NEW YORK (Via MLS) – Major League Soccer has announced that the MLS Homegrown Team, coached by U.S. Soccer and MLS legend Brian McBride and assisted by former MLS MVP Mike Magee, will take on Liga MX club Chivas de Guadalajara’s Under-20 team in the fourth annual MLS Homegrown Game on August 1 at 7 p.m. CT at Toyota Park as part of the events leading up to the 2017 MLS All-Star Game. For the second consecutive year, the MLS Homegrown Game will be broadcast live on national television on UDN.
The latest formidable opponent to participate in the MLS Homegrown Game, Chivas de Guadalajara’s Under-20 team brings an accomplished track record to the match. The club captured the Liga MX Under-20 title in May and features numerous players that have received time with the Chivas reserve team along with the first team side that captured its record 12th Liga MX title in May. Additionally, Chivas had five players represent Mexico at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the most of any Liga MX team.
In each of their first years participating as coaches of the MLS Homegrown Team, McBride and Magee bring a winning pedigree as MLS legends and Chicago natives to the 2017 MLS Homegrown Game. During his playing career, Magee won 2013 MLS MVP honors playing for the Chicago Fire, while McBride participated in three World Cups with the United States National Team, concluding his outstanding MLS career with the Fire.
One of the many highly anticipated events during the week of events surrounding the 2017 MLS All-Star Game, the MLS Homegrown Game provides an annual platform in which to showcase MLS’ burgeoning young talent and demonstrate the growth of the League’s youth development system. MLS academies continue to attract and cultivate topflight prospects and have now produced over 150 Homegrown Players who have signed professional contracts with MLS clubs. Vital to the long-term success of their clubs, Homegrown Players now serve more important and visible roles than ever, with academy products logging a record 54,000 minutes played in 2015, more than quadruple the minutes played from 2011.
Homegrown Players have also become significant contributors at the international level with the U.S. and Canadian youth and senior national teams relying on some of the league’s most exciting and promising young players. In 2017, seven Homegrown standouts: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution) and Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), have been called to represent the senior U.S. Men’s National Team. In addition, nine Homegrown Players played for the United States in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup earlier this year. Outside of the U.S., five Homegrown Players have been tapped for the Canadian Men’s National Team on its 2017 Gold Cup roster, with Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal Impact), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC), Maxime Crepeau (Montreal Impact), and Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) all receiving the call up for The Reds.
“The continued growth of Major League Soccer’s youth academy system and development of the future stars of the sport remain at the forefront of the league’s long-term initiatives,” said Todd Durbin, Executive Vice President of Player Relations and Competition. “The MLS Homegrown Game offers a unique opportunity to showcase the talent our clubs have produced. We are excited to have the Chivas Under-20 team as this year’s opponent and we look forward to what promises to be a competitive match.”
“In the months since Target announced our partnership with Major League Soccer, many of our vendor partners joined us as we enter a sport that has become a huge passion point for our guests,” said Target Chief Marketing Officer Rick Gomez. “Energizer has been a part of Target’s sports marketing program for more than 15 years, and we’re thrilled to have their help in showcasing some of the best young players in the world.”
MLS Homegrown Players are a specialized group of players that have been a member of an MLS club’s youth development program for at least one year and have met the necessary training and retention requirements. Players that meet those qualifications can sign a professional contract with the club’s senior team without being subject to the SuperDraft.
MLS Homegrown Game History
2016: MLS Homegrown Team 0-1 Mexico U-20s
2015: MLS Homegrown Team 1(4)-1(5) Club América U-20s
2014: MLS Homegrown Team 0–0 Portland Timbers U-23s