Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Generation adidas is a joint venture between Major League Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation aimed to raise the level of young soccer talent in the United States. The program, sponsored by adidas, encourages early entry (without college graduation) of American players into MLS. Until 2005, the program was sponsored by Nike and was called Project-40.
Carlos Parra was the first Project-40 player when he signed with the league and was allocated to the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 1997. Since then, the program had its shares of successes (Tim Howard, Josh Wolff, DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra, Bobby Convey, Eddie Gaven, and numerous others) and failures (Nino Da Silva , Barry Swift , Maurizio Rocha , Judah Cooks , Martin Klinger , etc.).
Generation adidas players do not count against the MLS senior roster and usually earn a salary not much higher than the league minimum (although in several cases, most notably Freddy Adu, that is not the case). Entering into the program automatically classifies a player as "professional" and thus, disqualifies them from playing college soccer. As a result, Generation adidas players are also guaranteed scholarships to continue their college education should their professional career not pan out.
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