Ranking the Top 50 prospects in MLS: 2021

by Travis Clark
April 14, 2021
Ranking the Top 50 prospects in MLS: 2021

When it comes to MLS and the pathway offered to young, domestic players, strides continue to be made.

Bryan Reynolds, Mark McKenzie and Brenden Aaronson all moved abroad to clubs in Europe, as some of the team’s emphasis on development continued to improve and change.

That’s the backdrop of this year’s Top 50 MLS Prospects, the fifth edition of the TDS examination of players looking to break through in the league. MLS returns this weekend after a lengthy offseason.

The criteria for this year’s list has been tweaked. The focus is now solely on players that are eligible for Canada, Mexico or the United States. In past editions, players selected in the draft were eligible even if they were internationals.

There is also a shift towards looking at younger talent. To be eligible for this list, players have to be born on January 1, 2001 or later. There’s also a minutes component, with 2,000 minutes set as the cutoff. That means players like Paxton Pomykal, Julian Araujo, Cole Bassett or Gianluca Busio -- to name just a few -- aren’t in the pool. Players have to be signed to an MLS contract as well. Putting together this year's list was a bit more difficult, with minimal preseason games streamed and a more limited access to information.

As a result, a couple of players that weren’t on the list in 2020 return, while others have either hit the minutes mark or been transferred abroad.

Check out the full list in alphabetical order below, with links accessible to the entire rankings breakdown. Updates will come out daily between now and Friday, with the Top 10 slated to be released then.

Top 50 Rankings: Nos. 41-50 | 31-40 | 21-30 | 11-20 | 1-10

Just Missed: Cameron Dunbar (LA Galaxy) Jacob Akanyirige (San Jose Earthquakes), Jean-Aniel Assi (CF Montreal), Tyler Freeman (Sporting Kansas City), Sebastian Anderson (Colorado Rapids), Casey Walls (San Jose Earthquakes), Tyler Wolff (Atlanta United), Joshua Penn (Inter Miami CF), Adam Saldana (LA Galaxy), Juan Castilla (Houston Dynamo), Benjamin Redžić (FC Dallas), Josh Atencio (Seattle Sounders)

Top 50 MLS Prospects

Paxten Aaronson
Ayo Akinola
Efrain Alvarez
Edison Azcona
Michael Baldisimo
Ethan Bartlow
George Bello
Sebastian Berhalter
George Campbell
Edwin Cerrillo
Justin Che
Ozzie Cisneros
Caden Clark
Cade Cowell
Jack DeVries
Erik Duenas
Daryl Dike
Bryce Duke
Bento Estrela
Christopher Garcia
Tayvon Gray
Jacob Greene
Brian Gutierrez
Nathan Harriel
Cameron Harper
Andres Jasson
Aboubacar Keita
Tony Leone
Danny Leyva
Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty
Jack McGlynn
Aidan Morris
Jayden Nelson
Moses Nyeman
David Ochoa
Noble Okello
Kevin Paredes
Isaiah Parente
Ricardo Pepi
Jonathan Perez
Thomas Roberts
Dante Sealy
Gabriel Slonina
Quinn Sullivan
Tanner Tessmann
John Tolkin
Christian Torres
Dantouma Toure
Patrick Weah
Darren Yapi

Previous editions: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017