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Homegrown Heroes: Cremaschi Cements First Goal and the Argument for Actual Youth Programs

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Inter Miami midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi
Inter Miami CF midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi

#30 for Inter Miami, midfielder Benjamin scored his first goal against Dallas last night during Matchday 24. For the Argentine-American and Key Biscayne homegrown, this tallies 17 scoring attempts in 17 games.

So far,

that means 1 goal and 3 assists for the midfielder's first season. A product of youth programs like Weston FC

and Key Biscayne Soccer Club, Cremaschi has promise -- but that's for a lot of homegrowns. Little Havana-bred midfielder David Ruiz was also promised a First Team Contract the same year as Cremaschi, starting his first year with Inter Miami; 1 goal and 1 assist promising a nice start for Ruiz.

Constant shifting of age groups (based on year), no medical staff in attendance, and supplemental fields blur the lines between prospective pro players and their wealthier counterparts. MLS Next Pro has provided a developmental program for youth soccer and first-years. Anton Sorenson, a fullback from the Philadelphia Union II, is living proof of what these academies can provide for players.

But many youth places, like southern California's youth leagues, pay exorbitant amounts of money for a promise that may truly not be there. This is only an example of what youth soccer lacks in terms of supplying their young players with 'bright' futures. Although there is a display of kits displaying MLS teams, the youth feel that they don't feel connected to the teams that they're promoting on their chests.

Coupled with the fact that they pass the opportunities onto those who seemingly have an insider secret to these career plans for their children, what differences do these academies provide that regular high school sports do not?

Soccer game in southern California.
SoCal Youth League

Dedication to youth academies should be apparent for the future of the MLS. Allow players who provide stellar performances, not just paychecks, to represent the cities that they grew up in. There are, of course, exceptions to this argument. There has to be a consultation between parent clubs and their youth divisions about how the future of these programs will impact their cities.


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