DeAndre Yedlin has already been named an MLS All-Star (twice!), made the United States World Cup roster (and played three games!) and secured a transfer to the English Premier League (with Tottenham Hotspur!), so maybe his being named the No. 1 player on MLSsoccer.com's 24-under-24 list doesn't come as a particularly massive honor. Still, it's pretty cool that he was.
This year's list was as competitive as ever. Bill Hamid, the goalkeeper for the top team in the Eastern Conference, couldn't get any higher than No. 10. Joao Plata, who might be Real Salt Lake's best player, couldn't crack the Top 5 (he's No. 7). Last year's co-MLS Rookies of the Year -- Dillon Powers (11) and Deshorn Brown (20) -- both fell outside the Top 10. The top 24 players are almost all regular contributors for their MLS teams. The guys immediately behind Yedlin -- Erick Torres, Fabian Castillo and Gyasi Zardes -- are all enjoying breakout seasons and could have very feasibly could have been No. 1 a lot of years.
And Yedlin still managed to get the top spot.
There will certainly be plenty of debate as to how deserving a spot that is. But considering MLSsoccer.com asked contributors -- I was asked, but honestly bowed out after realizing I wasn't comfortable ranking everyone on the "short" list -- to judge players on aspects of their game such as potential and personality (in addition to more technical aspects), there is some easy-to-understand logic at play here. Yedlin may not be the best right back in MLS today, but it's not very hard to envision him being the best full back to ever suit up for the United States and charm the pants off media members well into the next decade.
The only other player with local ties to make the list was Federal Way's Kelyn Rowe, who came in at No. 16. Neither Aaron Kovar nor Sean Okoli even made it onto the preliminary "short list", which at first glance may seem like a big snub but honestly made sense given how much playing time almost everyone else has received.
Here's the list in full:
|1||DeAndre Yedlin||Seattle Sounders|
|2||Erick "Cubo" Torres||Chivas USA|
|3||Fabian Castillo||FC Dallas|
|4||Gyasi Zardes||LA Galaxy|
|5||Diego Fagundez||New England Revolution|
|6||Mauro Diaz||FC Dallas|
|7||Joao Plata||Real Salt Lake|
|8||Luis Gil||Real Salt Lake|
|9||Wil Trapp||Columbus Crew|
|10||Bill Hamid||D.C. United|
|11||Dillon Powers||Colorado Rapids|
|12||Kekuta Manneh||Vancouver Whitecaps|
|13||Amobi Okugo||Philadelphia Union|
|14||Andrew Farrell||New England Revolution|
|15||Matias Laba||Toronto FC|
|16||Kelyn Rowe||New England Revolution|
|17||Harry Shipp||Chicago Fire|
|18||Perry Kitchen||D.C. United|
|19||Shane O'Neill||Colorado Rapids|
|20||Deshorn Brown||Colorado Rapids|
|21||Olmes Garcia||Real Salt Lake|
|22||Gershon Koffie||Vancouver Whitecaps|
|23||Tesho Akindele||FC Dallas|
|24||Russell Teibert||Vancouver Whitecaps