22 December 2010

Philly Signs 15 Year Old As Their First Homegrown Player

Zach Pfeffer, 15, signs to Union (Photo Greg Carroccio)
The Philadelphia Union announced today that they signed their very first homegrown player, a 15 year old by the name of Zach Pfeffer. Kudos to Pfeffer for being one of the youngest professional athletes in the US (and I hope to God the world), but my very first reaction was "Are you serious?!"I have a 15 year old brother. He's a freshman in high school. Actually, Pfeffer is about three months older then my brother and he's get a contract with a professional soccer team getting a weekly salary!

He played for the US U-14/U-15 squads as a midfielder and performed very well...apparently. I can't say personally 'cause I've never watched a U-14 match (but then again, I'm not a MLS scout).

Actually, I'm a huge fan of the MLS' Homegrown Initiative. It allows MLS clubs to sign local players who haven't played in the MLS before without having to go threw the SuperDraft. It's a great way for teams to get...well, homegrown players.

To many Americans, the thought of signing a 15 year old to a professional soccer team probably seems daft, but in reality this is how it works throughout the world. Not only if Pfeffer going to get the best training possible, but he's making a name for himself. This isn't child labor, he's getting compensated for his work.

I'd love to see him play come the 2011 season. I'm always intrigued by these young players who get signed at an early age. Andy Najar, MLS Rookie of the Year in 2010, was signed by 2010 through the homegrown initiative at the age of 17 and look how he did! I'm not saying that that is the bar Pfeffer has to meet, because I think that would be a tad ridiculous.

Good luck to you Pfeffer! We here at Crest First will be keeping an eye on you.

What do you think? Should the MLS allow signees at such an early age? Voice your opinion in the comment box below.

1 comment:

  1. Lionel Messi joined Barca at 16 and we all know how that went...I'm all for it.


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