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MLS Stat Sheet: Minutes played by academy products vs. designated players

Tyler Adams. 19 years old, full-time starter and the only player here with full U.S. men's national team caps.  Started in the academy at 12 years old, got his first professional contract at 16 years old with Red Bulls II (29 appearances) and first minutes in MLS at 17 years old (26 appearances so far). (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Pro Soccer USA contributor Tutul Rahman keeps a running spreadsheet of minutes played by Major League Soccer’s academy players compared to the league’s big-money designated players. He updates the spreadsheet each week and makes it available to the public. 

After updating the numbers this week, Rahman noted that “52 academy products have played for their parent MLS club[s] so far this year.” You can see the professional career paths of each one, from youngest to oldest, in the image below. 

Last month, Rahman used this data in his article about this year’s top MLS academies and the players who make them.

“Much like prioritizing the near term over the long with personal finances, not every club has invested or prioritized academies,” Rahman wrote. “Unlike [Targeted Allocation Money] signings, the impact of an academy isn’t immediate.  It also comes out of the owner’s pocket, unlike most MLS salaries or allocation money. It is difficult to put a number on the investment behind academies as MLS clubs keep that information private.”

He’s also tapped this information for a story on how MLS compares to other leagues around the world in playing domestic talent

You can check out this week’s spreadsheet here: Academy vs DP Minutes. For more from Rahman, take a look at all of his stories (including his comprehensive MLS Trade Value Rankings) here.




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