There’s a Jeremy Lin waiting to erupt in every league.
So we dug up the MLS names that have the identical combination of traits that have made Lin’s story transcend nationwide: a rise from relative obscurity, an unconventional path to stardom, far from dominant physical traits and the ability to impact his team in a significant way.
We narrowed down a list of 10 names that have the potential of replicating #LinSanity in 2012:
LA’s Jack McBean, FC Dallas striker Jonathan Top, the Crew’s Aaron Horton and RSL’s Sebastian Velasquez likely won’t get enough of a shot this season;
Columbus’ Ben Speas, Chivas USA’s Casey Townsend and Philly’s Chandler Hoffman come from collegiate soccer powers and don’t make the cut;
Chicago’s Orr Barouch and Portland’s Bright Dike are both doted with the athletic attributes of potential difference makers. It wouldn't be fair to name them.
Which leaves our favorite candidate: Lin’s fellow Harvard grad Mike Fucito.
He was never looked at by the US national team in his younger days, he went to a school that’s not a traditional soccer heavyweight and his 5-9 frame makes him a long shot to be a force at forward in a league where athleticism rules.
The Massachusetts native made just 13 starts and scored two league goals for Seattle in 2011, so he still has a ways to go. Similarly, Lin came off the bench in 29 games for Golden State in the last NBA season, averaging 2.6 points per game.
Fucito may have the slight headstart with the beginnings of a cult following in Seattle. But he's no regular just yet and he has the chance to take ownership of the forward spot permanently if he can stay injury-free this year.
And if the goals can follow, #LinSanity may have to make way for a dusting-off of #LikeMike.