New York City FC made some history earlier this week when the club agreed to transfer Homegrown defender Joe Scally to Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. The 16-year-old Scally yielded the highest transfer fee ever paid to an MLS team for a player of his age, and that fee could become even higher after potential bonuses that could push it to among the highest ever for an MLS player transferred to Europe.
Given his age, the profile of the team and league Scally is off to, and the price tag, it's certainly a landmark moment for the league. However, while he might be the youngest, Scally isn't the first Homegrown talent to take this path. With that in mind, it's worth taking a look back at the other Homegrown transfers in MLS history; here's the list, in chronological order.
Andy Najar (D.C. United)
Najar has been around for a while now, so it can be easy to forget that the D.C. United product is still just 26 years old. Najar was developed by DCU after moving from Honduras at just 13, and worked his way up through the club's youth system before eventually becoming the second player to sign with the first team following goalkeeper Bill Hamid. In 2010, Najar won the MLS Rookie of the Year award after scoring five goals in 22 starts and followed that up with a 5g/6a line in 2011.
He didn't quite match that output in 2012, failing to score a goal and recording four assists, but his youth and raw talent were enticing enough that Belgian Pro League side Anderlecht took him on a one-month loan in 2013 before agreeing to a permanent transfer at a fee of $3 million. Najar is still playing for Anderlecht, scoring 11 goals in 126 appearances and even scoring in 2-1 defeat against Arsenal in a UEFA Champions League match in 2014.
Richard Sanchez (FC Dallas)
Sanchez signed with Dallas in 2011 on a Homegrown deal, but the goalkeeper also found himself buried on the depth chart and never made a first-team appearance for the club. After a loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL, where he made 14 appearances, Sanchez was sold to Tigres, where he stayed from 2014-2017 and didn't wind up making a league appearance. After a stint on loan with Tampico Madero in the Mexican second division, Sanchez was released and returned to MLS with the Chicago Fire, where he's made 27 appearances since 2017.
DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
Yedlin burst onto the MLS scene in 2013 after playing for the Seattle Sounders' youth academy and starring for a dominant University of Akron side for two seasons in 2011-2012. Yedlin was an MLS All-Star his first season in 2013, vaulting his way into the USMNT picture and seeing the overseas interest really ramp up after his standout showing at the 2014 World Cup.
The pacy fullback is one of the best pure athletes virtually any time he steps on the field, and is also a true dual threat from the position as a solid defender that is able to get forward and create chances from out wide. After a whirlwind of rumors and speculation, Yedlin was sold to Tottenham Hotspur in 2014 for a reported fee of $4 million. After a 23-match stint on loan with Sunderland, Yedlin has latched on with Newcastle and become a legitimate fixture at the EPL level, racking up 96 appearances since 2016 and remaining a key part of the future for the USMNT.
Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas)
Zendejas signed with FC Dallas on a Homegrown contract in 2014, but only made eight appearances and played 187 minutes in 2015 and not featuring in any MLS matches in 2016. The winger was talented enough, though, that he drew interest from Liga MX and was eventually sold to Chivas Guadalajara for a fee reported to be around $500,000. He made eight appearances for Chivas before getting loaned to sister club Zacatepec in 2017, but is unfortunately currently out of action due to a torn ACL.
Lalo Fernandez (Real Salt Lake)
Fernandez signed as a Homegrown player with Real Salt Lake in 2012, but the goalkeeper never made a first-team appearance in his entire tenure with the organization from 2012-2017, instead making 50 appearances for USL side Real Monarchs. In 2017, RSL transferred him to Tigres UANL of Liga MX, where he also has yet to make a league appearance.
Another Whitecaps product, Adekugbe was the seventh Homegrown signing in the club's history when he was inked in 2013. The fullback had trouble getting consistent playing time, though, starting just 10 games and making 16 appearances over five seasons from 2013-2017. After a couple of stints on loan overseas, Adekugbe was transferred from the Whitecaps to Norwegian side Valerenga in 2018 and has made 49 league appearances for the club since his arrival.
Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls)
Now known as one of the bright young talents and faces of the future for the United States men's national team, Adams got his start with the Red Bulls Academy back in 2011, before he was signed to the club's USL outfit New York Red Bulls II. After becoming a key contributor for the Red Bulls II team that won the 2016 USL Cup while also making spot appearances for the first team, Adams broke out in 2017, starting 22 MLS games, bagging two goals and four assists and showcasing a versatile skillset that saw him play as both a holding midfielder and as a fullback.
He started 26 more games in 2018, recording seven assists in 2,328 minutes before he was transferred to RB Leipzig of the Bundesliga, where he played under former Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch before Marsch moved to RB Salzburg this season. Still just 20 years old, Adams has immense upside and can already be considered one of the most talented young players ever to ply his trade overseas after using MLS as his launching point.
Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps)
If Adams is one of the most talented youngsters to ever get sold overseas to a European club, it would be hard to argue against Davies being the most talented. The 19-year-old Canadian international joined the Whitecaps residency system when he was just 14 before eventually signing with Whitecaps FC 2, their former USL side, in 2016, making him the youngest player in the league at the time at 15 years, three months old. He would eventually sign a first-team contract with the Whitecaps later that year, and made nine starts during the 2017 season that saw him tally just one assist in 1,053 minutes.
It was in 2018 when Davies really broke out, racking up eight goals and 11 assists in 27 starts, with scouts from all over the world frequenting Whitecaps matches to see him play. It's not hard to understand why. Davies is explosive and well-rounded, possessing the athleticism and speed to burn by opponents, but also the intelligence and vision to find teammates and create goals. The result? In 2018, the Whitecaps sold him to Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich for a massive $13.5 million fee that included performance bonuses that could push it up to $22 million.
Henry Wingo (Seattle Sounders)
Another Seattle product, Wingo signed with the Sounders first team in 2017 after coming up with the club's academy and starring for three seasons at the University of Washington, where he made the All-Pac-12 second team in 2015 and 2016.
Wingo made 22 first-team appearances, and showed flashes of potential, but found himself buried on the depth chart behind more established options and mostly made his mark with Tacoma Defiance of the USL, where he scored six goals and dished out a pair of assists in 31 games. With minutes hard to come by, the Sounders eventually transferred Wingo to Norwegian side Molde FK earlier this season, where he was reunited with former Sounders teammate Magnus Wolff-Eikrem.