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Generation Adidas


Luke_Wilbur
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BALTIMORE, MD (Thursday, January 13, 2005) - Major League Soccer and adidas

today announced the launch of Generation adidas, the first major initiative

as part of the partnership agreement signed in November between adidas and

MLS - the largest in the League's history. The announcement was made at the

58th annual National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)

Convention in Baltimore, site of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft on Friday, Jan. 14.

 

Specifically, Generation adidas is Major League Soccer's new youth player

development program designed to identify and nurture the elite youth soccer

talent in the United States. The program kicks off with the signing of 12 of

the top young soccer players in the nation to MLS and adidas endorsement

contracts. The first members of Generation adidas include: UCLA assist

leader Chad Barrett; 16-year-old U.S. National Team midfielder Nikolas

Besagno; the nation's assist leader Hunter Freeman of Virginia; South

Carolina star goalkeeper Brad Guzan; 16-year-old forward Quavas Kirk;

two-time NCAA champion and Indiana defender Drew Moor; classy Wake Forest

defender Michael Parkhurst; Hermann Trophy finalist and forward Ryan Pore;

young UCLA central defender Tim Ward; U.S. youth national team midfielder

Christian Jimenez; St. Louis University leading scorer and Under-20

international forward Will John; and Freddy Adu's strike partner on U.S.

youth national teams Jamie Watson.

 

"Major League Soccer has become the first choice destination for the very

best young U.S. players. MLS is excited to join forces with adidas to

create Generation adidas, which will improve upon and expand our commitment

to identify and develop the top talent in our country," said Ivan Gazidis,

MLS Deputy Commissioner. "The increased opportunities provided by Generation

adidas will enable us to further diversity our talent pool and to elevate

the level of competition and skill of our young American players."

 

 

 

The youth players who join Major League Soccer as part of the Generation

adidas program will receive unprecedented opportunities to develop their

game and hone their skills at the professional level in their home country.

In addition to training and playing on a weekly basis with one of Major

League Soccer's 12 professional clubs, players will also have the

opportunity to compete in the soon to be named developmental league, to be

launched later this year. Also in the future, squads of Generation adidas

players will participate in matches and tours featuring international

opponents in the U.S. and overseas. Generation adidas players will also

receive educational grants to further their college education.

 

"As the global and U.S. market leader, adidas continues to produce the best

products for athletes and the best opportunities for athletes to excel" said

Kevin Ross, Business Unit Manager for Soccer, adidas America. "Generation

adidas is another example of this commitment aimed specifically to the

future stars of MLS. Our new exclusive sponsorship of MLS provides a

tremendous compliment to our ongoing investment in youth soccer."

 

The first class of Generation adidas signings will be eligible for the 2005

MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, which will be held on Friday, January 14

at the Baltimore Convention Center in conjunction with the 58th annual NSCAA

Convention.

 

Barrett, Freeman, John and Ward will attempt to help the U.S. Under-20

National Team earn a berth for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships as

CONCACAF regional qualifying takes place from Jan. 12-16 at The Home Depot

Center. Moor was a leader of the Indiana University squad that captured the

2004 NCAA College Cup, while Guzan is one of the top young goalkeepers in

the nation. Besagno and Kirk are the attacking stars of the current Under-17

National Team while Pore is one of three finalists for the Hermann Trophy,

recognizing the top collegiate soccer player in the country. Jimenez, a

veteran of the U.S. Under-17 program, is recognized as one of the country's

elite midfielders and recently concluded his first college season at the

University of South Florida. Watson, a former teammate of Freddy Adu on the

Under-17 National Team, is a speedy forward for the University of North

Carolina while Parkhurst is one the country's top defenders at Wake Forest

University.

 

 

 

The partnership between MLS and adidas incorporates every aspect of the

game, from product creation, to grassroots programs, television rights and

retail distribution. Under the agreement, adidas will be granted exclusive

rights to sales of all MLS League and team-branded product, including

apparel and equipment, and exclusive broadcast advertising rights for all

MLS games during the next 10 years. Beginning in 2005 with Major League

Soccer's 10th season, adidas apparel and equipment will be featured in major

retail stores across the country as part of extensive national retail

development plans for an expanded MLS product offering. Additionally, adidas

will develop MLS specific advertising and marketing programs along with

commercially supporting every team.

 

 

 

adidas has been a partner of MLS since the League's inception and in 2005

will become the sponsor of the League's two expansion clubs: CD Chivas USA

(Los Angeles, CA) and Real Salt Lake (Salt Lake City, UT), as well as the

Colorado Rapids (Denver, CO), FC Dallas (Dallas, TX), New England Revolution

(Boston, MA) and the San Jose Earthquakes (San Jose, CA). Beginning in 2006,

adidas will hold the exclusive rights to outfit all of the League's 12

teams, as well as supplying the League's Official Match Ball.

 

 

 

About adidas-Salomon AG

 

adidas is a global designer, developer and marketer of athletic footwear,

apparel and accessories with the mission to be the leading sports brand in

the world. adidas America is a subsidiary of adidas-Salomon AG, a

corporation that also includes sports brands Salomon, TaylorMade, Bonfire

and Mavic.

 

About Major League Soccer

 

Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top flight

professional soccer league in the United States and features many stars from

the U.S. and around the world. The 12 teams in MLS are: the Chicago Fire,

Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles

Galaxy, MetroStars, New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes, 2004 MLS

Cup Champion D.C. United and the two newest expansion teams, Real Salt Lake

and Club Deportivo Chivas USA, which begin play in 2005. Major League

Soccer's tenth season kicks off on April 2, 2005 with the nationally

televised matchup between CD Chivas USA and reigning champion D.C. United

(ABC Sports at 3:00 p.m. ET). For more information about MLS, log on to the

League's official Web site at www.MLSnet.com.

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