MLS clubs turn to youth back home

While all MLS teams are completing at least their second week in the bubble at the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida, their second teams are resuming play in the in USL Championship.

The pace at which MLS teams are calling up academy players has accelerated. The eight MLS second teams in action this weekend used 28 academy players. MLS teams are also signing many academy players to USL pro contracts. Of the 49 teens who played this weekend on the eight teams, 21 are pros.

They included a pair of 15-year-olds: Reed Baker-Whiting (Tacoma Defiance) and Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United). The LA Galaxy II played four 16-year-old academy players in their 1-0 win at San Diego.

The average age of two of the MLS second teams was under 20, and it was under 21 for five of them.

Players who would normally be loaned out by their MLS first teams to get playing time in the USL Championship are in Florida for the MLS is Back Tournament, giving more opportunities for young players, many of whom will have not played since March because the U.S. Soccer Development Academy was shuttered.

Ten MLS teams are the owners or majority owners or otherwise control second teams in the USL Championship. Rio Grande Valley FC, the Houston Dynamo's hybrid affiliate, had its game against San Antonio FC postponed because someone in its organization tested positive for Covid-19. Loudon United, D.C. United's second team, resumes play on Monday night.

Five other MLS teams have second teams in USL League One. Inter Miami's Fort Lauderdale CF played and lost to Greenville, 2-0, in the first match of the League One season on Saturday. Toronto FC II has been forced to sit out 2020 because of Canadian  travel restrictions.

Philadelphia Union II
(0-6 vs. Pittsburgh)
Makeup: USL pro 7, academy 6, loan 2, MLS pre-contract 1
Average age: 19.0
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16 Jack Jasinski academy
16 Quinn Sullivan academy
17 Benjamin Martino academy
17 Dante Huckaby academy
17 Selmir Miscic USL pro
18 Danny Flores academy
18 Shanyder Borgelin USL pro
19 Ben Ofeimu USL pro
19 Nathan Harriel MLS pre-contract
19 Axel Picazo academy
20 Steve Kingue on loan from Nfuko Academy Sports
20 David Rabadan on loan from Albacete
20 Jamoi Topey USL pro
21 Saed Diaz USL pro
23 Yomi Scintu USL pro
24 Zach Zandi USL pro

LA Galaxy II
(1-0 at San Diego)
Makeup: USL pro 10, academy 4
Average age: 19.9

16 Alejandro Alvarado Jr. academy
16 Jalen Nael academy
16 Sebastian Nava academy
16 Victor Valdez academy
17 Mauricio Cuevas USL pro
18 Adam Saldana USL pro
19 Jorge Hernandez USL pro
22 Abraham Romero USL pro
22 Isaac Bawa USL pro
22 Augustine Williams USL pro
22 Ivan Gutierrez USL pro
23 Adrian Vera USL pro
25 Jesus Vazquez USL pro
25 Omar Ontiveros USL pro



Atlanta United II
(2-2 vs. Memphis 901)
Makeup: USL pro 9, academy 7
Average age: 20.0
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15 Caleb Wiley academy
16 David Mejia academy
17 Ajani Fortune academy
17 William Reilly academy
17 Matthew Edwards academy
17 Coleman Gannon academy
18 Garrison Tubbs academy
18 Jackson Conway USL pro
20 Daniel Steedman USL pro
20 Abdoulaye Diop USL pro
23 Phillip Goodrum USL pro
24 Amadou Macky Diop USL pro
24 Ben Lundgaard USL pro
24 Jack Gurr USL pro
24 Lamin Jawneh USL pro
26 Modou Jadama USL pro

Timbers 2 FC
(0-1 at Tacoma)
Makeup: USL pro 7, academy 5, loan 1
Average age: 20.2
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16 Gerardo Duran academy
17 Mitchell Ferguson academy
18 JR Villegas academy
18 Dyson Clapier academy
18 Hunter Sulte academy
19 Gio Calixtro USL pro
20 Harold Hanson USL pro
20 Aedan Stanley USL pro
20 Carlos Anguiano USL pro
23 Williams Velásquez on loan from Watford
23 Aaron Molloy USL pro
24 Ken Krolicki USL pro
26 Max Ornstil USL pro

Tacoma Defiance
(3-0 vs. Timbers II)
Makeup: 13 USL pro, 2 academy, 1 loan
Average age: 20.8

15 Reed Baker-Whiting academy
17 Sota Kitahara academy
18 Alec Diaz USL pro
18 Danny Robles USL pro
18 Ray Serrano USL pro
19 Azriel Gonzalez USL pro
19 Marlon Vargas USL pro
21 Sam Rogers USL pro
22 Antonee Burke-Gilroy USL pro
22 Nick Hinds USL pro
22 Chino Pérez USL pro
22 Jesse Daly USL pro
23 Collin Fernandez USL pro
23 Christian Herrera on loan from Oakland Roots
23 Danny Reynolds USL pro
31 Taylor Mueller USL pro

New York Red Bulls II
(0-1 at Hartford)
Makeup: USL pro 14, academy 2
Average age: 21.2
--------------------------------------------------------

16 Dantouma Toure academy
17 Caden Clark USL pro
17 Daniel Edelman academy
19 Jake LaCava USL pro
19 Omar Sowe USL pro
22 Deri Corfe USL pro
22 Joe Fala USL pro
22 Barry Sharifi USL pro
22 Cherif Dieye USL pro
23 Sebastian Elney USL pro
23 Kyle Zajec USL pro
23 Preston Kilwien USL pro
23 Samad Bounthong USL pro
23 Wallis Lapsley USL pro
24 Roy Boateng USL pro
24 Edgardo Rito USL pro

Sporting KC II
(1-2 at Indy Eleven)
Makeup: USL pro 15, academy 1
Average age: 21.4
--------------------------------------------------------

18 Jake Davis USL pro
18 Brooks Thomspon USL pro
19 Mason Leeth academy
19 Kaveh Rad USL pro
20 Duval Wapiwo USL pro
20 Enoch Mushagalusa USL pro
20 Wilson Harris USL pro
20 Dominik Resetar USL pro
21 Petar Cuic USL pro
22 Daniel Barbir USL pro
22 Jaret Townsend USL pro
23 Fredinho Mompremier USL pro
23 Sam Raben USL pro
23 Camden Riley USL pro
26 Dillon Serna USL pro
29 Christian Duke USL pro

Real Monarchs
(3-3 vs. Colorado Springs)
Makeup: 13 USL pro, 1 academy
Average age: 22.9
--------------------------------------------------------
18 Bode Davis USL pro
18 Zack Farnsworth academy
21 Jimmy Slayton USL pro
21 Noah Powder USL pro
22 Ryan Sierakowski USL pro
22 Dayonn Harris USL pro
23 Ricardo Ávila USL pro
23 Nicolas Gimenez USL pro
24 Kyle Coffee USL pro
24 Sam Brown USL pro
25 Andrew Brody USL pro
25 Jack Blake USL pro
26 James Moberg USL pro
28 Taylor Peay USL pro

Photo: Danny Robles (L), Chris Wilson Phorography/Tacoma Defiance Communications

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