Major League Soccer on Thursday unveiled its preliminary list of college underclassmen signings who have penned Generation adidas contracts with the league and will be eligible for selection in the 2013 SuperDraft on Jan. 17 at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
Defenders Walker Zimmerman (Furman) and Andrew Farrell (Louisville) join Mikey Lopez (University of North Carolina) and forward Jason Johnson (Virginia Commonwealth University) as the first set of players to join the league before exhausting their college eligibility. All four players will participate in the 2013 MLS Player Combine, which kicks off next Friday, Jan. 11.
Generation adidas players are typically among the top selections in the MLS SuperDraft, and they also do not count against a team's salary budget. As part of their contract, the college underclassmen also receive educational grants to continue their college education.
Zimmerman, a big marking center back and US Under-20 international, departs Furman after his sophomore season (see his full scouting report here). His 6-foot-3 frame made him a threat on both ends of the field in college.
Farrell was named Big East Defensive Player, a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist and first-team All-American as he anchored the Louisville backline (see his full scouting report here). But in addition to playing center back, Farrell can also feature at right back as well as defensive midfield.
Known as one of the best midfielders in the college game, Lopez was a fixture in the lineup for North Carolina (see his full scouting report here). Last year's ACC Freshman of the Year was a key figure on a team that captured the national title.
One of the most electric forwards in the NCAA ranks, Johnson (see his full scouting report here) has already made his debut for the senior Jamaican national team (February 10, 2010, vs. Argentina).
The league says it expects to announce additional Generation adidas signings in the near future.