By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports activities Soccer Author

Welcome to Footnotes, FOX Sports activities’ new weekly MLS column that may take you inside the key speaking factors across the league and supply perception throughout all of American soccer.

This debut version begins out West, the place the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas Metropolis will vie for the highest spot within the convention in a marquee matchup Sunday evening (7 p.m. ET, FS1, FOX Deportes and the FOX Sports activities app).

The Sounders are coming off a gut-churning 3-2 loss to Mexican membership Leon Wednesday within the Leagues Cup

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Sporting Kansas City have signed goalkeeper John Pulskamp to an MLS contract as a Homegrown player, per a Monday release from the club.

 The 18-year-old backstop will be on a three-year deal through 2022, with a club option for 2023. 

Pulskamp signed with SKC’s USL Championship affiliate Swope Park Rangers (now known as Sporting Kansas City II) prior to last season from the LA Galaxy academy. He proved to be a standout presence in between the posts, leading the team in starts with 14 and making 45 saves. He played well during SKC’s 2020

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The launch of Dallas’ USL League One team, North Texas SC, is perhaps even more substantial for the organization. Academy players can now sign Homegrown deals and get consistent professional experience if they can’t crack an MLS gameday roster.

“Our academy, because of the quality of the players and the quantity of players that we had, there was a bottleneck that made it very difficult for us to accelerate the development path of a lot of our young talent,” Hayden said. “They couldn’t start for the first team and get meaningful minutes. They were playing in an environment in

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FRISCO, Tx. —In the demanding and competitive environment of elite player development, one thing is certain: not every kid is going to turn pro.

Another piece to the evolving and improving landscape of MLS academies is the work teams have put in to help players maximize their potential on the field, while keeping pace in the classroom. For many of the players competing at this week’s Generation adidas Cup, their schooling looks vastly different than their American peers.

Even as teams become more aggressive at signing players to either USL or MLS contracts in their teenage years, college soccer remains

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Luchi Gonzalez talking to his FC Dallas team at the 2018 GA Cup | Demitrius Omphroy

Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas and a few other clubs have been recruiting out-of-territory players to their academies for several years, but both Parry and Gonzalez said the competition has increased recently. That’s partially due to MLS last year eliminating the cap on how many out-of-territory players could be in a club’s system. Prior to the change, teams in MLS’s biggest markets could only have a maximum of two out-of-area players in their academy, while smaller market clubs like SKC could have up to

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