24 Under 24: #10 Russell Teibert, Vancouver Whitecaps

10. Russell Teibert

Pos: M | Vancouver Whitecaps | Age: 20

The Whitecaps FC Residency product makes his first appearance on this list after becoming a mainstay in Martin Rennie’s midfield with the Vancouver first team. Teibert leads the 'Caps with eight assists so far this season, and he’s added two goals to his totals in 18 games. Also becoming a regular choice for the Canadian national team, he has been at home in the center of the park or as a winger. “I’m a big fan of Russell’s, I’ve said that many times,” Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker told The Vancouver Sun. “… He’s got tremendous ability and he has a very bright future.”

What TDs and coaches like: "He’s a player that has accelerated quickly. When I first saw him, it took him some time to adapt. ... He’s clearly got some tools. He is left footed and he’s got a dangerous shot and he hits a good cross. Good quickness and cleverness about him. He’s always looking to shoot and get stuff on target. ... The one spot I don’t think he’s comfortable in is as a pure target striker, but an underneath second forward or wide left and right are his strengths. ... He’s a very gifted young man technically, quick feet. Good one-v-one player, plays the ball well in tight spaces. ... He’s a guy that can create his own goal-scoring opportunities, he can create for others, he’s got really good upside. We’ve watched him for a lot of years, back when he was with the U-17s and U-20s qualifying for Canada, and he always showed that he had some real excitement to his game.”

Where TDs and coaches want improvement: "If he’s going to be a wide guy, his defending needs to improve and understanding that role. ... For me, it’s consistency. I’ll scout a game and see him over 90 minutes where he’s had way more pluses than minuses. Then there are games where he’s sort of out of it. Having a consistent impact in games and understanding his role on the defensive end are two areas to work on. ... I think where Russell has found it somewhat difficult, especially lately, is teams are now focused on slowing him down. ... I think he’s going to need to add maybe a little bit more to that one-v-one because he really relies on coming inside and showing that ball. Can he develop a move or two to get himself down the line, refine that right foot, get a little bit more quality in that and become a player that can not only come inside, but also go beyond you on the outside and get service in?"

Opta Says: Russell Teibert leads all players eligible for 24 Under 24 with 5.5 crosses per game during the 2013 season.
 

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: N/A
Castrol Index (as of 9/19/13): #123

2013 Stats
Matches played: 18
Matches started: 17
Goals: 2
Assists: 8

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