MILAN – When the 2012 MLS Draft kicks off in Kansas City next month, the first two players chosen wont be much of a mystery - not after MLS succeeded in signing the two most highly-coveted players in the draft pool. Duke University standout Andrew Wenger and star Akron striker Darren Mattocks have signed Generation adidas contracts, multiple sources told FOX Soccer on Monday.
Wenger and Mattocks are the consensus top two prospects in the draft, and the expansion Montreal Impact will be looking to choose between them with the first overall pick. In Wenger, the Impact would be getting a highly-skilled central defender with the versatility to play in midfield, while Mattocks is a speedy striker who could help Montreal at a position of need. Wenger is currently at the US Under-23 national team camp and has impressed as a central defender despite not having played the position at Duke for two years (he played as a forward his junior year and midfielder his sophomore season). Mattocks, a starter on Akron's 2010 College Cup-winning team, scored 21 goals for the Zips in 2011 as the top striker on a young Akron side. MLS is expected to announce at least part of its Generation adidas class on Wednesday, and Wenger, Mattocks and UCSB striker Sam Garza are the first three players to be signed to contracts. MLS has also secured the services of senior standouts Luis Silva (UCSB), Casey Townsend (Maryland) and Tony Cascio (UConn), who all signed guaranteed contracts with MLS.
MLS is still in negotiations with the next three highest-rated players on the Generation adidas target list, with North Carolina striker Billy Schuler and UCLA playmaker Kelyn Rowe exploring options in Europe. North Carolina playmaker Enzo Martinez has also yet to accept an offer from MLS. UCLA striker Chandler Hoffman has been offered a Generation adidas contract and is expected to be included in the group. If any of the unsigned players fail to reach an agreement with MLS, the league is expected to extend offers to South Florida striker Dom Dwyer, Notre Dame midfielder Dillon Powers and Creighton defender Tyler Polak. Generation adidas is the program MLS uses to sign college underclassmen to professional contracts. Underclassmen are not eligible for the MLS Draft unless they are part of the Generation adidas class. The 2012 MLS Draft takes place in Kansas City on January 12th.