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CPL Recruitment Strategy

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I spent about 15 minutes researching MLS outbound transfer history pre-2014. It literally only takes 15 minutes because there have been so few transfers where fees were paid. They breakdown into 3 groups:

1. US Internationals. You all know these guys. All due respect to Brad Friedel, it really started with Tim Howard, went through Dempsey,  Adu, Altidore, etc. Many were IMG kids, but most had some NCAA experience.

2. Foreign players. Almost none before 2014. The most high profile South American transfer before Montero was Juan Carlos Toja to Steau Bucharest for 1.5m in 2008. Years later the caps sell Davide Chiumentio back to Zurich for $300k. This is biggest record Euro transfer up to that point!

3. Non-US NCAA grads. Lots here. Started with Dipsy Solelwane, then Damani Ralph, Bakary Soumare, Kei Kamara, etc.

I find this last group the most interesting to the topic at hand because this group requires very little investment in scouting. The players are already in the US playing in NCAA where there are 100 odd Canadians to measure them against. 

You could be more granular and look at players like Schaale who have European experience prior to joing NCAA. I found literally 100 guys born between '96-00 who came from academies in Germany, Spain, Holland, etc. with substantial youth and often lower tier pro experience playing NCAA div. 1 right now.

Currently, I'd say there is no recruitment strategy in place in the CPL beyond what we've seen with the Open Trials and the USports deal (both hugely successful I'd argue). Managers have otherwise been left to their own devices, as they probably should be to an extent. 

That said, in year 2 and beyond, I'd rather not see DPs put in place to try to sell overpriced seats. Rather, I'd like to see a strategy to find cheap young players who can be sold on for profit.

The NCAA strategy is but one, and I'd love to hear others. Although, I did want to point out that investing in "cheap" South & Central American players to sell on later seems to be quite a myth in MLS terms pre-2014.

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Lots of talented English players aged 20/21 being released by Premiership and Championship clubs every May. Many have been at clubs since age 9 and been on professional contracts since age 18 playing in the U23s or on loan at Tier 4/5. Some of these Players will be prime for 1/2 seasons CPL 30/40 senior games in and sell back to English/European clubs. Many are technically gifted and intelligent players but just need a chance ! 

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