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So some of you may remember from the high school coaching threads, the young lad I coached in both high school and club soccer, Enzo Martinez.

http://tinyurl.com/7xm6n7n is the thread.

He was a bit of a star and won a high school and club national championship before heading off to the University of North Carolina (same college that Eric Lichaj). Well he finished his junior year on a high and wona national championship with them before deciding to leave and declare himself eligible fo rthe draft....

Well yesterday he signed a Generation Adidas contract with the MLS (I will let Levi answer all the questions about the structure of US soccer, if he doesnt mind)

Generation adidas is a joint venture between Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer aimed at raising the level of young soccer talent in the United States.[1] The program, sponsored by adidas, encourages early entry (without college graduation) of American players into MLS. Until 2005, the program was sponsored by Nike and was called Project-40.[2]

Carlos Parra was the first Project-40 player when he signed with the league and was allocated to the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 1997. Since then, the program has included players such as Tim Howard, Landon Donovan, Josh Wolff, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, Yura Movsisyan, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Ben Olsen, Bobby Convey, Bakary Soumare, Sacha Kljestan, Michael Parkhurst, Danny Califf, Freddy Adu, Davide Somma, Danny Mwanga, Brad Guzan and Michael Bradley.

Generation adidas players do not count against the MLS senior roster and usually earn a much higher salary than the league minimum. Entering into the program automatically classifies a player as professional, and thus disqualifies them from playing college soccer. As a result, Generation adidas players are also guaranteed scholarships to continue their college education should their professional career not pan out.

From 1998 to 2000, MLS entered a team of Project-40 players, supplemented by other MLS players who did not get much playing time, into the A-League in the USL.

from Wiki: http://tinyurl.com/87t3usf

The way it works basically is he signs with the league and then a team chooses to draft him. Nobody knows where, but could be anywhere form 3-7 pick. Teams mentioned are New England, San Jose, Toronto, DC and Chivas LA.

Here are some articles from the MLS website:

With the 2012 MLS SuperDraft around the corner, the final additions to the draft class are being made through the Generation adidas process. Over the next week, MLSsoccer.com's college/youth expert, Travis Clark, will reveal and analyze the 2012 members of the GA class.

Today, we take a look at North Carolina midfielder Enzo Martinez, who is the latest addition to the 2012 Generation adidas class.

1. He can be a game-changer.

Best when deployed in the middle of the park, Martinez is another player who fits the bill of a classic No. 10. A clean player with the ball at his feet, he sparked North Carolina’s attack with nine goals and 10 assists, finishing with 22 goals and 20 assists during three years at UNC.

2. He’s a winner.

During his three seasons at North Carolina, Martinez reached the College Cup with the Tar Heels each year, coming up short on the first two occasions. He started both games in the most recent edition of the College Cup, where he left his mark as UNC finally captured an elusive title. Along with that accomplishment, he won three state titles in four years during high school in South Carolina.

3. He comes from a unique background.

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Martinez immigrated to Rock Hill, S.C., when he was 10 years old. After making the adjustment to a new country, he eventually played for Discoveries Soccer Club and was a standout at Northwestern High School before heading to North Carolina.

4. He already has a philanthropic side.

Off the field, Martinez has already discovered the art of giving back to the community in which he spent many of his formative years. Shortly after winning the College Cup, he hosted a soccer tournament in Rock Hill on Dec. 17 to benefit a local charity, the third straight year he’s organized the event.

5. He’s a bit like…

Paolo Cardozo. A bit more size than his Uruguyan counterpart, Martinez has all the craft and guile you’d expect from a player with South American roots.


SuperDraft menu

HomeSuperDraftSuperDraft NewsCombineCombine NewsSupplemental Draft..Generation adidas: Q&A with Enzo Martinez

UNC attacker hoping to get shot at No. 10 role in MLS

January 4, 2012

Travis Clark

MLSsoccer.com Enzo Martinez, North Carolina, Generation adidas

..It’s been a long, winding road to MLS for Uruguay native Enzo Martinez, who became the sixth player to join the 2012 Generation adidas class this week. Originally born in Montevideo, the South American playmaker will bring a South American flair to MLS this coming season.

MLSsoccer.com caught up with the recent national champion to discuss a few things ahead of Friday’s combine.

MLSsoccer.com: What are your thoughts about signing a Generation adidas deal and turning pro?

Martinez: It’s something that you dream of for a long time, and when it happens, it doesn’t yet hit you as much as you think it would. It’s an honor to be a part of Generation adidas and to be one of the people they picked. It’s truly an honor.

MLSsoccer.com: Reflecting back on your three years at North Carolina, how did that improve you as a player?

Martinez: I think one of the best things wasn’t so much about the soccer. It’s the belief, you learn more about yourself. It happens to a lot of players where they are really good players back home for their club, then they go to college and in the first year they don’t get the opportunity to play that much, or they’re coming off the bench and that messes with the player’s [head].

Those players that can overcome that first year and be successful, that’s something that no person, no coach can teach you. It’s something I’ve learned, one of the best things I think I learned in college, and of course the soccer side as well.

MLSsoccer.com: How sweet was it to win the national championship with UNC and go out on top?

Martinez: It was the only way I wanted to go, to be honest. That was my goal from the first day I walked in to North Carolina, and I was able to achieve it my last day of playing wearing the blue.

MLSsoccer.com: To fans that haven’t seen you play, how would you describe yourself on the field?

