COMMERCE CITY Colo. (From MLS Reports) - In his annual State of the League address on Monday Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber touted this year's rookie class including defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez who have helped lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to its fifth MLS Cup appearance.
Many of those other players members of the league's Generation adidas will get to showcase their abilities in an 11-day trip to South Africa later this month.
Rapids midfielder Ciaran O'Brien and defender Rob Valentino will be representing Colorado on the roster.
The players 18 of the top young players in MLS will play in three friendlies against Premier Soccer League reserves attend the World Cup 2010 official draw in Cape Town and tour Nelson Mandela's House in Soweto Soccer City Stadium and the Apartheid Museum.
Last year the Generation adidas players went on an eight-day tour of London where they played three matches against English Premier League reserve teams trained at Chelsea academy and attended both an EPL and a Champions League match.
O'Brien and Valentino were both members of the Generation adidas 2008 squad as well as Valentino was a member of the New England Revolution at the time.
In 2007 the group went on a two-week tour of Madrid while the group also trained in England in 2006.
The team will be comprised of Kansas City Wizards teammates Chance Myers and Roger Espinoza Brek Shea Peri Marosevic Bruno Guarda Eric Avila and Josh Lambo from FC Dallas Colorado Rapids teammates Ciaran O'Brien and Rob Valentino Patrick Nyarko and Baggio Husidic from the Chicago Fire as well as Jeremy Hall from the New York Red Bulls New England Revolution rookie Kevin Alston Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei Tony Beltran from Real Salt Lake Danny Cruz of Houston Dynamo and D.C. United teammates Chris Pontius and Rodney Wallace.
Pontius and Frei were both finalists for MLS Rookie of the Year won last week by Gonzalez.