If the last U23 cycle proved anything, Homegrown players are exerting an ever increasing degree of influence over the U.S. youth national team system. Despite the poor result, there are few who question the positivity in that.
Indeed, the likes of Wil Trapp and Kellyn Acosta both filtered through their own club’s youth setup, proving that the Development Academy’s greatest ally in pushing along good players may simply be time. If we take the one-thing-at-a-time approach, then more developmental facets are next. But it’s clear that despite a number of factors, players are indeed finding their way up the grapevine.
But they had to start somewhere. Here’s a look at a few Homegrown-eligible players who just completed their freshman campaign in college - think U20 or U23 age - who should be on the verge of a breakthrough soon. Each of these players are tied to an MLS academy and could bolster their respective pro sides as soon as tomorrow.