Major League Soccer

Ben Bender signs generation Adidas contract with MLS

Ben Bender will be eligible for selection in MLS SuperDraft

Bender is the first Maryland Generation Adidas signee since Dayne St. Clair in 2019.
Bender is the first Maryland Generation Adidas signee since Dayne St. Clair in 2019.

Maryland men’s soccer midfielder Ben Bender inked a Generation Adidas contract with Major League Soccer, the program revealed on Thursday afternoon. With the signing, Bender is now eligible to be selected in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, which will happen on Jan. 11. 

“We are thrilled for Ben to have the opportunity to sign with MLS,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said in the press release. “Ben represented Maryland with class on and off the field during his time in College Park and has all the attributes necessary to succeed at the next level. He will follow in the footsteps of the great Terps that have flourished in MLS since the league’s inception.”

The sophomore has collected nine goals and five assists throughout his two seasons at Maryland with seven of those goals and all five of those assists coming during his impressive campaign this past season. Bender had a ton of accolades to go along with his season, including being named a 2021 United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American and the 2021 Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. He was also named to the 2021 United Soccer Coaches All-North Region First Team and the 2021 All-Big Ten First Team.

Bender is the first Maryland Generation Adidas signee since Dayne St. Clair in 2019. Bender is just the 15th Terp in the history of the program to become a Maryland Generation Adidas signee.

2022 Generation adidas class announced

Major League Soccer on Thursday announced eight highly touted college players named to the 2022 Generation adidas class and released the tentative list of 176 players eligible for selection in MLS SuperDraft 2022 presented by adidas.

Several players now starring on the international stage began their MLS careers through the Generation adidas program, including current US men’s national team members Miles Robinson (No. 2 overall selection, 2017 SuperDraft), Cristian Roldan (No. 16, 2015 SuperDraft), Jackson Yueill (No. 6, 2017 SuperDraft) and Walker Zimmerman (No. 7, 2013 SuperDraft), and members of the Canadian men's national team like Tajon Buchanan (No. 9, 2019 SuperDraft) and Richie Laryea (No. 7, 2016 SuperDraft).

Eight players comprise the 2022 Generation adidas class:

Ben Bender - Midfielder  · University of Maryland

Ousseni Bouda - Forward  · Stanford University

Erik Centeno - Defender  · University of the Pacific

Roman Celentano - Goalkeeper  · Indiana University

Kipp Keller - Defender  · Saint Louis University

Isaiah Parker - Forward  · Saint Louis University

Patrick Schulte - Goalkeeper  · Saint Louis University

Thorleifur Ulfarsson - Forward  · Duke University

What is the Adidas generation?

Generation Adidas is a joint program between MLS and Adidas that sees a handful of top collegiate underclassmen and youth national team players signed by MLS to Generation Adidas contracts and made available in the SuperDraft. 

In order to provide Generation Adidas players with the best professional environment, Generation Adidas player salaries are not charged against an MLS team's annual salary budget, providing an added incentive for that club to develop the player. Eventually, these GA players graduate to senior player contracts and their salaries are charged against a team's budget.


Hugo Alberto Walls Gómez

SEO Journalist. Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Media Production. Two years working in digital media and editorial assignments. Currently working for Futbolero US and collaborating with INDeportes and Goleadoras MX, following Liga MX, MLS, and the Premier League. Passionate about sports and soccer.+ info

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