24 Under 24: #5 Felipe, Montreal Impact

24 Under 24 (2012): #5 Felipe Martins (IMAGE)

Photo Credit: 
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

5. Felipe

Pos: M | Montreal Impact | Age: 21

Arguably the find of the season on the international transfer market by an MLS club. The diminutive Brazilian-Italian started out the season as a curiosity from the Swiss second division, but over the course of the 2012 campaign, he has turned into a real difference-maker for Montreal to the tune of 10 assists. Wherever Jesse Marsch has fielded him – Felipe has played deep in central midfield, at attacking midfield and also wide left – his slippery smooth technique has allowed him to be productive. But he’s more than just skills: The 21-year-old belies his age, playing with a steely cool and expertly managing game situations like a seasoned pro. 

What the TDs and coaches like: “He’s been very good. He’s a very good player … Very solid, young, skillful player … He’s a player with very good qualities … He’s very quick, he’s very good without the ball … He’s able to wiggle out of things. If you dive in, he’s going to flick it by you … Many times he’ll draw fouls. I think he’s big at drawing fouls in the mold of David Ferreira. When he plays deeper, he does a lot of work … He’s very much a two-way player … When they moved him up underneath the striker, I think his ability close to the goal is quick, he can beat you off the dribble, he scores … He has little tricks and when he does beat you, he’ll whip a good ball in … His little shakes and flicks and things are going to cause defenders problems … When you have quickness and speed and technical ability, you have an advantage if you use it properly … He has something different … He can be a game-changer, and he's shown that.”

Where TDs and coaches want improvement: “With him, it’s now the consistency. You do it the first year, you surprise a lot of people, now to be consistent with his performance the next year."

Opta Says: Felipe has more assists (10) in MLS this year than any other player younger than 24.

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: N/A
Fan Ranking: #9
Castrol Index (as of 9/17/12): #83

2012 Stats
Matches played: 29
Matches started: 29
Goals: 4
Assists: 10

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