Tack on another two to the list.
The 2013 Generation adidas class – player signings involving college underclassmen – is now up to seven after the addition of forwards DeShorn Brown and Kekuta Manneh, which were announced by Major League Soccer on Thursday.
Brown, a native of Jamaica, enters the pros after just one season at the University of Central Florida. He took NCAA Division I soccer by storm, using his breakaway pace and natural finishing ability to score 13 goals in 16 games.
Before his exploits at Central Florida, Brown was an NAIA star for the University of Mobile and also featured on the Reading United PDL side, for which he scored another 13 goals during the summer of 2012.
Born in Gambia, the 18-year-old Manneh is a dynamic forward who makes the jump to MLS after starring for Texas youth soccer clubs Lonestar SC and Texas Rush. He has consistently ranked among the top performers in the US Soccer Federation's Development Academy, the elite soccer youth competition in the nation.
Manneh's rapid ascension in the American soccer ranks has included a prominent role for the Austin Aztex PDL side and a reported tryout with the two-time MLS Cup defending champion LA Galaxy, who were surely attracted by the teenager's elusive speed and ball skills.
The 2013 MLS Generation adidas class features: defenders Walker Zimmerman (Furman) and Andrew Farrell (Louisville), midfielder Mikey Lopez (North Carolina) and forwards Jason Johnson (Virginia Commonwealth) and Eriq Zavaleta (Indiana), who are now joined by Brown and Manneh. Only Zimmerman (injury) will miss the 2013 MLS Player Combine which kicks off on Friday.
Generation adidas players are typically among the top selections in the MLS SuperDraft, and also do not count against a team's salary budget. As part of their contract, the college underclassmen also receive educational grants to continue their college education.