Major League Soccer and young, domestic talent have a complicated relationship, and one that is sure to be under the microscope once against in 2018.
While the league continues to invest in its academies, they've also ramped up spending on first team rosters, looking to bring in players abroad as opposed to nurturing and providing opportunities for young talent coming through the ranks.
However, that talent remains, and that brings us to the first batch of this year's Top 50 prospects, beginning at with Nos. 41-50.
Featuring a mix of talent signed directly from academies, Generation adidas prospects and four-year college homegrown players, there's plenty worth watching this year. Remember to check out the guidelines for the list here.
50. Kevin Politz – Defender – New York Red Bulls
DOB: 3/22/1996 | HT: 6-0 | WT: 170
An outstanding student and central defender, Politz is a high-quality, technical player that possesses plenty of promise as well as questions about how he will translate to MLS. Injuries impacted his career at Wake Forest, and he’s slightly undersized for an MLS center back. If he gets the opportunity to develop and adjust, he could be a hit for the Red Bulls. Starting out in USL this year seems inevitable, and he must stay healthy. Politz likely has just a year to show the Red Bulls staff that he has a future in MLS, so he'll need to make the most of things this season.