US Men's National Team: 10 Teenage Prospects Who Could Play in Brazil 2014
After the US Men's National Team's disappointing defeat to Mexico in the Gold Cup final, the main instinct of many US fans was to look forward to the next generation. After all, a fair amount of USMNT stars quite possibly could have been playing in their final CONCACAF tournament, spawning a massive craving to observe the ones who could take their place.
The US Soccer youth programs continue to grow and soar to new heights, making the next generation of US Soccer likely a revolutionary one. Want to know who could be the stars of tomorrow, right now? Here is a list of the next class of young American talents who could be coming to a television set near you soon.
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Club: Vancouver Whitecaps
Birthday: September 10, 1993
After unexpectedly being taken first overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Salgado has a lot to prove in the upcoming years. The Texas native first gained attention after his successful showing at the 2010 Milk Cup and now has made 12 appearances for his club team, the Vancouver Whitecaps.
His height allows him to be an aerial threat and a possible target man for the USMNT in the future. If Salgado finishes off the second half of the MLS season with a bang, he could jump his way up to the first team by 2012.
Birthday: June 17, 1994
If his name sounds familiar, it is probably because you have seen it being tossed around on Liverpool FC fan sites. Pelosi reportedly received an offer from the prestigious club last week after his terrific performance at the U-17 World Cup.
If the rumors do indeed come true, it could be a groundbreaking moment for US Soccer. Pelosi could single-handedly pave the way for many other talented US youths if said contract offer is indeed true.
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Club: Real Salt Lake
Birthday: November 14, 1993
Position: Attacking Midfield
Simply put, Gil could be the central playmaker that USMNT fans have long awaited. Before choosing to stay close to home and play for Real Salt Lake, many top European clubs were in a race for his services, including Arsenal.
Despite being only 17, Gil plays mature and calm, a simple style of football that is rare to see in many of the top youth players today. It is too early to tell, but he might just be the CAM who changes US Soccer forever.
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Club: Derby County
Birthday: October 13, 1991
The Irish-American has quietly become a top prospect for Bob Bradley and the USMNT.
Amongst all the USMNT transfer wackiness that occurred after the 2010 World Cup, Conor Doyle’s Derby County signing might prove to be the biggest of last summer. The big Texan made 14 appearances for the Rams last season and could compete for a starting striker spot this year at Derby. He even has high hopes at soon breaking into the USMNT starting lineup.
However, as the rest of this list will show, he has a fair amount of competition on his road to first-team international football.
Birthday: September 16, 1992
It can be said that a player like Gyau is the missing piece to the USMNT’s often lackluster offense. Gyau’s flair and wing playmaking skills have proven to be very effective for the U-20 team and he could provide an outside spark currently vacant from the national team.
If Gyau and Adu both fulfill expectations, the USMNT could have one of the most entertaining wing pairings at Brazil 2014.
Club: West Ham
Birthday: September 3, 1992
The US U-20 starlet is showing all the signs of a breakout season for West Ham next fall. Lletget has been playing significant minutes for the West Ham reserve team this summer and with WHU making good use of the transfer market to get rid of old talent, 2011 could be the perfect time for Lletget to rise.
Birthday: January 3, 1993
If you feel like you have heard his name before, it is because his Liverpool signing has been all over the web this week. Bijev scored five goals in two games for the Liverpool U-18s this summer, enough to get him an LFC contract and enhance the hopes of USMNT fans everywhere.
The USMNT currently lacks a star striker and a player who shines on a Premier League club. Bijev could kill those two birds with one stone and help gain respect for US Soccer in general.
Birthday: November 17, 1991
At just 19 years old, Agbossoumonde has played in twice as many international as club matches in his career. Needless to say, he is a US U-20 veteran and should be ready to make the jump to the first team in the near future.
Although his club career has failed to get off the ground, Gale was named the USS Young Athlete of the Year in 2010 and looks to be a centerpiece of the next generation USMNT defense that should rise in the upcoming years. As long as Agbossoumonde can stay out of limbo on the club level, his future should contain bright things.
Club: Solar Chelsea SC
Birthday: April 19, 1994
The US has produced yet another athletically gifted target forward who has outrageous potential. What else is new?
Koroma really raised eyebrows after his near-perfect performance this summer at the U-17 World Cup. The Dallas native netted two goals in four appearances for the US U-17s and constantly put pressure on opponents with his sheer size and athletic ability.
At only 17 years old, a 2014 World Cup appearance may be a little too optimistic, but Koroma certainly has the potential to be lighting it up in Russia.
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Club: New York Red Bulls
Birthday: November 23, 1992
If you don’t know Agudelo’s name by now, it is a wonder why you are reading this article in the first place. The New York Red Bull product has been deemed the next American prodigy after scoring two goals in his first three USMNT appearances and putting forth a successful Gold Cup campaign.
Despite not being a regular starter for the New York Red Bulls this season, Agudelo was also named an MLS All-Star and will showcase his skills against Manchester United next week. With prodigy-type pressure now lying on his shoulders, we can only hope that the country doesn’t yet again overhype a young talent.
So Juan, if you are reading this, we don’t actually think you are that good.
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Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union)
Lester Dewee (Marseille)
Charles Renken (Hoffenheim)