Teams Gobbling Up Homegrowns

Teams Gobbling Up Homegrowns

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On December 20, 2012
  • 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Features, MLS Home Grown Players


I’ve been sitting on this thought for a few days and maybe even a couple weeks now. We know the college season is over – which the obvious is in front of us – players will sign either Homegrown contracts, Generations adidas contracts or hope that someone selects them in the SuperDraft.

Lately we’ve seen an influx of Homegrown Players signed. So far this offseason we’ve seen New York sign two, Columbus ink one, Dallas sign one, and LA sign one.

At this point you have to believe more are on the way after yesterdays’ news out of LA.

The LA Galaxy are close to signing their second HGP of the offseason, and likely the biggest signing yet in the HGP camp this year. Gyasi Zardes has been widely seen as the top player in the college game these last two years and there were suggestions that he’d even sign in Europe after this year instead of going to MLS. Last year he turned down a HGP contract with the Galaxy to return to Cal State Bakersfield for his junior year. 

He scored 38 goals, tallying 18 assists in 56 games over his three year stint at CSUB. In 2012, Zardes scored 15 goals in 17 matches with nine assists—the highest amount of his career.

In any other year that didn’t involve HGPs on the table, Zardes would have easily been considered the top player for the SuperDraft. He is that kind of talent.

Zardes was seen as the one guy that was keeping most HGP deals from going through. Outside of Dallas’ signing Bradlee Balaldez, Columbus signing Wil Trapp, and the other signings from LA and New York. Those few signings that have already taken place were likely much cheaper deals than what Zardes was expected to get from the Galaxy.

I bring that up because there are still a hand full of HGP deals out there being worked on. Columbus has two more they’ll likely sign (Chad Barson and Matt Wiet), Dallas has another one out there (London Woodberry) and New England is expected to sign one of their own (Scott Caldwell). There may be more deals in the works with other clubs but those couple were expected to happen if/when Zardes signed with the Galaxy.

More than likely Woodberry and Dallas will announce a deal soon. Many thought it was surprising that Dallas announced the signing of forward Baladez yesterday instead of Woodberry but that one came down to a younger player that was more eager to sign a cheaper deal.

Just how much are these HGPs getting these days? That remains to be seen. We won’t know anything until the salary figures come out in the middle of the year from the player’s union. My gut tells me that Zardes will have one of the highest HGP deals that we’ve seen to date – a deal that looks more like a GA contract.