The Motherwell academy has reached America after Chris Cadden made his MLS debut.

The versatile Scotsman came through the Well’s academy, starting at the club when he was nine. After 139 appearances in claret and amber, he left for pastures new in the summer.

Chris Cadden is a Well academy graduate.

Chris Cadden is a Well academy graduate. (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Through no fault of his own, Cadden’s departure from North Lanarkshire was surrounded with controversy. His new team, Columbus Crew, used a loophole which has left Motherwell with a challenge to earn a compensation fee for Cadden.

Initially the academy product joined Oxford United on loan but Cadden returned to Columbus in the winter for the start of Crew’s MLS season. It kicked off last night and Cadden played a small part.

He appeared as a late substitute during a fine 1-0 win over New York City. Lucas Zelarayan got the goal as Cadden’s team got their new season off the perfect start.

Debut delight. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It’s another feather in the cap of Motherwell’s academy that another youth system graduate has moved up to the next level. In recent times alone they’ve watched Stuart McKinstry, Jake Hastie, Reece McAlear and James Scott move on to bigger clubs like Leeds and Norwich City.

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