The USL is getting younger.
On Aug. 2, the LA Galaxy announced the heralded signing of attacking midfielder Efrain Alvarez to its USL outfit Galaxy II. It was a big deal, not only because of Alvarez’s age – he became the youngest USL signing in league history – but also due to his ability. Alvarez is a livewire with interest from LigaMX, and the Galaxy’s work in keeping him home was a notable success for the club.
But Alvarez is just one of many in an increasingly large heap of top young prospects in the USL. In fact, over the last three years the league has inked no fewer than eight players 16 or younger to professional deals. And that doesn’t even include players on academy contracts or loans.
This represents an examination of those young signings before turning 17, from Alvarez on down. When were they signed, what have they done and why was each a big deal. The USL is continually skewing younger, and this grouping of the league’s youngest ever signings represents that fact better than anything else.