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Top USMNT Prospects for 2018 (23 and under): 46-50 pg.7
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amac


Joined: 11 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:55 am    Post subject: Top USMNT Prospects for 2018 (23 and under): 46-50 pg.7 Reply with quote

I'll be breaking down, in my opinion, the top USMNT prospects for 2018- 23 years old and under. I'll try to provide a highlight video of each player so you can get an idea of their game. I'll start off with top 10 and build on that, I could probably go up to 20.

1-10 pg.1
11-20 pg. 3
21-30 pg. 4
31-35 pg. 5
36-40 pg. 6
41-45 pg. 7
46-50 pg. 7

1. Deandre Yedlin- Right Back, Seattle Sounders

Age-20
Height-5’8
Player Comparison- Dani Alves

Strengths- Elite speed and athleticism, strong, 1v1 defending, great crosser of the ball

Weakness- Getting caught up field too often and needs to be more disciplined defensively

Overall: Yedlin announced himself to the world stage with a big performance against Belgium, showing off his speed and ability going forward. Yedlin is considered one of the best fullbacks in MLS, and also had a strong showing in the U20 World Cup. He figures to be the future of the US at RB, and could also play right wing. Personally I would rate him up there with the best fullback prospects in the world, the sky is the limit for Deandre.

Highlight video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGWL_MJkgLE


2. John Anthony Brooks- Center Back, Hertha Berlin



Age-21
Height-6'4

Strengths- Brooks is physcially gifted for a CB, standing 6'4 with good speed and athleticism. He's an excellent passer out of the back and times his tackles well, and given his physical gifts can make some incredible tackles that most can't

Weakness- Aerial defending and positional awareness. Despite his height Brooks is not a great defender in the air, which is probably why Klinsmann didnt want to pair him with Besler even after his great performance against Ghana. You will also see him having to make alot of ridiculous last ditch recovery tackles because his positioning isn't the best

Overall: Brooks may be the only American CB with truly world class potential. Many thought he could have a future with Germany before he decided to suit up for the US. He's been a solid starter for Hertha Berlin over the past couple years and become a regular with the US team over the past year. He also had a great game against Ghana in Brazil, capped off with the game-winning goal.

Brooks should be a starter for the US in 2018 if he continues to live up to his potential



3. Julian Green- Left Wing, Bayern Munich



Age-19
Height-5'8

Strengths- Great technical and 1v1 ability, good speed and has showed he can score goals at the youth level

Weaknesses- Still very raw, looked like a deer in the headlights in his first 2 games for the US.

Overall: Julian has the kind of potential where he could climb up to the top of this list within a couple years. He is considered a top prospect at Bayern and has the technical ability the US wingers have been lacking. He came in as a sub against Belgium in Brazil and scored a nice goal (maybe a bit lucky), and also looked much more confident and showed off some of his ability with the ball.

However he still hasn't proven much, and not every top prospect pans out. Lets he doesn't flame out after all the hype he's gotten.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc_M_g72V8Y



4. Gedion Zelalem- Center Midfielder, Arsenal



Age- 17
Height- 5'11
Player Comparison- Cesc Fabregas

Strengths- He's been touted as a brilliant passer of the ball with great technical ability. Type of player who can control the game with his passing from deep and make a team tick, as well as play the killer ball

To quote Jack Wilshere

Quote:
'He sees passes that not a lot of players can and he's so comfortable on the ball,' Wilshere said during Arsenal's preseason tour of east Asia.
'Even in training, he's a nightmare to play against. He keeps the ball away from you and shields it.
'He's not very big but he's strong. He drifts in and out of players.
'Technically, he's right up there. He can use his left and right and he sees so many passes.'


