MLS U-20 Players Ready To Shine

Most have their eyes on Gedion Zelalem, but there are a handful of MLS players on the US U-20 World Cup roster to watch for
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, May 27, 2015

US Soccer Federation (USSF)

The United States U-20 Men’s National Team starts its trek to U-20 World Cup glory on May 30th when the young Yanks take on Myanmar as the first test of the team’s U-20 WC journey.

Major League Soccer plays a part of many of the team’s players with 8 taking part in being named to the roster. Although many people have been focusing their efforts of looking up players and statistics of the team on players of interest such as Emerson Hyndman of Fulham, Rubio Rubin of FC Utrecht out of the Netherlands, and of course the next soccer messiah, Gedion Zelalem of Arsenal, that’s not to say many of the stars of not only the US U-20 team but also of the tournament, may just come from our very own Major League Soccer.

One of the soon-to-be standouts of the tournament could very well be a soon-to-be standouts of MLS is Bradford Jamieson IV. The not-yet 19-year old forward has played 6 games already for the 2015 MLS season (as he’s been deployed previously with LA Galaxy II or Los Dos, in the previous season), by starting 5 of those 6 games and notching one goal. Although he is still a bit green, having offensive partners in Ireland national Robbie Keane and Brazilian Juninho – as soon enough, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard will join in that list – only helps his advancement and growth in his game.

Just up the coast from La Galaxy-based Jamieson IV is San Jose Earthquake forward Tommy Thompson. The first San Jose Earthquake homegrown player hasn’t had as much success in terms of goals and assists like his forward counterpart in LA, but the games he has played so far, he’s had the movement and finesse that has caught the attention of those who watch MLS. Thompson, if he’s on his game, could be one to keep your eye on for the U-20 World Cup as well as for years to come in MLS, even though he could go under the radar for some.

On the defensive end of the pitch, there certainly are many people to watch out for during this tournament, with players coming from all over the country – ranging from New York to Salt Lake.

At first, Conor Donovan of Orlando City Soccer Club’s fame, was not slated to be on the squad, but with an injury to Russell Canouse, the first year MLSer joined up with the team in the South Pacific. That said, although he’s a young gun, he could add some spark to the team in defense.

Additionally, two other defenders who could most certainly be a great pairing are Matt Miazga of the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City’s Erik Palmer-Brown. Miazga has shown, through a handful of tough Red Bulls matches this year, that he definitely has the makings of a future MLS All Star. Also, Palmer-Brown, whom KC coach Peter Vermes could use if EPB didn’t jet off to New Zealand with the U-20 team, has caught the eyes of Juventus, and could obviously catch the eyes of the American U-20 World Cup soccer watching public.

The other MLS players in Kellyn Acosta from FC Dallad, Jordan Allen out of Real Salt Lake, and Toronto’s Marco Delgado have most of the same makings as the other MLS brethren. And even though most people will keep their eyes on bigger hotshots like Zelalem and Hyndman, and even players like Paul Arriola and Cameron Carter-Vickers, to be a well-rounded American soccer fan, make sure to listen a little more intently when the MLS U-20 players are talked about. They may just surprise you.

Katherine RUPP

Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.