2014 "24 Under 24," presented by adidas, coming September 22-26

If you're young and talented, it's like you have wings.
-- Haruki Murakami


Who's next?

That's the question that has always been the guiding principle of MLSsoccer.com's annual "24 Under 24," presented by adidas.

The popular series, which will run September 22-26 on MLSsoccer.com, will look at the rising generation of talent in Major League Soccer, including our annual ranking of the best young players (under 24) and explorations into the latest in youth development in MLS, the United States, and Canada.

Many of the young players who appear on the "24 Under 24" each year are actually already established in their own right. This year, for example, the likes of Seattle's DeAndre Yedlin, New England's Diego Fagundez, and LA's Gyasi Zardes are all eligible. None of them are true bona fide stars yet, and all are loaded with potential still to be realized. And that's the point of the "24 Under 24": to reveal the potential of the rising generation of MLS players. 

The ranking, now in its 5th year, has certainly done a good job of sussing out who will be next. Over the past five years, the likes of Seattle goal-machine Fredy Montero (2010), Dallas winger Brek Shea (2011), Vancouver forward Darren Mattocks (2012), and Portland's Darlington Nagbe (2013) have finished atop the "24 Under 24" ranking. Kind of a Who's Who of young talent in MLS. 


HOW THE 2014 "24 UNDER 24" IS DETERMINED

The rankings this year, as in past years, are determined by a panel of soccer media members across the US and Canada who regularly cover MLS, including from ESPN, TSN, RDS, Sports Illustrated, FoxSports.com, Goal.com, and, of course, the editorial staff at MLSsoccer.com. 

A 50-player short list (see below) was selected by a preliminary panel of MLSsoccer.com editors and external constituents, and then the larger panel rated the 50 players based on the following criteria:

  • Technical (skills, dribbling, shooting, first touch, heading, etc.)
  • Soccer IQ (positioning, reading game, situational understanding, tactical awareness, etc.)
  • Physical Attributes (speed, endurance, strength, vertical leap, etc.)
  • Personality (attitude, marketability, media savviness, charisma, intangibles, etc.)
  • Potential (improvability, ceiling, national team potential, potential future transfer value, etc.)

The votes were tabulated to establish the final 24 players.

The cut-off date for eligibility for this year's was October 26, the final day of the 2014 MLS regular season. 

 


2014 "24 UNDER 24" SHORT LIST

  • Kellyn Acosta, FC Dallas
  • Tesho Akindele, FC Dallas
  • Leandro Barrera, Chivas USA
  • Steve Birnbaum, DC United
  • Deshorn Brown, Colorado Rapids
  • Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas
  • Marky Delgado, Chivas USA
  • Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas
  • Andres Escobar, FC Dallas
  • Diego Fagundez, NE Revolution
  • Andrew Farrell, NE Revolution
  • Olmes Garcia, Real Salt Lake
  • Luis Gil, Real Salt Lake
  • Nick Hagglund, Toronto FC
  • Bill Hamid, DC United
  • Doneil Henry, Toronto FC
  • Erik Hurtado, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Igor Juliao, Sporting KC
  • Perry Kitchen, DC United
  • Gershon Koffie, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Matias Laba, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Alexander Lopez, Houston Dynamo
  • Zac MacMath, Philadelphia Union
  • Felipe Martins, Montreal Impact
  • Jack McInerney, Montreal Impact
  • Kekuta Manneh, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Patrick Mullins, NE Revolution
  • Amobi Okugo, Philadelphia Union
  • Shane O'Neill, Colorado Rapids
  • Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC
  • Ambroise Oyongo, New York Red Bulls
  • Erik Palmer-Brown, Sporting KC
  • Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake
  • Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids
  • Kelyn Rowe, NE Revolution
  • Soony Saad, Sporting KC
  • Carlos Salcedo, Real Salt Lake
  • Omar Salgado, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Kofi Sarkodie, Houston Dynamo
  • Dillon Serna, Colorado Rapids
  • Harry Shipp, Chicago Fire
  • Russell Teibert, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Tommy Thompson, SJ Earthquakes
  • Erick Torres, Chivas USA
  • Wil Trapp, Columbus Crew
  • Victor Ulloa, FC Dallas
  • Maximiliano Urruti, Portland Timbers
  • Andrew Wenger, Philadelphia Union
  • DeAndre Yedlin, Seattle Sounders
  • Gyasi Zardes, LA Galaxy