Jeremy Ebobisse, the US U-20 national team stand out, signed a Generation Adidas contract with Major League Soccer on Monday. Generation Adidas is a program that helps soccer players enter the MLS before they graduate college. Past Generation Adidas players include Tim Howard, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Sacha Kljestan, Freddy Adu, Brad Guzan, Michael Bradley, Nick Rimando, and Kyle Beckerman. Ebobisse will train with D.C. United or their USL affiliate, Richmond Kickers, until the draft in January. He will train with these clubs as they are in close proximity to where he lives. In addition, Ebobisse has previously played with Gedion Zelalem, the Arsenal and USMNT hopeful.
This summer Ebobisse spent trialing with many different European teams including Le Havre, where Bob Bradley coaches, and Danish team Sønderjysk. However, he did not receive a contract from Sønderjysk. He also played with the US U-20 team at the NTC invitational where he excelled. Ebobisse tallied three goals and three assists at the tournament .
Ebobisse is not eligible as a homegrown player for DC United, even though he has previously played for their U-23 team. He also cannot play with an MLS team until after the draft. However, he could play with a USL team on loan from MLS.
Effect on MLS
For MLS, this is a great signing. Jeremy Ebobisse is a powerful forward who can hold the ball up well, finish accurately, and use his pace to get in behind the defense. He also can play both out wide and as a striker.
In addition to being a great talent, he is a very coveted player. Even though he didn’t officially recite an offer from a European team, he received rave reviews from those teams. In order for MLS to be a top league, they have to retain top American talent. By signing Jordan Morris last year, and Ebobisse this year, MLS is doing exactly that.
Effect on Ebobisse
For Ebobisse, frankly this is a pretty bad move. As he is only 19, he needs to be playing soccer every day, and games as often as possible. While he will be training with top talent, he won’t play games for about 6 months. At Duke he wouldn’t be training as much, but he would be getting that valuable in game experience. However, if MLS loans him to a USL team, this move will definitely be more beneficial than playing in college.