Wednesday, December 26, 2018

MLS Top 10, 21 and Under (2018)

Major League Soccer has a stranglehold on professional soccer in the United States. With Don Garber stating recently that he thinks MLS should be a selling league all the sudden, here's a quick look at MLS players 21 years old and younger that made an impact in the league in 2018.

AgePlayer NameTeamCountryHelltownWhoScoredEA FIFAMedianMLS WageTransfermarkt Value (in millions)
18Alphonso DaviesVancouverGhana6.307.547.907.54$72,500€10.00
20Diego RossiLos Angeles FCUruguay7.857.177.207.20$1,052,000€4.50
19Tyler AdamsNew YorkUnited States7.$146,042€4.50
20Reggie CannonFC DallasUnited States7.306.986.406.98$67,500€0.80
20Auston TrustyPhiladelphiaUnited States6.906.816.606.81$109,100€0.80
21Justen GladReal Salt LakeUnited States6.426.816.906.81$291,700€0.80
20Milton ValenzuelaColumbusArgentina6.216.787.106.78$313,300€1.00
19Ezequiel BarcoAtlantaArgentina5.636.767.406.76$1,425,000€8.00
21Jesús MedinaNew York City FCParaguay5.976.746.906.74$770,833€0.85
21Brooks LennonReal Salt LakeUnited States6.616.806.706.70$237,583€0.70

What I did is take my ratings from the last regular season and match them up with WhoScored and Electronic Art's FIFA series to create a list of the best.

At the top is Davies, who has already set a record in regards to transfer amount out of the league to North America market hungry Bundesliga (Bayern Munich, $16.5 million).

The rest are still in MLS. Many are speed merchants with a little bit of talent. I'm pegging Diego Rossi, who played with Bob Bradley's LAFC, as the next one who might have some value overseas. Outside of that, it's slim pickings.

I do like Milton Valenzuela of the Columbus Crew. A lot depends on how the team looks this upcoming season.

Another one to keep an eye on is Ezequiel Barco, an Argentinian player for Atlanta United.

Helltown Beer MLS Player of the Year

This marks the 8th MLS Player of the Year Award for Helltown. Same rating system I've been using since 2011. It's a simple system that looks at basic "box score" statistics and then weighs how well the team did during the regular season. It's not meant to split hairs, it's purpose since day one has been to give me a general idea of who is playing well.

You can see the complete FINAL list HERE.

2018 WINNER: JOSEF MARTINEZ, Atlanta United

Josef had a big year. MLS Cup Winner and New MLS record for goals in a season.

Past Winners:
2017: Nemanja Nikolics
2016: Bradley Wright-Phillips
2015: Bradley Wright-Phillips
2014: Robbie Keane
2013: Darlington Nagbe
2012: Chris Wondolowski
2011: Todd Dunivant

Goal scoring players have dominated my winner's list five years straight, which lines up with MLS's focus on increasing goals.

Since 2011 I've had 6 forwards, a midfielder and a defender win Player of the Year. I have not changed my methodology since 2011.

Here is a look at the 2018 Top 10:
10.0 : Josef Martínez : Atlanta
9.10 : Bradley Wright-Phillips : New York
8.95 : Miguel Almirón : Atlanta
8.86 : Julian Gressel : Atlanta
8.35 : Graham Zusi : Sporting KC
8.25 : Maximiliano Moralez : New York City FC
8.24 : Cristian Roldan : Seattle
8.13 : Ilie Sánchez : Sporting KC
8.11 : Aaron Long : New York
8.03 : Luciano Acosta : D.C.

Works out with 2 Forwards, 6 Mids, 2 Defenders