Young players in MLS are taking steps forward, slowly but surely.
That's the undergirding question we asked ourselves during a recent state-of-the-union undertaking here at TopDrawerSoccer.com. And it ultimately guided our thinking in coming up with our assessed top 50 Homegrowns and signed draft picks entering the 2018 season. With the MLS calendar starting anew this weekend, what better time to run the rule over the league's best and brightest up-and-comers.
Simply put, which ones are the best? And what makes them great? When all is said and done, which one has the potential to be the best pro?
Over the course of the week, we're rolling out 10 top players per day counting down from No. 50 to No. 1 on our list. The rubric is simple. To be considered for our top 50, players need to be born in 1995 or later, been signed to the league via either the Homegrown mechanism or through the draft, and have played 500 or fewer minutes of first division soccer. The rest - players like Tyler Adams, for example - are already established. Young players with a few years under their belts playing abroad don't qualify.
Bottom line, with this list, we're taking stock in the next wave of talent washing up on MLS's shores.
Be sure to check back here throughout the week as we update this page up until the start of the 2018 MLS campaign. And for your reference, we've included our player pool of 50 on this page. Happy hunting.
Top 50 Prospects in MLS: 2018
Pierre Da Silva
David Norman Jr.