Mwanga, Bruin headline Generation adidas tour team

NEW YORK – Major League Soccer on Friday announced the 18 players who will participate in the Generation adidas tour to the Netherlands later this month, and the group will be led by Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes.

The group, which begins the tour on Monday, will train at the training grounds of famed Dutch power Ajax during their stay, and face the Ajax Reserve team in a match on Dec. 8. They’ll also play matches against Dutch second-division clubs FC Volendam and Almere City FC before the tour comes to a close on Dec. 15.

Among the players named to the team is Philadelphia Union forward Danny Mwanga, Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil, Columbus Crew midfielder Tony Tchani, New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston and Vancouver Whitecaps forward Omar Salgado, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

Vermes was nominated for MLS Coach of the Year in 2011 after he led Sporting Kansas City to the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference and a berth in the Conference Championship.

Last year the Generation adidas group traveled to Spain, where the team posted wins against reserve teams from Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Rayo Vallecano.

“This annual offseason tour is invaluable for young players, and we are excited to see this talented group come together in the Netherlands,” MLS executive vice president Todd Durbin said. “Our players’ development is enhanced by their exposure to legendary clubs like Ajax and the opportunity to compete against their peers in other countries.”

Generation adidas Match Schedule

Dec. 8: Generation adidas vs. Ajax Reserve team (Ajax Academy fields)
Dec. 13: Generation adidas vs. FC Volendam (in Volendam)
Dec. 14: Generation adidas vs. Almere City FC (in Almere)

  PLAYER NOTE

David Bingham

Pos: G | Age: 22

Club: San Jose

Career:
GP 1 | GAA 1.00

Most famous for his goal in a friendly and an assist on a long kick to Chris Wondolowski, but also proved an able option for the Quakes and shined in the Reserve league.

WATCH: Bingham assist

Zac MacMath

Pos: G | Age: 20

Club: Philadelphia

Career:
GP 8 | GAA 1.06

Forced into action in 2011 due to an injury late in the season to Faryd Mondragón, the young keeper showed he has huge potential both as a shot-stopper and a leader.

WATCH: MacMath stones Justin Braun

Kevin Alston

Pos: D | Age: 23

Club: New England

Career:
GP 81 | G 0 | A 3

A regular starter since joining the Revs in 2009. Speed and aggressiveness saw him called up to US national team several times and named to 2010 MLS All-Star team.

WATCH: Alston blocks Arnaud chance

Conor Shanosky

Pos: D | Age: 19

Club: D.C. United

Career:
GP 0 | G 0 | A 0

Still young, the US youth international looks to be an honest defender. Made several impressive reserve appearances for United in 2011.

Kofi Sarkodie

Pos: D | Age: 21

Club: Houston

Career:
GP 7 | G 0 | A 0

Was going to struggle for time in Houston's veteran defense, but showed good mobility and willingness to get forward when given the chance.

WATCH: Sarkodie takes his shot

Michael Tetteh

Pos: D | Age: 22

Club: Seattle

Career:
GP 0 | G 0 | A 0

Speed, strength, but still learning his positioning. Spent 2011 behind a steady backline regulars in Seattle.

Zarek Valentin

Pos: D | Age: 20

Club: Montreal

Career:
GP 25 | G 0 | A 0

Youth, speed, good touch, personality, and international experience — he has the potential to be the complete package at right back.

Dilly Duka

Pos: M | Age: 22

Club: Columbus

Career:
GP 25 | G 2 | A 3

Former US youth international emerged in 2011 as a playmaker in the workman-like Crew midfield.

WATCH: Duka slams home the equalizer

 

Sacir Hot

Pos: M | Age: 20

Club: New York

Career:
GP 0 | G 0 | A 0

Untested and inexperienced but has shown flashes in reserve matches for the Red Bulls.

Amobi Okugo

Pos: M | Age: 20

Club: Philadelphia

Career:
GP 26 | G 0 | A 0

Steady, honest midfielder who can go box-to-box. 

Luis Gil

Pos: M | Age: 18

Club: Salt Lake

Career:
GP 25 | G 2 | A 0

Saw a few breakout moments in 2011, including his first goal.

WATCH: Gil opens his MLS account

Matt Kassel

Pos: M | Age: 22

Club: New York

Career:
GP 2 | G 0 | A 0

Skillful midfielder out of Maryland who has not had much chance to shine within New York's veteran midfield.

Jack McInerney

Pos: M | Age: 19

Club: Philadelphia

Career:
GP 35 | G 4 | A 0

Quick and crafty, a US youth international with a nose for goal. Jack Mac is on his second GA tour.

WATCH: McInerney finishes give and go with Le Toux

Tony Tchani

Pos: M | Age: 22

Club: Columbus

Career:
GP 42 | G 2 | A 3

Traded from New York to Toronto and then to Columbus, injury kept him from seeing the minutes the big holding midfielder saw in his rookie season in 2010.

WATCH: Tchani scores first goal

Will Bruin

Pos: F | Age: 22

Club: Houston

Career:
GP 25 | G 5 | A 1

A powerful target man who converted several goals early in the 2011 season, including nailing a hat trick against D.C. United.

WATCH: Bruin completes hat trick

Corey Hertzog

Pos: F | Age: 21

Club: New York

Career:
GP 5 | G 0 | A 0

Found some playing time in his rookie year in 2011, but was usually locked behind internationals Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers.

Danny Mwanga

Pos: F | Age: 20

Club: Philadelphia

Career:
GP 52 | G 12 | A 8

Strong and fast, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. Has been a vital part of the Union's attack since arriving in Philly.

WATCH: Mwanga can't be stopped

Omar Salgado

Pos: F | Age: 18

Club: Vancouver

Career:
GP 14 | G 1 | A 1

A young, talented striker taken No. 1 in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

WATCH: Salgado opens MLS account