MLS is back.
The North American league returns this weekend with a full slate of action.
It can still serve as a launching pad for domestic careers, even if minutes have eluded younger players over recent times. That appears to be changing, and the upcoming season is going to be a test of that sentiment.
In conjunction with the new season, TopDrawerSoccer is set to release its annual batch of Top 50 prospects to watch. The full details can be seen here, including a complete list (in alphabetical order) of players to make the cut.
Below is the first batch of players, from 41-50.
50. Eryk Williamson – Midfielder – Portland Timbers
DOB: 6/11/1997 | HT: 5-9 | WT: 155 | Last Year’s Ranking: 28
Williamson’s first season as a professional was an adventure, both literally and figuratively. After spending half the campaign loaned out to Timbers 2 in the USL, he moved around the world to CD Santa Clara in the Azores (Portugal). He never made a competitive appearance there and is back, looking to finally make his mark. There’s certainly talent in Williamson, who could play a number of positions in the midfield. Carving out a clear role for himself this preseason surely was on his mind, and when the games begin it will then give an indicator just how it’s gone for him. More time in USL wouldn’t be a huge surprise, though Williamson’s experience over the past year is sure to be valuable as he looks to make his MLS debut this year. Blossoming and thriving when given opportunities, like so many players on this list, is sure to go a long way for him as the season picks up pace.