It's been a big weekend for the league's young talent so far in the MLS Week 8 slate, with several under the age of 20 making their mark. Seemingly in every game featured at least one promising youth international, many of which domestic.
In other words: It was a big weekend for the #PlayYourKids crowd. (*Stares directly into Matt Doyle's soul.*)
Lots of domestic teenagers starting this week:— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) August 30, 2020
Cade Cowell (16)
Kevin Paredes, Ricardo Pepi (17)
George Bello, Gianluca Busio (18)
Brenden Aaronson, Frankie Amaya, Cole Bassett, Jesus Ferreira, Andres Perea* (19)
Perea is US-eligible but has repped Colombia w/ the U-20s.
Here's what you may have missed:
Saturday's match was Cowell's third MLS appearance. He figures to have more chances for minutes after the departure of Magnus Eriksson.
Aaronson burst onto the scene last year with the Philadelphia Union and has gone from strength-to-strength in 2020. A constant in Philly's starting XI, Aaronson picked up his second goal of the season in his team's 4-1 romp over D.C. United:
Daryl Dike has had a huge week.
The 2020 MLS SuperDraft first round selection earned his professional debut with Orlando City last weekend, firing a goal and an assist. He carried his momentum midweek where he bagged a brace in Orlando's win over Nashville SC then stayed in the lineup this weekend in Orlando's first-ever win over Atlanta United, in which he picked up an assist.
That's three goals and two assists in 242 minutes if you're counting at home.
Jesus Ferreira and Ricardo Pepi
Ferreira was joined in the starting XI by 17-year-old rising star Ricardo Pepi, who had an assist. Teammates Bryan Reynolds (19) and Brandon Servania (21) came off the bench as Dallas continue to give chances to their young players.
Bassett's Rapids didn't earn all three points because fellow teenager Gianluca Busio also scored.
Sporting Kansas City's Busio, 18, cashed the equalizer in the 67th minute from distance:
Busio, typically an attacking player, has featured as a front-footed defensive midfielder for Sporting KC in recent games. An interesting development to watch for the youngster who has attracted European interest.
There were so many US youth international players to make an impact this weekend. American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta did a great job of summarizing it in a couple of tweets:
The great @socceramerica did a great job listing the accomplishments of the #USYNT players who saw the field last night. I’ve been covering American soccer a long time including MLS. For young players, last night was probably the league’s best day - for both playing & succeeding pic.twitter.com/T6dd5bip7M— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) August 30, 2020
The future is bright.