of the Year didn’t disappoint this year in his sophomore campaign. The U.S. Youth International solidified the Tar Heels’ possession-based style of play in the midfield earning numerous postseason awards.
Johnson has combined his speed and strength with a relentless work rate to make him one of the most exciting forwards in the college game. A native of Happy News, Jamaica, he made his debut for Jamaica’s senior national team on February 10, 2010, coming on in the second half against Argentina.
Players who join MLS as part of the Generation adidas program receive the opportunity to develop their game and hone their skills at the professional level. In addition to training and playing with one of Major League Soccer’s 19 professional clubs, Generation adidas players receive educational grants to further their college education. Generation adidas players do not count against an MLS team’s salary budget.