22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR - 2020 Rankings

D.C. United’s youngest player since Freddy Adu pushed into the first team ahead of schedule in 2020, showcasing the range, awareness and fluidity on the ball that makes him such an enticing center-mid prospect for club and country, even though it’s not entirely clear yet whether he’s best as a No. 6, No. 8, No. 10 or some combination thereof. It’s notable that he’s the only American on The Guardian’s “Next Generation 2020” list of the top 60 young talents in world soccer. Full stats and highlights

Tessmann was already a household name in American soccer circles and beyond, even before kicking his first ball in MLS. The 19-year-old was famously recruited by Dabo Swinney and Clemson to play football before turning it down to sign a Homegrown deal with FC Dallas. That decision has already proved to have been a shrewd one, with the physically robust Tessmann showcasing his defensive awareness and fine passing range at the heart of the Dallas midfield. Full stats and highlights

The marauding right back has locked down a starting role under Thierry Henry in his second season in Montreal. His attacking ability stands out and his chance creation numbers are among the best for his position in MLS. Full stats and highlights

Casseres earned his full Venezuelan national team debut this season as the tenacious central midfielder continued his development with the Red Bulls. Tailor-made for the club’s pressing ethos, Casseres will hope to thrive under new head coach Gerhard Struber. Full stats and highlights

FC Dallas could afford to transfer Reggie Cannon because they had Reynolds in the wings -- every bit the now-Boavista man’s equal as an elite right-back prospect. There’s a reason the club recently signed the 19 year old to a new four-year deal. He’s the future … and like Cannon, he is likely to be the subject of European interest, too. Full stats and highlights

Last year the 18-year-old was called the best young talent in MLS by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This year, after hitting the weight room and changing his diet, “Efra” has emerged as a legitimate starting option for the LA Galaxy, scoring a spectacular first MLS goal. The playmaker is magic with the ball at his feet and if he can get a solid run of matches, the rest of the league will see what Zlatan did. Full stats and highlights

After finishing at No. 9 in the 22 Under 22 rankings last year, Ferreira drops down seven spots due to a quiet 2020 season so far. After 14 combined goals and assists in 2019, the FCD forward has just two this year. A bit of a tweener, Ferreira needs to prove he can be a consistent force to win back a regular spot in Luchi Gonzalez’s attacking front four. Full stats and highlights

Being the No. 1 SuperDraft pick of an expansion team that struggled mightily out of the gates challenged Amaya greatly; in 2020 he showed he’s coming to terms with the pro level, flashing defensive muscle and work rate in addition to his passing vision as he grows into a versatile modern central midfielder. Full stats and highlights

After a lost 2019 season, Bello has been a bright spot for Atlanta in 2020. He’s locked down the starting left back role under Stephen Glass and looks his best going forward, while showing greater improvement in his defensive awareness and positioning. Full stats and highlights

US men’s national team fans will be seeing a lot of Vines in the coming years. After a breakout season in MLS in 2019, the Rapids’ homegrown left back earned a spot in January’s USMNT camp and finished it off with his first cap. It’s no wonder: Vines attacks just as well as he defends and he can run all day. He’s quietly emerged as one of the best left backs in MLS and he’s an immovable fixture in the Rapids starting XI. And he’s still only 21. Full stats and highlights

LA Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto is not one to hype his younger players, but even he’s recently had to admit that Araujo will go far in his career and he’s enjoying him while he still can. The 19 year old is a right back, but he’s been so impressive that the Galaxy have pushed him into an attacking role on the right wing. Araujo is skillful, tenacious and fast and his play has caught the eye of the Mexican national team, which is trying to lure him away from the US. Full stats and highlights

It’s not easy to be part of a defense that has conceded more goals than any other in the Eastern Conference and still emerge with plaudits aplenty, but that’s exactly what Luis Binks has done in 2020. Signed from Tottenham in the offseason, the 19-year-old has been a rare bright spot at the back for the Impact, impressing with his assuredness in possession. The only disappointment is that his stay in Montreal looks set to be a short one, having already agreed a move to Serie A side Bologna. Full stats and highlights

Arguably the best rookie in MLS this year, the hulking center forward won the starting job for Orlando City in August and never looked back. Dike’s size is what jumps out on first glance, but it’s his quality both in the build-up and finishing chances that make him a highly-rated prospect. Full stats and highlights

More than two years on from his debut and with almost 50 MLS appearances to his name, it’s easy to forget that Busio is still just 18. This season has seen the North Carolina native add a new string to his bow and perhaps signal where his long-term future may lie when operating and impressing as a deep-lying midfielder, leading Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes to mention him in the same breath as the great regista Andrea Pirlo. Full stats and highlights

It shows you just how talented Barco is that he still lands in the Top 10 despite another underwhelming season with the Five Stripes. He has been hampered by injuries in 2020, but still shows his trademark ability to beat players on 1v1 and make the decisive pass in the final third. Full stats and highlights

He’s still just 19, but the midfielder sits near the top of his team’s goals and assists columns thanks to a sequence of impact performances after the MLS is Back Tournament, underlining his progress since last year’s No. 20 ranking in the 22 Under 22. Rapids coach Robin Fraser has hailed his advanced understanding of space and European scouts are taking notice, too. Full stats and highlights

To hijack an old saying about Sergio Busquets: If you watch the game you might not see Sands, but if you watch Sands you see the whole game. NYCFC’s homegrown defensive mid is understatedly excellent in his reading of play and has the technical quality to match. He’s also honed a center back’s skillset over the past two seasons. It’s too bad a foot fracture has robbed NYCFC of one of their most important players for the rest of 2020. Full stats and highlights

It’s been a frustrating season for Pomykal, who has the talent to top this list, but was limited to just 150 minutes played due to injuries. The versatile midfielder still is among the brightest prospects in the league and will hope to get back on track in 2021 and win a spot on the US national team. Full stats and highlights

Akinola’s breakout performance at the MLS is Back Tournament was no flash in the pan. His speed, power and technical ability give opposing defense all sorts of problems, and he has continued to hone his goalscoring instincts as Toronto have gone on a tear that sees them at the top of standings, and that’s a big part of the reason he’s making his 22 Under 22 debut all the way up at No. 4. Full stats and highlights

After missing much of the 2019 season due to injury and Under-20 World Cup action, Philly’s talented center back took a massive step forward this year, becoming a trusted regular for one of MLS’s top teams, and his jump from No. 16 to No. 3 in this ranking reflects it. Blending a sturdy character, rugged physicality and a cultured passing touch, McKenzie is being tracked by clubs across Europe and may soon become the Union’s next big export. Full stats and highlights

Don’t be deceived — what the Uruguayan has lacked in the goals column he makes up for in devastating 1v1 skills and elite chance creation, where he ranks among MLS’s very best players in 2020. He’s even already scored three senior goals for his national team by age 20. All that makes for one of the most intriguing prospects in MLS, and one who is already making clubs in Europe’s top leagues sit up and take note. Full stats and highlights

After finishing No. 7 last year, Aaronson claims the top spot in 2020 on the heels of a stellar season. The attacking midfielder continues to be an impressive two-way presence at the tip of the Union’s midfield diamond and he has upped his goal contribution this season. It was enough to seal a club-record transfer to RB Salzburg for January 2021. Full stats and highlights

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