22MLS-22u22_Past5Winners-16x9

The list is out and FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira tops MLSsoccer.com’s 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR rundown for the 2022 MLS season.

Who has he joined as top honorees? And what might these past winners reveal about what awaits Ferreira's career?

Here’s the select company the 21-year-old homegrown, who’s primed to star at the FIFA 2022 World Cup with the United States, has entered.

Editor's note: The list, up until 2018, was previously known as 24 Under 24.

2021
Pepi, Ricardo-480.png

Pepi rose to stardom during the 2021 MLS season, finishing with 13 goals and three assists across 31 games (24 starts). That prompted a reported $20 million move to German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg last winter, and the USMNT No. 9 has since been loaned out to Groningen in the Eredivisie in search of goals and form.

2020
Brenden-Aaronson

Aaronson has gone from a prized Philadelphia Union academy prospect to a club-record signing (reported $30 million) for English Premier League side Leeds United in just a few years. Now dubbed their “American Boy” by the Elland Road faithful, Aaronson enjoys a key USMNT role after also proving himself at Austrian Bundesliga side RB Salzburg for several seasons.

LAFC pride themselves on acquiring promising young talent from South America, and Diego Rossi might be the most sterling example of that strategic approach. Winner of the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi and MLS Young Player of the Year awards in 2020, the Uruguayan winger now plays for Turkish Süper Lig side Fenerbahçe after his initial loan turned into a reported $10 million transfer (complete package).

The crown jewel of MLS homegrowns, Davies is a bonafide superstar for German Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich. He’s also carried the Canadian men’s national team to their first FIFA World Cup appearance since 1986, ending a 36-year drought for the program. A left back and left winger, he originally departed Vancouver Whitecaps FC for what could rise to a reported $22 million transfer.

Now playing for Newcastle United in the English Premier League, Almiron is the owner of MLS’s record outgoing transfer fee, a reported $27 million in January 2019. That all followed the Paraguayan international’s rapid ascension with Atlanta United, earning Best XI honors in 2017-18 before bringing the Five Stripes their first MLS Cup title in 2018.

After several years with Beşiktaş in the Turkish Süper Lig, Larin signed this past summer with Belgian First Division A side Club Brugge. All the while, he’s now Canada’s leading scorer and was a huge part of booking a World Cup return in 2022, scoring 13 goals throughout Concacaf qualifying. Before heading to Europe, Larin was the first overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft​​ and won MLS Rookie of the Year honors with Orlando City SC.

After beginning his professional career with Deportivo Cali in his native Colombia, Fabian Castillo signed with FC Dallas ahead of the 2011 season. The speedy winger scored 34 goals and added 30 assists in 159 appearances for then-head coach Oscar Pareja before a move to Turkey's Trabzonspor in 2016. Now, he’s spent the last half-decade playing in Mexico’s top flight.

The original Seattle Sounders FC homegrown signing in 2013, Yedlin spent over seven years in Europe, most prominently featuring at Premier League side Newcastle United and Turkish side Galatasaray. Now back in MLS with Inter Miami CF, the 29-year-old right back is a huge piece in the Herons’ turnaround. Yedlin is also vying for a World Cup spot with the United States, bringing a veteran presence as a 2014 World Cup alum.

Since arriving as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft to the Portland Timbers, Nagbe has established himself as one of the league’s most technically gifted, tempo-setting midfielders wherever he’s been. The University of Akron product has three MLS Cup victories to his name with Portland (2015), Atlanta (2018) and most recently with Columbus in 2020, where he remains a vital cog for the Crew.

Mattocks started his MLS career with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, where he would feature until 2016 before getting other stints at Portland, D.C. United and FC Cincinnati. His MLS career finished with 37 goals and 14 assists across 182 games (102 starts), racking up 50 caps with Jamaica as well. Mattocks last played for Phoenix Rising FC, one of the USL Championship's top clubs.

2011
MIA_Brek_Shea_HEA

Shea was once among US soccer’s hottest prospects, turning his early FC Dallas stardom into a move to then-English Premier League side Stoke City in 2013. He became something of a journeyman with brief stints on loan at Barnsley and Birmingham City before returning to MLS in 2015 with Orlando City. Moves to Vancouver, Atlanta and Inter Miami CF followed suit, where he remains a veteran presence for the latter side.

Montero was a huge part of laying Seattle’s trophy-filled foundation upon their MLS introduction in 2009. The Colombian striker is a club legend for carrying much of the attacking load during his first stint in Rave Green before his departure, first to Sporting CP (Portugal) and then to Tianjin Tigers (China), eventually returning to MLS for two separate runs with Vancouver in 2017 and from 2019-20. Montero made his return to Seattle ahead of the 2021 season, where he’s continued his productive form.