24 Under 24 (2012): #21 Luis Silva (IMAGE)
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

24 Under 24: #21 Luis Silva, Toronto FC

21. Luis Silva

Pos: M/F | Toronto FC | Age: 23

One of the bright spots in a Toronto FC side that struggled through much of 2012 despite a momentary boost when Paul Mariner took over. Silva often showed off the goal-scoring midfielder skills that made him the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 SuperDraft. He could have probably placed higher if an off-field incident hadn’t derailed him. After dealing with the loss of his father, Silva has since won a permanent starting spot and backed it up by being a constant offensive threat. 

What TDs and coaches like: "Technically, he’s a very good player. I think he sees the easy passes and I think he sees the difficult pass early ... He makes good runs off the ball and is actually a good finisher in front of the goal. I think he hits the target quite a lot ... I think his movement off the ball is good and overall his touch is very good ... A very gifted player. … He’s got really good feet. … I think he’s been a surprise because he wasn’t projected to be as good at this level as he’s been. … He’s one of those players that’s sound fundamentally and that translated into him being effective for the first team. … He’s got a goal threat, but he’s also a guy that works hard in the middle of the field ... He’s proven he can be a little bit of a midfielder and an attacker, and that versatility allowed him to be selected."  

Where TDs and coaches want improvement: “When young players have these opportunities as rookies, the expectations go a little higher and you have to raise your game. Luis will have that challenge ... Hopefully with the experience this year he gets better overall. I think the physical side of the game everyone can improve upon ... It’s just a case with him trying to find the best position. If you can find his best position, he’s definitely got the skill and quality. He times his runs into the box, but finding out exactly where he should play – up front or a little deeper? ... He needs to be out there consistently ... A player like that is about creating and scoring goals, and when he doesn’t have the ball, really being a guy who can put pressure on the opposition, so being a two-way player would probably be the thing he could improve."

Opta Says: Only three players under 24 have scored more goals than Silva with 1,480 or fewer minutes in league play (Darren Mattocks -- 7, Teal Bunbury and Sanna Nyassi -- 5).

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: N/A
Fan Ranking: #26
Castrol Index (as of 9/10/12): #35

2012 Stats
Matches played: 23
Matches started: 15
Goals: 4
Assists: 2

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