MLS announces 2018 Generation Adidas class ahead of draft

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Major League Soccer has locked down six collegiate underclassmen who will be eligible to be selected later this month in Philadelphia

Major League Soccer on Friday announced the 2018 Generation Adidas class, which includes six collegiate underclassmen who will become professional players through the 2018 MLS draft on Jan. 19 in Philadelphia.

Goal first reported the six members of the 2018 class that features Ema Twumasi (Wake Forest), Francis Atuahene (Michigan), Mason Toye (Indiana), Joao Moutinho (Akron), Mo Adams (Syracuse) and Gordon Wild (Maryland).

MLS was able to secure the services of the top underclassmen targets it went after this winter, with North Carolina State defender Manny Perez being the leading exception. Sources tell Goal that Perez turned down a Generation Adidas offer to return to school.

The league also announced the signings of three additional collegiate players ahead of the draft, with seniors Jon Bakero (Wake Forest), Tomas Hilliard-Arce (Stanford) and Chris Mueller (Wisconsin) becoming eligible to be selected later this month.

Meet the full Generation Adidas class:

FRANCIS ATUAHENE. The Michigan speedster has been a top prospect for two years, and could definitely be the first pick in the draft. There are some questions about his ability to combine, but he has the wheels and ability to go at defenders that teams love.

JOAO MOUTINHO. The Sporting Lisbon academy product turned heads as a freshman at Akron, displaying impressive technical quality and a good feel for the game. Though used mostly as a central defender at Akron, some project him as a left back in the pros while others see him as a potential defensive midfield option.

EMA TWUMASI. The Wake Forest sophomore generated plenty of attention for his exploits on one of the nation's top teams, with his 10 goals and seven assists not telling the full story about his potential as a dangerous wing option.

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MASON TOYE. The Indiana freshman was an instant-impact attacking player for the Hoosiers, earning Big Ten freshman of the year honors and All-Big Ten first team honors.

MO ADAMS. The Syracuse sophomore and England native is a hard-nosed central midfielder who could help bring some bite to the midfield for a team in need of a tough presence.

GORDON WILD. The Maryland junior had a disappointing 2017 season, and the general consensus among scouts is that he won't pan out as a pro. But the German striker still secured a GA deal on the strength of a standout sophomore season.

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