Our annual stop in Chicago always boasts a wide array of talent on the pitch, and this year was no exception. The boys at this event hail from clubs all across the region, including Sockers FC, Chicago Magic PSG, IMG Soccer Academy, Michigan Wolves, and others. Here are some of the boys who caught our eye on the day.
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TDS Unsigned Showcase Chicago Boys Best XI:
GK, Nick Woodard, Toledo Football Academy (2018): Woodard was the top keeper on the day due to his imposing size and strength in the 6th. He has a great frame to reach high balls, but also has the ability to quickly get down for low shots. Woodard communicates very well with his back line and is a true leader from the back. Speed and accuracy of distribution can be improved to take his game to the next level.
D, Christopher Emerson, Crew SC Academy Wolves (2019): Emerson was one of the youngest players on the day but never looked out of his element. He handled himself incredibly well against bigger/older players. He is a simple defender who links well with his midfield players. Not only does he play the ball well, he is also very athletic and can defend well in 1v1 situations. Emerson has loads of potential moving forward.
D, Jeremy Linares, Chicago Magic PSG (2020): Linares has excellent size and strength, especially for a 2020. He showed a good understanding of his body and ability to use his strength to win and keep possession. Linares took a knock on the day so he was unable to play in the full field games, but his talent was apparent from the moment he stepped on the pitch. He is definitely one to keep an eye on.
D, John Curran, Shattuck St. Mary’s Academy (2017): Curran was one of the upperclassmen at the event and he played with the maturity that you’d expect. His first touch is often clean and sets up a smooth second. His head is on as swivel, looking for attackers and finding space to provide options for teammates. Curran can work on strength in 50 50 challenges, but is a stern defender and a good presence on the defensive side of the ball.
MF, Lincoln Lillwitz, Sockers FC (2019): Lillwitz was one of the top players on the day. He is very smooth on the ball and has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. He is extremely creative and explosive in the final third. As an attacking midfielder, he created multiple chances and constantly looked to get forward. Lillwitz has an innate ability to find space in between the opponent’s midfield and defensive lines.
MF, Jordan Stump, Sockers FC (2020): Stump has an excellent understanding of the game. His head is always on a swivel and he constantly looks to connect with teammates. Stump communicates well and showed a solid soccer IQ. He is good on the ball and showed excellent technical abilities. Stump can spot a pass through the channels to find his teammates.
MF, Anthony Saporito, Chicago Magic PSG (2019): Saporito showed an excellent engine on the day, both on the defensive and offensive sides of the ball. He dropped well in to the midfield to cover his teammates but also pushed forward to put the opponent under pressure. On the ball, Saporito showed good ability to manipulate the ball and create chances for himself and teammates.
MF, Jose Cholico, Chan/Chaska United (2016): Cholico is an attacking midfielder who has very good quickness which he combines with solid ball skills. Off the ball, he moves well to find space and provide options for his teammates. At points, Cholico tended to hold the ball a bit too long instead of finding quick outlets.
F, John Makowiecki, Sockers FC (2018): Makowiecki has loads of potential. He finished multiple chances in the box and is always active. Makowiecki has great ability on the ball and is very creative in the attacking third. Makowiecki is not a selfish forward, but he understands when it is time to run at defenders and create opportunities for himself.
F, Charles Trevisan, Michigan Jaguars FC (2019): Trevisan was the one of the top players on the day due to his ability to create chances in the final third. He works hard on both sides of the ball, putting in the dirty work to put defenders under pressure but also being lively when his team is in possession. He makes smart runs both behind and in front of defenders. Trevisan is quality in and around the box.
F, Gabriel Tovar, Woodridge SC (IL) (2017): Tovar is a quality forward who had great success in 1v1 situations. He showed an ability to not only create chances for himself, but also teammates. Tovar has a strong, quick shot that he consistently puts on frame and makes the goalkeeper work. In addition to his ball skills, Tovar is a good all-around athlete.
GK, Thomas Wallis, IMG Soccer Academy (2019): Wallis is a great communicator from the backline. He has a good spring to his step and strong hands; making him an excellent shot stopper. To advance to the next level, he can focus on continuing to improve his ability to support build up play with his backline.
D, Alex Scott, Michigan Wolves (2018): Scott showed a solid understanding of the game and flow of play throughout the day. He positions himself well to intercept balls and challenge opponents. Scott is strong in 50-50 challenges but can continue to improve in 1v1 defending. He did connect well with midfielders to move the ball out of the defensive third.
D, Raymond Roldan, Lindenhurst Area SC (2017): Roldan has good size and strength on the ball. He was solid in aerial duels and rarely came out on the losing side in 50-50 challenges. Roldan’s first touch can improve a bit, but his ability to spot a pass and find teammates is a great attribute.
MF, Colin Alba, SC Waukesha (2020): Alba was the youngest player at the event but was never out of his element. He played simple, accurate passes to his teammates and focuses on keeping the play moving. On the day, Alba filled multiple roles on the pitch and performed well in every third.
MF, Christian Jimenez, Chicago Magic PSG (2020): Jimenez is another young player who has the ability to fill multiple roles for his team. His best role is yet to be determined, but he is quality on the defensive side of the ball. Jimenez has quick feet defensively which allows him to steal possession from opponents. Jimenez has a clean first touch and ability to play clean, accurate passes.
D, Edmond Montano, Greater Libertyville SA (2017): Montano worked tirelessly for his team on the day. He made countless recovery runs to support his teammates. On the ball, Montano can work on picking his head up before receiving so he can play quick passes away from pressure. He does have a decent first touch and good ability to find teammates.