San Jose Earthquakes made an announcement yesterday that they have signed Emmanuel Ochoa, a 14 year-old goal keeper to a homegrown player contract.
According to MLS, a homegrown player is a player who join the league through a club's youth academy.
Players join Major League Soccer through a club’s youth academy for at least one year, and have met the necessary training and retention requirements, can sign a professional contact as a Homegrown Player. This mechanism allows the team to retain its player without subjecting him to the MLS SuperDraft.
Players signed as Homegrowns are not counted against the team’s salary budget, but those who occupy a spot on a club’s Senior Roster (spots 1-20) do count against the club’s salary budget.
The San Jose Earthquakes have signed five homegrown players all under the age of 18. That makes them the only team in the MLS with the most players under eighteen.
Emmanuel Ochoa has been in a couple soccer youth academies in his life and currently competes in the under 15 team for San Jose. He has also represented the US national team for both U-14 and U-15.
We can't wait to see another local player succeed with our local team. Congrats Emmanuel Ochoa!