Lucas Melano | Forward | Portland Timbers | Age: 22
Last Year in 24 Under 24: n/a
2015 Stats: Matches played: 8 - Goals: 1 - Assists: 1
Any soccer player can run. Fewer can run fast. Fewer still can run fast and smart.
Lucas Melano is one of those select few, an open-field burner whose understanding of how to apply his athletic gifts made him Portland's primary target this summer. While he hasn't turned those gifts into consistent production just yet, our game is about time and space, and Melano's presence creates both for his team.
Once the goals come – most are convinced that's a "when," not an "if" – he'll look like a bargain, even with that DP pricetag.
What the technical staffers say: “I think there’s soccer there. I think there’s something there. What separates him out from the [Gaston] Fernandezes and [Maxi] Urrutis is he’s got pace – the kid can really run. There are moments when the ball gets pushed through, he’s gonna get onto the end of it, and he's gonna do something with it."
“Will he figure it out here? Too soon to say, but I’ve always been a proponent of giving forwards a chance rather than cutting them and just going in a different direction. There are some that after a while you say, ‘You know what? He just doesn’t have it,’ but I don't think this guy is that.”
What Opta Sports says: Lucas Melano’s 4.6 shots per 90 minutes rank first among eligible players to have attempted more than 10 shots this season. This also ranks fifth among all MLS players who have taken more than 10 shots in 2015.
- READ: Born to run? Melano's athleticism a new dimension for Portland
- WATCH: Melano gets his first MLS goal - and it's a big one
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