When FC Dallas transferred 18-year-old academy product Alex Zendejas to Mexican side Chivas on Friday, it marked an unusual turn of events for the club. Dallas, and their head coach, Oscar Pareja, are known for keeping their Homegrown products, well, close to home. If anything, though, it proved that the team’s academy is capable of producing players ready to compete in tough international leagues like Liga MX.
But Zendejas is far from the first Homegrown Player to be sold away from his MLS team to another on the international market. Here’s a run-down of other past MLS academy products who have been sold, rather than just loaned or sent on a free transfer, to teams abroad.
Matt Miazga – The highest-profile Homegrown sale of the recent past, this New York Red Bulls product (and New Jersey native!) was sent to the Premier League’s Chelsea FC this past January.
Carlos Salcedo — This Mexican national team player joined the Real Salt Lake academy in 2012, and signed a Homegrown Player contract with the team the following year. RSL transferred him to Chivas in January 2015.
Shane O’Neill – O’Neill joined the Rapids academy in 2009 and signed with them as a Homegrown player in 2012. The Rapids sold him in 2015 to Cypriot club Apollon Limassol, and since then, O’Neill has spent loan stints at Belgian club Royal Mouscron and English League Two team Cambridge United.
Doneil Henry — Henry joined the Toronto FC academy in 2008, becoming the team’s first Homegrown Player in 2010. TFC sold him to Apollon Limassol in 2014, then went to English Premier League team West Ham United in 2015. Since November of that year, he’s been on loan to Football League Championship team Blackburn Rovers.
Richard Sanchez – After a brief period with Atletico Madrid, he joined the FC Dallas academy in 2009, then signed with the team as a Homegrown Player in 2011. In 2014, they sold him to Liga MX side Tigres UANL.
DeAndre Yedlin — This USMNT fan favorite joined the Seattle Sounders academy in 2010, signing with the senior team as a Homegrown Player in 2013. The following year, he signed a contract with Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur; he then spent the last season on loan from Spurs to Sunderland.
Andy Najar — The Honduras national team player joined the D.C. United academy in 2008, and then signed a Generation adidas contract with the team in 2010. They then loaned, then full transferred him to Belgian Pro League side Anderlecht in January 2013, where he still plays.