15 nuggets to follow this season in Major League Soccer


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Like the record transfer of Ricardo Pepi for Augsburg or transfers like those of George Bello (Arminia Bielefeld) and Cole Bassett (Feyenoord) again this winter, North American football is exporting well. This is also felt with the rise of the American and Canadian selections. Also drawing a lot from South America and especially Argentina, MLS is gaining in power and many young talents are emerging.

South American talent

Thiago Almada (20 years old / Argentina / Atlanta United)

So he was even expected to land directly in Europe. In the small papers of Marseille last summer where he was very close to joining the Côte d’Azur, he finally joined the club Atlanta United. An understandable choice as the team which performs in the magnificent setting of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium specializes in the promotion of South American players. Miguel Almiron (Newcastle) and Josef Martínez (still at the club) are symbols of success. Arrived against a check for €14.5m, the former Velez Sarsfield player will have to make his mark and assert himself as one of the best players in the championship in order to hope for a European adventure.

Facundo Torres (21 years old/Uruguay/Orlando)

Big blow from the winter transfer window also, Facundo Torres arrived from the Peñarol club in Orlando for almost 7 million euros. The Uruguayan left winger who has 10 caps with Celeste remains on an accomplished season (10 goals and 8 offerings in 33 matches and he won the title of Uruguayan champion in 2021. Thus, the native of Montevideo seems to have chosen the good time to take it to the next level. Already conquering MLS by performing with Orlando City and then trying to go to Europe on the strength of his performances. Hard-hitting and effective, in addition to enjoying international status with his country, he risks being one of the attractions of this 2022 championship.

Talles Magno (19 years old/Brazil/New York City)

Also renowned for its prospecting in South America, New York City, a club from the City Football Group, has unearthed a nugget with Talles Magno. The young Brazilian who was in the sights of Liverpool, Sevilla, Lazio, Bayer Leverkusen, Benfica and in particular Paris Saint-Germain finally decided to move to MLS to harden up before trying his luck in Europe. The 19-year-old left winger, who arrived last May, scored 3 goals in 18 appearances on his debut. This time, he appears to be on his feet with two goals in the Concacaf Champions League against Costa Rican side Santos de Guápiles. Now a holder, he will have a better field of expression for this 2022 season on the side of the big apple.

Brian Rodríguez (21 years old / Uruguay / Los Angeles FC)

Loaned in the second half of the 2020/2021 season to Almeria, Brian Rodríguez returned with his tail between his legs on the side of Los Angeles FC (4 goals and 3 offerings in 15 matches). The Uruguayan international right winger (17 caps, 3 goals) who arrived in the summer of 2019 from Peñarol against 10.5 million euros will have to confirm that his Spanish failure was only a premature departure. Better from last summer and his return to the United States, Brian Rodríguez will be one of the leaders of the Californian club which will aim for the title in Major League Soccer.

Alan Velasco (19/Argentina/Dallas)

In the sights of Lille, but also of Monaco, Olympique Lyonnais, Newcastle or Brighton, Alan Velasco opted for Major League Soccer to develop a little more. Arrived in February in Dallas against 6.36 million euros, the 19-year-old left ally remains on a season with 2 goals and 7 offerings in 43 matches. Pocket player (1m67) capable of evolving as an attacking midfielder, the native of Quilmes was one of the big hits of the last winter transfer window in MLS. Still having to be a little more effective in front of goal, he will be able to refine his game before dreaming of other horizons. Dallas expects him to become ruthless.

Powerful American internationals

Cade Cowell (18/USA/San Jose)

While Ricardo Pepi is the American offensive nugget at number 9, another player will be able to claim this status. This is Cade Cowell. Even if he was used in a surprising role of piston for the resumption of the championship against the New York Red Bulls (defeat 3-1), the striker of the San José Earthquakes comes out of a good season with 5 goals and 5 assists in 33 matches. Already capped once with the United States in a friendly against Bosnia (1-0), the California-born player represents the future of his country. With the world in Qatar in sight in eight months, Cade Cowell will have to confirm his good last season.

Jesús Ferreira (21 years old/USA/Dallas)

Born in Colombia, Jesus Fereira is the son of David Ferreira, a Colombian international winner of the 2001 Copa América, the only major competition won by the Cafeteros in their history. Like his younger brother Santiago (17) who is still at a university level, Jesús was educated in Dallas, the most prestigious American academy. The attacking midfielder remains on a crazy season with 8 goals and 8 caviars in 27 league matches and has even made his mark in the selection where he already has 2 goals and 4 offerings in 27 matches. On track to be part of the trip to Qatar with the American selection, he will have to confirm the previous exercise and Europe should quickly reach out to him.