Weaknesses- Can't really comment on this yet, but he could probably use some bulking up

Overall: Gedion may very well be a better prospect than Julian, however since he hasn't declared for the US yet I will slot him in at 4 for now. Along with Serge Gnabry he is considered one of the top youngsters at Arsenal. Like Julian, Zelalem is a German American. Unlike Green he did spend some time playing in the US where he was discovered by Arsenal scouts. It was rumored he was recently in the US to work on getting citizenship, and recently turned down a callup from the German U17 team to keep his eligibility for the US. With Jurgen batting .1000 on dual nationals so far, and the pull of possibly being a star for the US team at a young age, I think there is a pretty good chance Gedion ends up playing for the USMNT.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9StSvkYa7ro


5. Aron Johannsonn- Striker, AZ Alkmaar


Age- 23
Height- 6'0

Strengths- Lethal finisher/poacher with good pace and quickness, excellent movement off the ball, and a crafty player who can create with his dribbling and passing. Aron also has a catalog of spectacular goals to his name

Weakness- Hasn't shown he can play the target man role in Klinsmann's system. Hasn't shown much in the way of hold-up play, not that strong

Overall: USMNT fans should be familiar with Aron by now. Johannsonn has been a regular under Klinsmann since snubbing Iceland to play for the US last year. Aron dominated in the Danish Superliga before transferring to AZ in the Netherlands, where he finished 3rd in the league with 17 goals, and also had 7 assists last year. Wouldn't be surprised to see him move to a bigger club in the near future.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5_7j_gcdg8



6. Darlington Nagbe- Right Wing, Portland Timbers



Age- 23
Height- 5’9
Player Comparison- Landon Donovan

Strengths-Nagbe is a menace on the counter-attack. He uses his remarkable speed, acceleration, strength on the ball, and close control to weave deftly through traffic. Nagbe is extremely silky on the ball, has a knack for scoring ridiculous goals, has good passing vision, and is nearly impossible to knock off the ball. Also tracks back and puts in a lot of defensive work, and is an intelligent and selfless player who doesn’t make many mistakes and is very composed on the ball.

Weakness- Not always assertive enough, could improve his crossing. With his ability you might expect him to dominate more than he does.

Overall- Nagbe moved here from Liberia as a kid, and is a year away from American citizenship but should play a big role for the US next cycle. Nagbe is a well-rounded player who could be used in multiple roles. He primarily plays on the Right Wing, but could probably play on the left, right, in the middle or as a striker. He is considered one of the best players in MLS and was arguably the most important player on a Portland team that finished 3rd last season.

Nagbe could be the closest thing to an heir to Donovan with his ability on the counter attack. I think he will be a key player for the US in the near future and will bring some much needed creativity from out wide. In my opinion he is already better than Zusi and Bedoya, a shame he wasn't eligible for 2014



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpwTWSaERUI


7. Juan Agudelo- Striker, Free Agent (Last played for FC Utrecht)



Age-21
Height- 6'1

Strengths- Juan is an all around forward who can lead the frontline and bring others into the game with his holdup play. He has alot of flair in his game, with a knack for scoring spectacular goals, and excels at beating players 1v1 with his dribbling. Juan is a decent header of the ball, has decent pace, and good movement off the ball.

Weakness- Injuries. Juan may have been more involved this cycle if he wasn't injured at innoportune times. Could improve on his consistency as well and could become a more clinical finisher

Overall- Out of our prospects at striker Juan may very well have the highest ceiling.

Those who saw Juan play for New England last season saw him starting to live up to the hype he's received since he burst onto the US soccer scene. The difference of that team without him was massive, as they sorely missed his holdup play when he was injured. He netted 9 goals in 15 starts, and came back from injury to carry the Revs into the playoffs when it looked like they could miss out. He transferred to Stoke, but couldn't get a work permit so they loaned him to Utrecht, and ultimately had to let him go. He has been heavily linked to Hannover in the Bundesliga



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jaaEQvMcHA


8. Wil Trapp- Center Mid, Columbus Crew

Age-21
Height-5’8
Player style Comparison- Xabi Alonso

Strengths- Trapp is an excellent passer and reader of the game from his holding mid role. He is one of the best long-ball specialists in MLS. Trapp leads the league in passes completed per game, is 4th in the league in passing %, and 1st in long balls completed by a wide margin.

