Issues Facing Young Players at the Top and Bottom of the MLS Table

One of the major issues that many USMNT fans have with MLS is that teams do not play their young players enough, which hampers development of young American players. This lack of playing time has been one of the main reasons for the recent trend of young Americans playing for MLS academies until they turn 18, at which point they move to Europe. This obviously creates a whole host of problems, the most significant of which is that MLS teams may very well lower investments in academies because they are losing their best players with no return on their investment.

To the credit of the league, far more young players have gotten a chance this year. This is undoubtedly a positive development, but there are two types cases that stand out where young players havent gotten a shot-

1) Good Teams Not Giving Young Guys a Chance

This type of issue could be called the "Andrew Carlton Problem". Despite Atlanta frequently having big leagues, Tata Martino has not been interested in playing Atlanta's young talented players, including Carlton, George Bello, and Brandon Vazquez. The issue has been most pronouced with Carlton, as he has generally looked good in the limited chances he has received, they've just unfortunately been few and far between.

A similar case has taken place in New York City with Jonathan Lewis, who despite playing well when given a chance has found minutes tough to come by. Lewis's case may be even worse than Carlton's, as a good argument can be made that Lewis should be starting over Rodney Wallace.

2) Bad Teams Not Giving Young Players a Chance

This is another type of issue that could be called the "Jackon Yueill Problem." Despite the Earthquake being trash, and Yuill looking good when he has gotten a chance, he has been on the bench. This is simply inexcusable on such a poor team. Tommy Thompson is another player that has player played this season despite the team stinking. Hopefully with their new coach, both players (and maybe even other young players like Gilbert Fuentes) get a chance.

This also applies to Orlando, where talented guys like Pierre da Silva and Cam Lindley (and while not a young player anymore, throw Jose Villareal in there)

Overall, while every case is different, hopefully MLS teams learn from this season, and address these types of issues going forward. While hardly a novel solution, allowing teams to fully profit from the sale of one of their homegrown players would be a huge step in the right direction, and would hopefully incentive teams into giving young talent a real chance to shine.

This is a FanPost written by a member of our blog's community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the feelings or beliefs of the blog itself or the staff.