MLSsoccer.com's annual ranking showcasing the top young players in MLS returns on October 3, with a twist!
The age cutoff is changing. We're going younger.
The eight editions of the popular 24 Under 24 series from 2010-17 featured the best 24 players under the age of 24. This year it will transition to a 22 Under 22 as voted on by an expert panel.
Why the age adjustment?
Along with the recruitment of more young international stars like LAFC's Diego Rossi and NYCFC's Jesus Medina, MLS clubs continue to make sizable investments in their academies which are producing dozens of Homegrown Players.
Those developments have led to a growing pool of younger players, prompting the change in format.
When are the 22 Under 22 rankings revealed?
The top 22 players in MLS under the age of 22 as of the end of the 2018 regular season (i.e. 21 or younger before October 28), will be revealed on October 3 on Twitter (Nos. 11-22) and October 4 (Nos. 1-10).
The top 10 reveal on October 4 will take place on a special edition of ExtraTime Live driven by Continental at 2 p.m. ET.
How were the rankings determined?
The rankings will reflect the votes submitted by a panel of 19 individuals comprising:
- 4 anonymous technical staffers;
- 10 members of the MLS Digital team (Matt Doyle, Sam Stejskal, Bobby Warshaw and Andrew Wiebe, among others);
- 5 soccer media members across North America, including Marcelo Balboa (Univision), Doug McIntyre (Yahoo! Sports), Alexi Lalas (FOX Sports), Paul Tenorio (The Athletic) and Will Parchman (The Athletic).
How are players evaluated?
All MLS players under the age of 22 (21 or younger) before Oct. 28, 2018 were eligible for consideration.
The panel ranked the eligible players based on the following criteria: technical ability, tactical IQ, physical attributes and future potential.
What did past rankings look like?
The eight previous editions of the 24 Under 24 rankings saw several notable international talents emerge at No. 1:
2017: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United)
2016:Cyle Larin (Orlando City)
2015:Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas)
2014:DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
2013:Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
2012:Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps)
2011:Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
2010:Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders)