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Liga MX teams warned of Barcelona-like sanctions if they keep signing young Americans

Is this good news for MLS?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Liga MX teams could relent on their scouting efforts in the United States after the Mexico Football Federation (FMF) have warned them about possible rule violations. The Mexican clubs could face the same sanctions that Barcelona faced back in April of 2014 for breaking Article 19 of FIFA's Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.

According to Article 19, players under the age of 18 are prohibited from international transfers unless special circumstances are in play. You can find a list of those, which includes if the parents of the player move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to football, right here.

You may remember a young American by the name of Ben Lederman who was removed from Barcelona's famed La Masia academy during FIFA's crackdown of Barcelona's transfer policy.

It turns out that Liga MX clubs may be in hot water for poaching young American players as well. According to ESPNFC, Ventura Alvarado and U.S. youth internationals Juan Pablo Ocegueda and Joe Gallardo were bought by Liga MX teams in direct violation of Article 19.

A FIFA spokesperson told ESPN FC that the world's governing body is "aware" of the issue of American minors playing in Mexico, but added that "we are not in a position to comment on any investigations that are ongoing so as not to compromise the process, nor do we provide any comments as to whether or not any investigations are underway."

There is a vast amount of youth talent in the USA and Liga MX offers an established academy system unlike MLS had until very recently. It's no surprise to see players lured to Mexico with promises of a better development environment. Perhaps now that FIFA is taking a stance against such signings and Liga MX have no choice but to comply with the warnings, American clubs will benefit and be able to retain their youth players.

Slowly but surely avenues to countries other than the U.S. are shutting down for young American players. It's getting harder and harder for youth players under the age of 18 to secure moves abroad. It's up to the MLS academies to improve in every aspect and make sure to not do a disservice to all these talented young players.