Weakness- He is small, and not a great ball-winner on the level of say, Maurice Edu. Smart defensively but not all that physcial

Overall: Trapp is arguably the US’ top prospect in terms of holding mids. His emergence has played a major role in transforming the Crew's style into a more possession based game. He could receive a callup by Klinsmann in the near future if he keeps it up. I could see him partnering with Bradley in the middle in the future.

This game-saving play sums up his game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmO3DGSXeqM


9. Mikkel "Mix" Diskerud- Center Mid, Rosenborg BK



Age-23
Height-6'0

Strengths- Mix is a technically gifted, clever and creative player. Very good distributor with an eye for the killer ball. Also a quality striker of the ball who is good at popping up in dangerous areas for a shot. Has pretty good size for a center mid

Weakness- Not always as influential as you would hope in some of his performances with the US. Was essentially called soft by Klinsmann at one point, when Jurgen called him out and said he needs to play tougher. Hasn't tested himself at a high club level, playing in Norway his whole career

Overall: Mix has been a regular with the National Team for the past year and was on the World Cup squad, although he didn't get off the bench. I would say that outside of Bradley, Mix is the US' best passer, and probably should have been used in Brazil.

The fact that he has been in Norway for so long isn't encouraging. But Mix has already proven himself to be a solid contributor at the international level who can be a good spark off the bench, and certainly has room to grow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIC3BBbDPmA


10. Diego Fagundez- Left Wing, New England Revolution



Age- 19
Height- 5’8
Player Comparison- Carlos Vela

Strengths- Fagundez is a creative, speedy winger who is capable of some brilliant link up play and has proven to be an excellent finisher and poacher with intelligent movement off the ball. More of an inverted winger who cuts inside a lot to link up with the other attackers. Capable of some brilliant dribbles, goals, and passes.

Weakness- Fades from games a bit too often, doesn't defend much.

Overall- Fagundez maybe drops a couple spots lower than he should, because he has a long path to citizenship and may not play for the US. He moved here as a kid from Uruguay and was called up to Uruguay's U20 team a couple years ago. It may take him a few years to get citizenship and given that he will likely have offers to play in Europe soon, he may not be in the US long enough. However he has stated he would like to play for the US and was not called up by Uruguay for the U20 World Cup.

Fagundez has one of the highest ceilings of the players on this list. Diego would provide some much needed creativity and flair from out wide for the US team. He can play on either wing or underneath the striker. He had 13 goals and 7 assists last season and is off to a hot start again this season.

Good highlight vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGxGGGkjUNc
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yankee0724


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:23 am    Post subject: Re: Top USMNT Prospects for 2018 (23 and under): 1-10 Reply with quote

amac wrote:
Player Comparison- Dani Alves

Weakness- Getting caught up field too often and needs to be more disciplined defensively


Well, you certainly nailed that comparison.
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also, yankee.. you usually have pretty good taste in things

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TomRalph


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoyed this amac. Great stuff dude. I'll admit I'm totally ignorant to the MLS and how players get on over there so to see overviews of up and coming players was really interesting. I'll have to make a mental note of the names and look out for them in the future.

Glad to see Yedlin at the top. I've never seen such a gutsy and passionate performance as I did against the Belgians. He was just everywhere and constantly a threat on the attacking end.

Love the comparisons too, just to add a little more depth and help get an idea of how they play on the pitch.

I am monitoring this thread.

Very Happy
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dotmotion


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this a ranking? Or just 20 prospects in no order? If it's a ranking, I'm interested to see how you are ranking them. Is this based on potential or how good they are currently?
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amac


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomRalph wrote:
I really enjoyed this amac. Great stuff dude. I'll admit I'm totally ignorant to the MLS and how players get on over there so to see overviews of up and coming players was really interesting. I'll have to make a mental note of the names and look out for them in the future.

