FC Dallas have established a hard-earned and well-deserved reputation as arguably the top cultivators of young talent in MLS, but according to the newest rankings SoccerWire.com, there's a new MLS club that can lay claim to that title.
SoccerWire released their latest Top 100 Boys Rankings last week, which highlights the top youth clubs in the United States. According to the algorithm which they use to compile their list, it was the Philadelphia Union that came out with the top spot, overtaking FC Dallas for the first time since the monthly rankings began in February 2020.
SoccerWire's algorithm measures the competitiveness of each club's U-15-U-19 teams, along with other factors including recent US Youth National Team call-ups and season success in the nation’s top leagues.
Both clubs certainly have their arguments as the league's gold standard in terms of youth development. FC Dallas have an increasingly lengthy list of homegrown standouts that have garnered overseas transfers, including Reggie Cannon, Bryan Reynolds and Chris Richards. The Union have been right on their heels, though, with Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg) and Mark McKenzie (Genk) representing two Philadelphia homegrowns that are also now plying their trade in Europe.
Regardless of where you come down on who has the edge, SoccerWire's rankings didn't go unnoticed by the Union, who prompted a back-and-forth between the two clubs on social media.
There'll be an ideal chance to evaluate which clubs rise to the top when it comes to youth development when the inaugural MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs take place from June 25-July 3 in the Dallas Metroplex.
In the meantime, you can check out SoccerWire's full latest rankings here.