Eric Miller, Timbers U-23s, 2014 MLS SuperDraft
Photo by David Blair

Major League Soccer signs 3 defenders to Generation adidas deals, capping 2014 class at 7

The 2014 Generation adidas class is officially set.

Major League Soccer today announced on Tuesday the signings of Christian Dean (University of California), AJ Cochran (University of Wisconsin), Damion Lowe (University of Hartford) to Generation adidas contracts, completing the 2014 class of seven players.

The four other Generation adidas signings are goalkeeper Andre Blake (Connecticut), Marlon Hairston (Louisville), Eric Miller (Creighton) and Ntokozo “Schillo” Tshuma (Maryland). MLS has also signed two of the top college seniors in forward Patrick Mullins (Maryland) and Steve Neumann (Georgetown).

Miller played with the Timbers U-23s USL PDL side from 2012-2013 scoring a total of 3 goals and contributing 1 assist in 12 league games played. He helped the team to back-to-back PDL playoff appearances, reaching the Western Conference semifinal in 2012 and the Western Conference final in 2013. This past season, Miller was named one of Timbers U-23s co-captains. Fellow Timbers U-23s teammates Mark Sherrod and Reinaldo Brenes are also all invited to the 2014 adidas MLS Combine which is set to begin this Friday in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Generation adidas players do not count against an MLS team’s salary budget. Players who join MLS as part of the Generation adidas program receive educational grants to further their college education.

MLS also added six college seniors (list below) and five youth internationals to the MLS Player Combine list.

Braian Acuna (Argentina), Quentin C.E. Christina (Curacao), Andre Lewis (Jamaica), Ronny Mendoza (Ecuador) and Stefano Rjissel (Suriname) – were also added to the Combine list. Both Christina and Rijissel were invited to the Combine as a result of their impressive play in the inaugural Caribbean Combine that took place in Antigua from January 2-4.  

Player Position Citizenship School
John Berner GK USA Southern Illinois
Marco Franco D/M USA University of California, Irvine
Richard Marquez D USA University of Redlands (DIII)
Martin Ontiveros M/F USA Furman
Justin Portillo M USA Coastal Carolina
Joshua Wood F USA Messiah University

2014 Generation adidas Players

D Christian Dean -- East Palo Alto, California (University of California)

The junior defender started 55 straight games for the Golden Bears, tallying six assists and one goal across those matches.

D AJ Cochran -- St. Louis, Missouri (University of Wisconsin)

The junior defender was named a first-team All American while logging a team leading 1,807 minutes in 2013 and scoring three goals.

D Damion Lowe -- Kingston, Jamaica (University of Hartford)

The junior defender, the son of former Kansas City forward Onandi Lowe, captained the Hawks and started in 19 games while scoring five goals and adding two assists.

GK Andre Blake -- Mary Pen, Jamaica (University of Connecticut)

The junior goalkeeper was named an All-American for the third straight year, earning back-to-back First Team nods in 2012 and 2013, and has been a member of the Jamaican U-17 and U-20 national teams.

M Marlon Hairston -- Jackson, Miss. (University of Louisville)

The sophomore midfielder and member of the US U-20 national team pool played in 39 games during his first two seasons, contributing six goals and five assists.

D Eric Miller -- Woodbury, Minn. (Creighton University)

The junior defender started 62 of 63 games during his tenure at Creighton and represented the US in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

F Ntokozo “Schillo” Tshuma -- Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (University of Maryland)

The sophomore forward helped Maryland advance to the 2013 Men’s College Cup final, scoring six goals on the season.