24 Under 24: #20 Deshorn Brown, Colorado Rapids

20. Deshorn Brown

Pos: F | Colorado Rapids | Age: 22

One of the leaders of the Colorado Rapids’ youth revolution, the rookie forward from the University of Central Florida has burst onto the scene with a team-leading seven goals and also four assists in 27 games. Thrust into the limelight because of a number of Colorado injuries after being taken with the sixth overall pick of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Brown hasn’t disappointed. The lanky 22-year-old has been lauded for his incredible pace and athletic ability around the goal, and it doesn't hurt to stand 6-foot-2, either. Colorado saw the Jamaican as the perfect understudy to veteran forward Edson Buddle, but it’s been increasingly hard to keep Brown off the field even now that Buddle is healthy.

What TDs and coaches like: “I like him a lot. He’s got great athleticism, great pace. He goes past people well. He can score goals. He’s a handful. ... He strikes a good ball. He’s capable. He’s got the frame and the athleticism to survive in this league. ... He can fly. ... He’s been dangerous as a guy who has the pace to get behind defenders. He has scored a little bit in the air, too, so that part of his game is pretty good. ... He reminds me of [Gyasi Zardes] in terms of his length and his athleticism and his speed. ... He's good in the air, he's strong, and his link-up play is actually better than I thought it would be in college. He's able to play as a No. 9 through the middle or play wide in their front three, so he's shown some versatility."

Where TDs and coaches want improvement: "I think his consistency and his finishing and his final pass. He’s up there with the most shots in the league, but a lot of those miss the target. ... He’s one of those guys who just keeps going, so there’s lots of positives about that, but I do think just his end product, his final pass, his final shot has to improve. ... I think Deshorn has maybe four, five, six goals where probably a clinical finisher would have 15. That's how may chances he's gotten. ... He is still raw in terms of his link-up play, in terms of his hold-up play, in terms of his defending. ... The hardest skill is for a collegiate kid or a young kid playing at the next level to be a dangerous goalscorer. Those moments don’t come often, and when they do, players with experience know how to slow things down. With Deshorn, sometimes he still plays quickly."

Opta Says: Deshorn Brown leads all players eligible for 24 Under 24 with 70 shots attempted (excluding blocks), and is tied for the 2013 overall lead as well.
 

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: N/A
Castrol Index (as of 9/17/13): #60

2013 Stats
Matches played: 27
Matches started: 21
Goals: 7
Assists: 4

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