The New York Cosmos just lost United States youth international Haji Wright, who has opted to head to EUrope as he continues his development, joining Bundesliga side Schalke 04. The club's work with Wright and fellow youth international Alexis Velela is obviously being noted, however, as on Friday, the club announced that they had reached an agreement with U-17 international Eric Calvillo.
Calvillo is a traditional box-to-box midfielder, and like Wright, is a Southern California native. As usual, there has been no announcement about the details of the agreement, but Head Coach Gio Savarese had the following to say on his addition:
"Eric is a talented player with great potential. We are committed to developing young players and offering them a pathway in professional soccer. Last year we added the B team, and this year our fully funded Academy will start. Players like Eric Calvillo and Alexis Velela are part of this investment."
While MLS owners clearly want US players to develop here (likely to pad their own wallets, more than help the national team), the reality is that these youngsters are probably far better off giving themselves the option to head to Europe if they so choose, where they'll face better competition than they will at any level in the United States. They'll also have more freedom to choose where they play, picking a situation that best suits them, instead of being stuck with the silly process MLS players are subject to when moving from franchise to franchise. As long as this is the case, the Cosmos will continue to be an attractive option to the best talents the country has to offer, and MLS ownership will be cranky.
With that said, welcome to New York, Eric!