A significant portion of the USL’s solidifying over the past five years came with the implementation of MLS reserve sides.
The path from the Academy to an MLS side via a USL contract can be rewarding (see Matthew Real, Tyler Adams and Derrick Jones as some of the examples). But it’s far from a guaranteed opportunity, even if signing directly or spending significant time on loan affords a player the chance to see minutes in league play.
MORE: Academy players set to get a USL run
The 2018 season is set to feature a variety of up-and-comers worth tracking on a variety of MLS-run USL sides.
Here are 12 youngsters to know.