Paxten Aaronson (18/USA/Philadelphia)

In the Aaronson family I ask for the little brother. While his big brother Brenden is a hit with Red Bull Salzburg (5 goals and 9 assists in 30 matches), Paxten points the tip of his nose. International U20, the 18-year-old is also a pure Philadelphia Union talent like his elder. Author of 3 goals in 16 matches last season, the one who also evolves as an attacking midfielder intends to follow in the footsteps of his brother. On track to follow this path, his objective will be above all to settle as a holder within the team based in Pennsylvania.

Caden Clark (18/USA/NY Red Bulls)

He already has a foot outside of Europe since he belongs to RB Leipzig. On loan again until next December given the strong competition within the German club, Caden Clark remains on a convincing season with 4 goals and 3 offerings in 25 MLS matches. The 18-year-old attacking midfielder, who started on the bench on Day 1 against the San José Earthquakes, has already cracked a first assist. Still learning, the native of Medina will be able to fix some faults before actually trying his luck in the Bundesliga.

Auston Trusty (23/USA/Colorado Rapids)

Like Caden Clark, he will quickly join Europe since he has just been bought by Arsenal, which he will join next July. A solid central defender, Auston Trusty is not yet an international despite having been called up twice, but he risks becoming one if he continues like this. Sure value of the championship with the Colorado Rapids, Auston Trusty must take advantage of this exercise as an initiation to fight for a place on the side of the Gunners. The mission promises to be complicated, but he will still be able to enjoy for a few months a championship which he is doing rather well.

Moses Nyeman (18/USA/DC United)

Currently at the gates of the American selection, Moses Nyeman is one of the nice surprises of last season with DC United. Used 19 times, the pocket defensive midfielder (1m65) has established himself within the Washington team. Now having to confirm in a sustainable way to join a selection where places are expensive, the 18-year-old will have to be more consistent over time. However, the talent is certain and this year again, he should assert his qualities as a recuperator.

Obed Vargas (16/USA/Seattle)

Yes he was born in 2005 and he has already started the season in Seattle. After a great season with Tacoma Defiance, the reserve of Seattle which evolves in MLS Next Pro (third level of the national pyramid of American football), Obed Vargas is already taking his ease. Already an American U20 international, he shows great maturity despite his 16 years. Considered one of the biggest talents in his country, his development will clearly be one to watch. A model of precocity, we have not finished hearing about this relay medium to whom we do not speak of age.

Other foreign talents

Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty (17/Canada/Toronto)

Notably tested by Liverpool and Arsenal, Canadian winger Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty is a reflection of the rising youth of his country, a very promising element. Youngest player called by his selection (not yet used), this small explosive profile (1m65) comes out of a good first season (12 appearances, 2 offerings) where he was able to highlight his qualities. Already forced to leave North America shortly after his 18th birthday, he is seen as an element whose potential is of the caliber of Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David. This season in MLS, he will have more opportunity to show himself before considering a transfer to Europe.

Julián Araujo (20 years old/Mexico/Los Angeles Galaxy)

Opting for the Mexican selection recently, Julián Araujo has been known for a while in the United States. The right side of the Los Angeles Galaxy has a huge offensive contribution and his 6 offerings in 32 games last season are there to testify. Italian clubs like Inter Milan or Juventus have already come to the news for a player who seems to be gaining consistency. Like many players on this list, he will try to benefit from the exposure of the 2022 World Cup with Mexico to afford a transfer to Europe. In the meantime, it is progressing and developing in California.

Efraín Álvarez (19 years old/Mexico/Los Angeles Galaxy)

Similar situation for his young teammate Efraín Álvarez a year his junior. Recently opting for the Tri, the attacking midfielder remains on a good season in California with 2 goals and 3 offerings in 26 matches. Holder, but not yet indisputable with his club, the one who was born in Los Angeles will have to assert his status a little more. His efficiency and his consistency over the entire meeting will be areas of progress on which he will have to work.

Younger and younger players

Note that more and more very young players have just obtained a professional contract. Axel Kei signed for Real Salt Lake when he was just 14 years and 15 days old and the record was quickly broken. Maximo Carrizo signed professional with New York City on Monday February 28 when he had just celebrated his 14th birthday. His teammate Christian McFarlane, who is only 15, also plays in the New York franchise. These three young people should not play or only a few entries at the end of the season, but they show MLS’s desire to push for more and more young players.

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