Major League Soccer Thursday announced Furman defender Walker Zimmerman, Louisville defender Andrew Farrell, North Carolina defender Mikey Lopez and Virginia Commonwealth University forward Jason Johnson are the first signees to league contracts under the Generation adidas program.
The players are now eligible for involvement in the MLS Player Combine and to be selected by teams during the 2013 MLS SuperDraft January 17 in Indianapolis. If drafted, their salaries do not count toward the team's salary cap and, as part of their contract, are given grants so they may continue their college education.
Zimmerman is a member of the US U-20 National Team.
Farrell was the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year, a semifinalist for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, and was named a first-team All-American.
Lopez was the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.
Johnson debuted for his native country of Jamaica during a senior team game February 19, 2010 against Argentina.