Major League Soccer and adidas on Thursday announced the 2012 Generation adidas class and four additional college senior signings that will enter the professional ranks for the 2012 MLS season.
These players are among about 65 top pro prospects that will showcase their talents at the adidas MLS Player Combine Jan. 6-10 at Central Broward Regional Park in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Combine matches will be closed to the public but fans can watch the matches live on MLSsoccer.com.
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.
In addition to the Generation adidas signings, MLS added four college seniors to the list of signees as Tony Cascio (University of Connecticut), Nick DeLeon (University of Louisville), Luis Silva (UC Santa Barbara) and Casey Townsend (University of Maryland) signed MLS contracts in advance of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.
The 2012 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center on Thursday, Jan. 12 at noon ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, TSN2 and RDS2.
The complete rosters and coaching staffs for the adidas MLS Player Combine will be announced at a later date.
2012 GENERATION ADIDAS CLASS:
Sam Garza (F, UC Santa Barbara/Denver) - Garza, 22, is originally from Highland Village, Texas. With UCSB, Garza contributed 17 goals and 10 assists, and was named Big West Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year and All-Big West First Team in 2010. While at the University of Denver, he was named the 2008 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Year before transferring to UC Santa Barbara. Garza competed in U-20 World Cup qualifying for the U.S. in 2009.
Chandler Hoffman (F, UCLA) - Hoffman, 21, is originally from Birmingham, Ala. He led the Bruins to the 2011 NCAA Men’s College Cup semifinals. He scored 18 goals in 2011, ranking first on his squad, first in the Pac-12 and fourth nationally. Hoffman was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team this season and a Third Team NSCAA All-American.
Darren Mattocks (F, Akron) - Mattocks, 21, is originally from Portmore, Jamaica. A member of the Jamaican Under-23 player pool and a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, Mattocks scored 39 goals in 47 matches for the University of Akron. He was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year this season after scoring 21 goals. He helped lead the Zips to the NCAA College Cup Championship in 2010.
Kelyn Rowe (M, UCLA) - Rowe, 20, is originally from Federal Way, Wash. He earned Pac-12 Player of the Year honors after scoring six goals and contributing 10 assists while leading UCLA to the NCAA Men’s College Cup semifinals. Rowe was recently earned his second invite to the US U-23 training camp after having been a fixture at the U-18 and U-20 levels.
Andrew Wenger (F, Duke) - Wenger, 21, is originally from Lititz, Pa. A MAC Hermann Trophy Finalist, Wenger led the ACC with 17 goals this season, earning the 2011 ACC Offensive Player of the Year distinction. He earned All-ACC First Team honors in each of his three seasons while also collecting ACC Rookie of the Year in 2009 and ACC Defender of the Year in 2010. He is the first player from Duke to earn a Generation adidas contract.
2012 MLS COLLEGIATE SENIOR SIGNINGS:
Tony Cascio (M, Connecticut) - Cascio, 21, is orginally from Gilbert, Ariz. He entered the 2011 season as a Preseason All-American and a member of the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, after being named an NSCAA First Team All-American and Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 2010. He was named to the 2011 All-Big East Second Team this season after being named to the first team in 2009 and 2010.
Nick DeLeon (M/F, Louisville/UNLV) - DeLeon, 21, is orignally from Phoenix. He started every game since joining Louisville in 2009. This season he ranked second on the team in scoring with six goals and six assists. He was named a first team All-Big East selection for the second straight year. He earned second-team All-MPSF honors in his freshman year at UNLV and All-MPSF honorable mention honors his sophomore year before transferring to Louisville.
Luis Silva (M, UC Santa Barbara) - Silva, 23, is originally from Los Angeles. A 2011 NSCAA First Team All-American, Silva also earned All-Big West First Team honors and Big West Midfielder of the Year honors for his play in 2011. He was third in NCAA Division I in points after scoring 17 goals and adding 10 assists. Silva was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.
Casey Townsend (F, Maryland) - Townsend, 22, is originally from Traverse City, Mich., and has played for the US Under-20 national team. A MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, Townsend garnered First Team All-ACC honors for the second straight year. He was one of the country's top goal-scorers in 2011, producing 17 goals as a captain for the Terrapins, and ended his collegiate career as Maryland’s third-leading goalscorer all-time.