Tickets may be purchased at www.ChipotleHomegrown.com and include entrance to both the 2016 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game as well as the Generation adidas ESP Showcase Match being held immediately prior at 3 p.m. PT at Avaya Stadium.
- CLICK HERE for video soundbytes from Landon Donovan, Mexico National Team head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, Mexican Federation Sporting Director of National Teams Santiago Baños and Mexico Under-20 National Team head coach and players.
One of the most highly anticipated events of the year, the Chipotle 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 in 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 2016, four Homegrown standouts: Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) and Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), combined for a total of nine caps for the senior U.S. Men’s National Team, while Morris, Acosta and Trapp also proved indispensable for the U.S. U-23s in recent Olympic qualifiers. Five Homegrown Players have been tapped for the Canadian Men’s National Team so far this year, with Maxime Crepeau (Montreal Impact), Sam Adekugbe (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) Wandrille Lefevre (Montreal Impact), Kianz Froese (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and Marco Bustos (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) all suiting up for The Reds.
“The development of Major League Soccer’s youth academy system remains at the forefront of the league’s long-term initiatives” said Todd Durbin, Executive Vice President of Player Relations and Competition. “The Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game offers a unique opportunity for the exceptional players our clubs have produced. We are excited to have the Mexico Under-20 National Team as this year’s opponent as it promises to be a competitive match.”
“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes eating nutritious food, and we’re proud to serve athletes of all ages great-tasting food made from high-quality ingredients,” said Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief creative and development officer. “Our unique menu lets our customers pick and choose exactly what goes into their meal, allowing each customer to create a completely customizable meal that can accommodate any active lifestyle or training plan.”
The most formidable opponent to feature in a Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game to date, the Mexico U-20s will bring another level of competition to the annual summer showcase. One of the most accomplished youth national teams on the world stage, the Mexico U-20s lay claim to 13 CONCACAF U-20 Championship titles, most recently winning the past three editions of the tournament in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Some of Mexico’s brightest youngsters will hope to suit up in San Jose, including U-20 centerpiece and Pachuca midfielder Pablo Lopez, Club América’s Ulises Torres and Chivas forward Kevin Magaña, among others. In an interesting twist of fate, the MLS Homegrowns could face one of their own as Real Salt Lake academy product Sebastian Saucedo – who is currently on loan with Liga MX club Veracruz – received his first call-up to the Mexico U-20 squad last November.
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.
Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game History
2015: MLS Homegrown Team 1(4)-1(5) Club América U-20s
2014: MLS Homegrown Team 0–0 Portland Timbers U-23s
Match to be broadcast live on national television for first time on UDN