Glad to see Yedlin at the top. I've never seen such a gutsy and passionate performance as I did against the Belgians. He was just everywhere and constantly a threat on the attacking end.

Love the comparisons too, just to add a little more depth and help get an idea of how they play on the pitch.

I am monitoring this thread.

Very Happy


Thanks man, I couldn't come up with comparisons for some guys but if I think of one I'll put it in there. And yea big fan of Yedlin's game, I saw his first few games with Seattle, and pretty sure I posted on here that he would the future RB for the US right away
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amac


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dotmotion wrote:
Is this a ranking? Or just 20 prospects in no order? If it's a ranking, I'm interested to see how you are ranking them. Is this based on potential or how good they are currently?


Trying to rank them in terms of who are our top prospects for 2018, mixture of potential and how good they are currently.

I'm trying to give a little edge to guys who have actually proven something at a decent level though, except Green and Zelalem who may be the 2 best prospects in US history
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SUfbondarebound


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great writeup amac. I'd probably have Brooks first, but other than that, I have no arguments.

Wil Trapp is immensely underrated. I was surprised when he ended up being our best player at the U-20 World Cup.
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RoxSox2004


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see some good attacking prospects in there. If Jurgen can convince Zelalam and Fagundez to sign up, we'll be looking good. Fagundez can play for us as early as 2015, IF he marries his American girlfriend.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be shocked if Zelalem chooses US. He has been regarded by Arsenal as their best prospect since Cesc, which means he could actually get in the German team in the future, unlike the rest of the German-Americans who didn't really have a chance at actually playing for Germany.
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RoxSox2004


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PackersTK21 wrote:
I'd be shocked if Zelalem chooses US. He has been regarded by Arsenal as their best prospect since Cesc, which means he could actually get in the German team in the future, unlike the rest of the German-Americans who didn't really have a chance at actually playing for Germany.


Cesc was part of the first team when he was 16. Zelalam supposedly had a poor season for the U18 side, and really needs to improve his physique. He's not as good of a prospect as Cesc. He also withdrew from a squad that would have tied him to Germany, so at this point the US is still an option.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RoxSox2004 wrote:
PackersTK21 wrote:
I'd be shocked if Zelalem chooses US. He has been regarded by Arsenal as their best prospect since Cesc, which means he could actually get in the German team in the future, unlike the rest of the German-Americans who didn't really have a chance at actually playing for Germany.


Cesc was part of the first team when he was 16. Zelalam supposedly had a poor season for the U18 side, and really needs to improve his physique. He's not as good of a prospect as Cesc. He also withdrew from a squad that would have tied him to Germany, so at this point the US is still an option.


That's a good point, I was just going by what I've heard as it's hard to follow the reserves or youth teams in America. Obviously I'd take him for the US because even a player who can't quite make Germany is a player we want.
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RoxSox2004


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's a good prospect, but he's got a long way to go. Ideally he turns into a very good player, but just not good enough for Germany. Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RoxSox2004 wrote:
He's a good prospect, but he's got a long way to go. Ideally he turns into a very good player, but just not good enough for Germany. Laughing


Exactly. Maybe I'll head to Brazil and knock up some ladies there to improve our pool for WC 2038.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PackersTK21 wrote:
RoxSox2004 wrote:
He's a good prospect, but he's got a long way to go. Ideally he turns into a very good player, but just not good enough for Germany. Laughing


Exactly. Maybe I'll head to Brazil and knock up some ladies there to improve our pool for WC 2038.
That's a hell of an idea (Lou Brown voice)
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dhunt2402


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great list amac. Might have Fagundez higher myself but as you say the path to the USMNT is pretty far off for him at this point.

Shawn Parker is another guy I think we have a good shot at that's up there.
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