If the talent of these rising teenagers is any indication, the future of MLS is going to be incredibly bright indeed.
Into its 26th year as a competition, Major League Soccer has continued its development as a league competing for global attention. Having at times been considered a retirement league for aging stars from European Leagues, youth development across the United States and Canada has elevated the quality of the league.
Having to manage a squad on a salary cap, makes it vital to find and develop impact young players on the first team.
This season the Seattle Sounders became the first MLS side to win the CONCACAF Champions League, a huge step for the league in competition with Liga MX in Mexico. They have shown the impact young players can make on their squad, while others around the league continue to push their academy talent through and go on to shine in MLS.
Here are 10 of the most exciting teenage prospects in MLS this year with boundless potential.
10. Matai Akinmboni (D.C. United)
When Wayne Rooney arrived as Head Coach of D.C. United, he continued the good work he did previously at Derby County, bringing young players through into the first team.
The former England and Manchester United striker said that if you play well in training, you will get your chance, and he has proven to be a man of his word.
At just 15 years and 328 days, Akinmboni became the third-youngest player to debut in MLS, knocking Obed Vargas back to fourth. He looked composed and mature in his debut having only just signed his homegrown contract through 2025 in August this year.
D.C. United have a strong history in bringing through young players, it is Freddy Adu who still holds the record as the youngest debutant when he played for D.C. United at 14 years and 334 days old.
Akinmboni is a tall and composed defender who has made a big leap in a short space of time. He has impressed his new manager who will be monitoring the squad before a number of players leave at the end of the season.
While he won’t be a regular starter now, Akinmboni will be a big part of the future of this team, especially if he continues to impress his new head coach.