Talented MLS academy players have passed through the Generation adidas Cup throughout the years of its various iterations.
After assessing some of the top talent that used the tournament as a stepping stone, below is the Best XI of players that competed for an MLS academy.
An asterisk symbol indicates players who were previously selected as 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR picks.
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- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2019 with Chicago Fire FC
- Current club: Chicago Fire FC
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2018 with New York City FC
- Current club: New York City FC
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2018 and 2019 with Seattle Sounders FC
- Current Club: Seattle Sounders FC
Atencio was part of a Seattle squad that won back-to-back trophies at the Generation adidas Cup. The midfielder played at the 2018 edition of the tournament, helping Seattle win the Premier Division. The following year, Seattle became the first MLS team to win the Champions Division, defeating Valencia by a 1-0 score. Current Sounders first-team players Danny Leyva and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez were also crucial in 2019.
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2014 with Real Salt Lake
- Current club: Real Salt Lake*
The Real Salt Lake stalwart helped his side reach the final against Stoke City, where they came up short on penalty kicks. The 25-year-old center back has more than 160 MLS appearances since he signed his first contract in 2014.
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2017 and 2018 with Atlanta United
- Current club: Arminia Bielefeld (Bundesliga)
The talented left back was a dominant player at the youth level, helping the Atlanta United Academy achieve success at different levels. He played at two straight Generation adidas Cups before finally breaking through with the Atlanta first team in 2020. This past winter, the 20-year-old completed a move to German Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefeld.
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2015 with FC Dallas
- Current club: Juventus (Serie A)
One of the most well-known and accomplished alumni from the FC Dallas Academy, McKennie played at the tournament in 2015. Reggie Cannon was among his teammates that year.
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2017 and 2018 with New York City FC
- Current club: Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2016, 2017 and 2018 with LA Galaxy
- Current club: LA Galaxy*
Signed back in 2018, Alvarez has played at a handful of Generation adidas Cups, tormenting opposing defenses with his passing and vision. He scored three goals and added a pair of assists in five games at the 2017 edition.
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2016 with FC Dallas
- Current club: FC Dallas*
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2019 with San Jose Earthquakes
- Current club: San Jose Earthquakes*
- Generation adidas Cup year(s): 2011 with LA Galaxy
- Current club: FC Dallas
- Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas – 2018 and 2019)
- Zack Steffen (Philadelphia Union – 2012)
- Chituru Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC – 2019)
- Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas – 2016)
- Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas – 2017)
- Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids – 2014)
- Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City – 2017 and 2018)
- Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution – 2011)
Generation adidas Cup, North America’s Most Important Youth Tournament is Back