Chief Executive of US Club Soccer Kevin Payne expects to see an increase in the number of African players in the MLS.
The former President and General Manager of DC United manager believes clubs have invested in their talent search and academies.
Two years ago, Sporting Kansas City signed 18-year-old Latif Blessing, who was adjudged the Most Valuable Player in the Ghana Premier League, from Liberty Professionals.
Payne-who prepared Freddy Adu’s first professional contract- is optimistic this trend will continue in the MLS.
”I think the MLS clubs until very recently did not have enough of money invested into scouting and their player development mechanisms through their academies to make proper use of young African players,” he told Joy Sports.
”They couldn’t necessarily identify them and then if they really identified them, they weren’t really in the position to help them to become real professionals.
”I suspect that you will begin to see more young African players brought in now that there are more and more clubs in the MLS that have truly ambitious academy programs.
”I think you will start to see 18 and 19 year-old players- may not be the finished products but may have great promise.
”I think you will tend to see more African players coming to the MLS in the next few years than in the past.”
US Club Soccer targets to foster the growth and development of soccer clubs in the United States to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages in every club.