28 July 2015

Back to work on Tuesday with the Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game!

I'm back to work this week with one of the more appropriate assignments I can think of: calling the Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game.

Homegrown Players (HGPs) in MLS are players developed in a club's youth academy, and since the league instituted this rule in 2008, it's been a pet project of mine. I keep tabs on team academies and college players to see who the next HGPs will be, and I keep a close eye on them once they get to the MLS ranks too.

That's why I'm so excited to be in Denver this week to call the Homegrown Game, now in its second season, Tuesday night at 9pm ET on MLS LIVE, MLSsoccer.com, YouTube and simulcast on Sirius XM 94.

A select group of the league's HGPs, coached by the greatest player in U.S. history, Landon Donovan, will take on the U-20s from Mexican powerhouse Club América. I'm curious to see if the tradition of US vs. Mexico rivalries adds a little spice to this one, and I'm excited to see in person several players I've only read about and studied from afar. For soccer-heads, here's a piece from MLSsoccer.com on who to watch for tonight.

In talking to Donovan on Monday, he summed up the difference MLS academies have made by saying the final spots on team rosters used to be filled by young players with talent; "now they're real soccer players."

It's a great broadcast crew, too, with former MLS All-Star and Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon joining me as an analyst and the Seattle Sounders' Jackie Montgomery reporting from the sidelines. Veterans of MLS television will be producing the show, and it should be a fun night!

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