In an apparent effort to introduce more interest in the All-Star experience, Major League Soccer has introduced a new game prior to the main event, a Homegrown Game, to showcase some of the young up-and-comers in the league. The first one will take place on August 4 against the Portland Timbers U-23s in Providence Park, and will be streamed on both WatchESPN and MLSsoccer.com.
One Chivas USA player, forward Caleb Calvert, was selected to the roster for the Homegrown Game, as announced by the league on Wednesday. Calvert, 17, has yet to make his competitive debut for the Goats since signing his Homegrown deal a year ago, but he remains one of the youngest Homegrown players in the league at the moment.
I don't know the format for the game, but I'm guessing unlimited substitutions will be allowed, meaning Calvert will probably see at least some action in the game. Either way, it should be a good experience for him.
Chivas USA's other Homegrown player, midfielder Marky Delgado, will not be involved in the game.
Although that seems a bit odd, if I have the timing right for the roster, it appears none of the outfield players featuring in the Homegrown game have been in the league more than two seasons. Technically, Delgado signed with Chivas and made his competitive debut in 2012, so maybe they wanted to give some of the newer players a chance to shine.
Correction: There are in fact several players on the Homegrown roster who have been pros longer than two seasons. The more likely explanation is that Chivas USA have a game against FC Dallas the day before the Homegrown game, and Delgado has a very good shot of playing in that league game for the Goats.
You can find the full roster here. There's a former Chivas USA Academy player on the team, too, but he plays for the Goats' rivals now.
Congrats to Caleb, and best of luck in Portland next month!