University of Washington midfielder Cristian Roldan is among five young players who have signed with MLS on Generation adidas contracts, the league announced Thursday, and will be leaving UW after two seasons with the Huskies.
Per the league release: “Players who join MLS as part of the Generation adidas program receive the opportunity to develop their game and hone their skills at the professional level. In addition to training and playing with one of Major League Soccer’s 20 professional clubs, Generation adidas players receive educational grants to further their college education. Generation adidas players do not count against an MLS team’s salary budget.”
All five players will join the league through next Thursday’s SuperDraft. Roldan is an expected top 5 pick — possibly even the first overall pick to Orlando City, though fellow Generation adidas signee Cyle Larin from UConn has also generated similar buzz.
Roldan was the Soccer America Freshman of the Year during his first year in Seattle and was a third-team All-American as a sophomore. He participated in the 2014 MLS Homegrown Game — albeit on the opposite side with the Timbers U-23s. He also reportedly turned down similar overtures MLS last winter.
Roldan took to Twitter on Wednesday night with a farewell to the Huskies:
— Cristian Roldan⚽ (@GetActivee) January 8, 2015
Below is the full list of the 2015 Generation Adidas class.
2015 Generation adidas Players
Alex Bono GK Baldwinsville, NY Syracuse University
The junior goalkeeper had another standout season between the pipes for Syracuse, earning a NSCAA All-America First Team nod and claiming the 2014 ACC Defensive Player of the Year award. The New York native set the Syracuse single-season records for goals against average (0.55) and shutouts (12) in 2014.
Conor Donovan DF Fuquay-Varina, NC North Carolina State
Made a total of 15 appearances for North Carolina State in his freshman year, recording one goal and one assist. The young defender has trained with both the U.S. U-18 and U-20 youth national teams, scoring three international goals.
Cyle Larin FW Brampton, Ontario, Canada UConn
UConn sophomore Cyle Larin put in another notable year for the Huskies, finishing 2014 with a team high of nine goals, ranking him first in the conference in game-winners (3) and goals per game (0.56). The Brampton, Ontario native took home All-East Region First Team and All-Conference First Team honors and was named the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Cristian Roldan MF Pico Rivera, CA University of Washington
After a sophomore season that saw the California native score three goals and notch two assists, Roldan was named to the NSCAA All-America Third Team while also making the All-Far West First Team. In his first year with the Huskies, Roldan recorded seven goals and five assists in 22 appearances, earning him All-Pac 12 First Team and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors.
Romario Williams F/M Portmore, Jamaica University of Central Florida
The UCF junior earned All-Conference First Team honors for the second-straight year after notching a team high of seven goals and three assists in 17 appearances – 15 of which were starts – for the Knights in 2014. In his sophomore year, the Jamaica native was named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year while picking up NSCAA All-Northeast Region First Team and All-ACC First Team accolades.