By IVES GALARCEP
The folks at MLS Soccer created plenty of buzz in recent weeks with the unveiling of their list of top players in MLS under the age of 24. The 24Under24 sparked plenty of debate, and some angry reactions to players who were snubbed, and were some included players were ranked.
Making such lists is never easy, but in my latest Goal.com column I point out that what was lost in the reaction to the list was the fact that MLS has so many young players contributing these days. Far more than ever before in league history.
I also point out that the age group covered by MLS Soccer’s list isn’t really a good measure of young talent in the league since, for pro soccer on the highest levels, 23 is hardly considered young.
With that in mind, I put together a list of what I consider the league’s best players and prospects age 21 and younger. It is by no means a perfect list, but does provide a good idea of just how much quality young talent is playing in the league these days.
Here are some more thoughts on the 22 under 22:
It wasn’t an easy list to put together, and I could have easily made it a 30-player list.
Jack McBean, Joao Plata and Doneil Henry came close to making the list, but missed the cut. McBean was the final cut.
We didn’t include players who have yet to play in MLS play. That is what ruled out a player like FC Dallas goalkeper Richard Sanchez, who probably should have made the list anyway.
The list was based on current level of play as well as potential, with some thought given to transfer value potential. This is why attacking players were generally more highly rated than their defensive counterparts.
What do you think of the list? Who didn’t make the list that you feel should have? Who do you think should have been ranked higher? Like the list? Hate it?
Share your thoughts below.