The 2016 MLS Draft is expected to be heavy in defensive options, and midfielders, but now the draft is sure to have at least one top-end goalkeeping prospect.
Clemson University standout Andrew Tarbell has signed a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer, sources confirmed to Goal USA on Thursday. The deal makes Tarbell the first member of the 2016 Generation adidas class, making him eligible for the 2016 MLS Draft, set for January 14 in Baltimore.
The 6-foot-3 shot stopper turned heads at the NCAA College Cup, as he helped lead Clemson to the NCAA final, where the Tigers lost to Jordan Morris and Stanford.
A red-shirt junior and second-team All-American, Tarbell had been expected to declare for the draft as a graduating junior, but MLS moved to sign him to the Generation adidas class instead. Tarbell is regarded as the top goalkeeping prospect available in the MLS Draft, with Kentucky's Callum Irving the only other goalkeeper in the draft pool considered a first-round value.
Georgetown defender Joshua Yaro and Wake Forest midfielder Jack Harrison are believed to be the players at the top of the Generation adidas priority list, though neither has signed a deal yet. Sources tell Goal USA that Yaro has chosen an agent, and could still make a move to Europe.
The Generation adidas program is used by MLS to sign the top college underclassmen and youth stars to contracts and make them available for the MLS Draft. MLS is expected to sign between 5-7 players to its Generation class.
Other players being considered to be signed include Akron midfielder Richie Laryea, Virginia midfielder Jake Rozhansky, Creighton forward Fabian Herbers, Lousville defender Tim Kubel, Syracuse midfielder Julian Buescher, North Carolina midfielder Omar Holness and UCSB forward Nick DePuy.