Martinez: I’m from Uruguay, so my style is South American. I love having the ball on my feet, love putting balls through to people, taking people on and helping the team as much as possible.

MLSsoccer.com: Do you have a preferred position?

Martinez: I would love a No. 10 [role], the guy between the forwards and midfielders. I wouldn’t mind playing up top either or on the side.

To be honest, I’m just looking forward to being able to be on a team where I’m needed and that’s where I want to go. Whatever position I’m needed, I’ll play.


He will have opportunities to come train in England in the MLS off season due to his agent's connections.

To say im proud of this kid does not even scratch the surface, his upbringing was, lets just say tough, he has, thru hard work, sacrifice and sheer determination, given himself a great opportunity.

Thought some of you who have heard me talk about him, and have followed him in some case would be pleased to know, you will be able to watch him on TV next year ;)

ps the draft is Thursday in Kansas City, MO at noon, and will be on ESPN 2 and 3, Luckily I wil be there.....will post something here if possible about where he gets drafted.

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apparently though he was the best player on the pitch, from MLS.com:

SuperDraft menu

HomeSuperDraftSuperDraft NewsCombineCombine NewsSupplemental Draft..MLS Combine: adiPure, adiZero can't find net in 0-0 draw

Martinez skies penalty, 'keepers steal the show in scoreless affair

January 6, 2012

Travis Clark

MLSsoccer.com Evan James and Tyler Polak vie for possession as adiZero and adiPure tied 0-0 in the second game of the 2012 Combine

Photo Credit: Major League Soccer ..LAUDERHILL, Fla. – Enzo Martinez missed a penalty in the 80th minute of the second game of the 2012 MLS Combine as adiPure and adiZero drew 0-0.

Martinez (North Carolina) – a Generation adidas signing who was the best player on the pitch for long stretches – skied his spot kick before the final whistle, as neither side could find the back of the net thanks in part to the strong goalkeeping of Ryan Meara (Fordham) for adiZero and Chris Blais (South Florida) of adiPure.

Early chances fell the way of adiPure. Sam Garza (UC Santa Barbara) found an unmarked Arthur Ivo (SMU) outside the 18-yard box in the 14th minute, but after a touch, Ivo curled a shot that Meara punched away.

It didn’t take long after that for adiZero to threaten, nearly scoring four minutes later. An adiZero corner kick was headed out as far as Martinez, who took a one-time volley that deflected off an adiPure defender and hit the crossbar.

Each side continued to probe back and forth, looking to break the deadlock in the first half. AdiPure went close again in the 26th minute, when Garza played a nice one-two in the box with Ivo and blasted a right-footed shot off the post.

Ivo continued to make his presence felt in the adiPure midfield, and he had yet another chance in the 37th minute, going on a long, box-to-box run only to fire high of the frame.

Scoring opportunities were few and far between in the second half. In the 48th minute, forward Dom Dwyer (South Florida) combined well with his adiZero teammate Evans Frimpong (Delaware) to give Frimpong space in the box, but center back Austin Berry (Louisville) closed the ground quickly to block Frimpong’s shot.

AdiZero went close again in the 64th minute. Slick one-touch passing outside of adiPure’s box opened up space for Martinez to take a low, right-footed curling shot with the outside of his foot that Blais pushed away for a corner kick.

In the 80th minute, Warren Creavalle (Central Florida) drew a penalty kick when Diogo de Almeida (SMU) fouled him in the area. Martinez stepped to the spot for adiZero, but blasted the penalty over the goal, drawing a final whistle from the referee.

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north carolina are called the tar heels?!
Tar Heel (or Tarheel) is a nickname applied to the state and inhabitants of North Carolina as well as the nickname of the University of North Carolina athletic teams, students, alumni, and fans.

The exact etymology of the nickname is unknown, but most experts believe its roots come from the fact that tar, pitch and turpentine created from the vast pine forests were one of North Carolina's most important exports early in the state's history.

Because the exact history of the term is unknown, a number of legends have developed to explain it. Many believe it to be a nickname given during the U.S. Civil War, because of the state's importance on the Confederate side, and the fact that the troops "stuck to their ranks like they had tar on their heels".

The term "Tar Heel" gained popularity during the Civil War.

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From the Guardian:

Enzo Martinez, North Carolina. Midfield

A smallish but quick attacking midfielder, Martinez is a picture of the American dream – his family moved from Uruguay to the United States when he was 10 years old, and he made his way to play soccer at North Carolina. An explosive player with the ball at his feet, few players in this draft posses his passing ability.

Possible Destinations: Houston Dynamo, Philadelphia Union


I head out to the draft tomorrow, its held in conjunction with the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) convention.

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north carolina are called the tar heels?!

It's just the nickname of the university's teams

Myself, I lean more towards the other side of tobacco road (what with being a Yankee and all... ;) ):


To legions of otherwise reasonable adults, it is a conflict that surpasses sports; it is locals against outsiders, elitists against populists, even good against evil… The rivalry may be a way of aligning oneself with larger philosophic ideals — of choosing teams in life — a tradition of partisanship that reveals the pleasures and even the necessity of hatred.

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17th overall pick by real salt lake! His agent was flabbergasted he was so low, but thought him being a foreigner counted against him.

We do however think its a great fit for him! They play the right way and are great people from what I hear. So well done to the lad.

Posting off the blackberry, will post more later.

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