Soccer in North America often stays under the radar for the rest of the world. But one thing we are sure, it is slowly turning out to be the home of some finest young talents in the Soccer fraternity. Here we will try to put forward the top 10 young players in MLS to watch out for in 2020/21. So let’s see if your favorite player can make a position in the list or not.
Efrain Alvarez (Midfielder) – Los Angeles Galaxy
The first name, which comes to our mind among all the young players in MLS, is Efrain Alvarez. Los Angeles Galaxy signed this homegrown 18-years-old Mexican player. The attacking midfielder is the 6th youngest player to sign for this MLS club. With his excellent vision and passing, he has been a key player for Mexico in the U17 World Cup campaign. He had a breakout season for the LA Galaxy Academy in 2017 but expected to have a stellar 2020/21 season. The Mexican and LA Galaxy fans will have a close look at the creative midfielder.
The ambitious LA Galaxy team will bank on the flair of the young player to produce the flair upfront. In his 10 appearances for the club last season he has scored 1 goal and registered 1 assist in just 382 minutes. There is need no saying he will be a lad to watch out for in this season
James Pantemis (Goalkeeper) – Montreal Impact
The Canadian 23-year-old youth team goalkeeper is touted as one of the exciting talents in Montreal Impact‘s academy. The man has a commanding presence in between the sticks. His concentration under the sticks is a topic of interest in the Canadian soccer fraternity.
The 6 feet 2-inch tall goalkeeper has impeccable reflex and body movements. His positioning sense often makes his work easy in the shot-stopping department. He has represented his nation at different age levels and has also got called up for the senior squad training twice since 2017. We all can have a look at this young Canadian goalkeeper journey to become a regular at his club this season.
James Sands (Midfielder) – New York City FC
Next in the list of young players in MLS, we have James Sands. The 20 years old versatile defensive midfielder who can also slot in as a center back has made himself a regular name in New York City FC‘s first team. He was the first homegrown player signing of the club after his excellent performance in the training camp. Last season he made 13 appearances for the club in a COVID-19 struck season, the year before he made 19 appearances for the New York-based club.
His passing range and technique make him an ideal player to play as a ball-playing center back for his team. This has prompted the coach to move him from the defensive midfield to the heart of the defense. His ability to play the ball out by passing makes him a valuable asset for the team. His ball interception skill is world-class along with his cool and composed behaviour. In the defensive midfield position, his interception skills make him excel. He also has the ability to take shots from distance making the opponent goalie scramble across the goal.
Tomas Conechny (Midfielder) – Portland Timbers
The Argentinian sensation of 23 years old who has signed by the club from San Lorenzo is expected to be a key member of the squad this season. Conechny has been a player who can turn the match on its head. Inconsistency still remains a problem for him. In the last three seasons for the club in his 34 appearances, he has found the net 5 times, meanwhile registering 3 assists. On his day he is a man to watch out for.
His versatility allows him to play at any position in the midfield. The former Argentinian youth team player has done somewhat justice to the potential he has. It has to be seen if he can take his performance to the next level this season. His technical skills and ball control will surely help him in this regard.
Reggie Cannon (Defender) – FC Dallas
The 22-year-old has made his name big among all the young players in MLS, the young American has been a regular for the US National Soccer Team for quite some time now. The FC Dallas homegrown player has his breakthrough in the 2018 season and after that, he has not looked back.
The right-back has a quick pace and is also stable defensively. He is regarded as a balanced fullback who can juggle between his defensive and offensive duty. At only 22 years of age, he has already made 67 MLS appearance which is a commendable foot for a youth player. He has played with Christian Pulisic in the national team as they combined in the right flank. This also gives the account of him being comfortable around some of the best players in the world. His confidence makes him what he is. A cool, calm, and collected youth is an asset for the club. 2020/21 will be an exciting year for him.
Diego Rossi (Forward) – Los Angeles FC
The most expensive transfer of the league is no doubt a gem only a few can possess. He was signed by LAFC from Penarol in 2017. The Uruguayan forward has partnered MLS Superstar Carlos Vela to form the most lethal frontline in the league. In his 80 appearances he has scored 37 goals and at the same time has registered 18 assists.
This gives the measure of his importance to the team. The best thing is the former Penarol academy youth is only 22 years old and expected to succeed Cavani and Suarez in the national team. Many European Clubs are in the pursuit to land him in their club. The 22-year-old has the experience to play in top competitions like the Copa Libertadores making him an experienced player even in such a young game. This season also some scouts will have a keen look at this guy, he has the potential to be signing in European football. With age on his side, everything is possible.
Brenden Aaronson (Midfielder) – Philadephia Union
He was signed as a homegrown player for 2019 on September 17, 2018. Aaronson is a technical playmaker who has risen through the Union’s academy to become a first-team regular in 2019. The 19-year-old playmaker has become an essential part of the squad with 42 games under his bag within 2 years, he is now a first-team regular for the club.
The former Bethlehem Steel player has scored 7 times while giving away 5 assists with over 2866 minutes under his bag. The American Youth International is not just any youngster. He is a premium talent and Philadelphia will look to get the best out of him. He has also made his appearance for the National Team. 2020/21 can be a make or break season for 19 years old as he will try to make his name heard in Europe. He will surely be one important member of the list of young players in MLS.
Rodrigo Schlegal (Defender) – Orlando City
The 23-year-old Racing Club defender was brought on loan by Orlando City a the Argentinian was bought to provide stability to the defense. His commanding presence in the back has been a big boost for the club. If Orlando can sign him on a permanent basis, it can turn out to be a big coup for the Orlando based club.
He is confident on the ball and his physicality helps him to make himself a towering presence over the defense who clears out any danger from the team’s defensive front. His 1 vs 1 defensive skill is also talked about a lot, to be honest in both Us and his native land Argentina.
Brian Rodriguez (Winger) – Los Angeles FC
He is the third key member of the LAFC frontline along with Vela and Rossi. The 20-year-old Uruguayan has risen from the ranks of Penarol in his native land. He grabbed the attention of the scouts right there. In his 21 MLS appearance he ha already scored a goal and registered 7 assists.
He has been established himself in the role of provider more than a goalscorer. With a lethal pairing of Rossi and Vela up front, he can get his number doubled this season. He is expected to be a key member of the squad this season.
Ezequiel Barco (Midfielder) – Atalanta United
The 21-year-old was signed as at an MLS record fee when he was signed by Atalanta United from Independiente. The Argentinian no.8 is considered as one of the prime talents of South American Soccer. Barco so far has played 51 games for Atalanta United and has scored 10 goals and provided 9 assists.
Whenever he gets the ball the whole team spings up in motion. He is the man who makes things happen at Atalanta. He is one of the most fan-favorite players of the league. Back in Argentina, he is seen as an option for the national team midfield. Scaloni may look at Barco for the national team. This makes the 2020/21 season special for him, good performance can very well result in playing in the star-studded national team.
With the season just beginning, we are predicting these 10 players to shine and prove their worth. Despite their young age, they all are capable to turn the matches on their own head. So we are expecting the battle for the MLS Rookie of the Year Award to be intense. May the best prevail. We wish good luck to all of them.
Liked our list of young prospects who can make or break in this MLS season, check out this list of youngsters from the other top leagues around the world.
What are your thoughts on these some of the notable Young players in MLS 2020/21 season? Did we miss out on anyone? Let us know in the comment section below.