We’re doing something a bit different here today. The Grinder is a mountain of many names, and we’ve done some terraforming around the place. Today, we go lobbying.
Since 2010, the MLS 24 Under 24 series has thrust out a ranking of the best 24 players under the age of 24 playing in MLS at a given time. It hasn’t been without it’s controversy (we’re ranking here, something we at TDS know plenty about – controversy is inevitable) but it’s also done something of immeasurable importance for the future. The ranking and its attendant fanfare thrusts, at least for a time, the conversation back on the league’s young faces. And with my #playyourkids initiative evergreen (It. Never. Stops.), the importance of that point is paramount. Any excuse.
So today, the Grinder kicks aside game and team analysis and cuts directly to the white of our most comfortable bone. I’m going after four of MLS’ youngest hot shots, and my caveat is that they can’t have appeared on the 24U24 list before. I’ll grade each on the five-part rubric used by the selection team (Technical, Tactical, Physical attributes, Personality, Potential) and mark down some notes on each. Note that it’s a scale of 1-10.
There are players who will deserve their returning spots like Darlington Nagbe and Gyasi Zardes. You know them. But I’m here to lobby MLS’ Capitol Hill on behalf of a couple rising stars who’ve never made this list before. And they should. Here’s why. My ballot starts now.