MLS has player development problem 

November, 26, 2012
11/26/12
12:10
PM ET

For Major League Soccer fans concerned about the role of young talent in the league, the early winter waiver wires brought less than encouraging news regarding the direction MLS is headed in terms of developing young players.

As seasons gradually ended for teams across the U.S. and Canada, several chose to part ways with so-called "homegrown" players, only a couple of years into the ambitious program that was supposed to bring MLS up to par with leagues elsewhere in signing and developing local talent.

Instead, a number of young homegrowns entering a second or third year of their initial MLS contracts have been finding themselves without a team, rather than re-signed, after clubs declined to pick up their options. Promising young players Ruben Luna and Bryan Leyva in Dallas, Oscar Cordon and Keith Makubuya in Toronto, Brian Sylvestre in Vancouver and Nico Muniz at Real Salt Lake are all at least temporarily without teams.

Brent Latham is a soccer commentator who covers the youth national teams for ESPN.com. Based in Guatemala, he has attended youth World Cups from Peru to Egypt, and places in between.

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