It’s a simple fact of life that some classes are better than others. The American 2015 class, for example, was quality up and down but lacked major high end star power. It had depth but lacked glitz. A year on and that seems to be holding true.
The 2016 class, which is reaching the conclusion of its final run as a club group, is entirely different. There is nothing but star power here.
You can trace the improvement of American soccer by the proverbial professional rings around the tree of its teenage players. In 2015, seven of the top 10 players in the class had already turned pro by the time the class reached its end. That was an improvement on past years, when the majority picked college soccer for lack of professional options.
The 2016 class is historic in its opposition to the established status quo. A record nine players in the top 10 have already signed professional contracts, and seven of those are currently plying their trade outside the U.S. That of course includes mega-prospect Christian Pulisic, who broke into the USMNT and the Borussia Dortmund first team at 17 and has already scored for both.
Needless to say, the 2016 class is shaping up to be like none before it. Here’s a look at some news and notes as this class reaches the end of its majorly productive cycle.