With domestic football in England over for another season, and no World Cup or European Championships to look forward to, we Brits will have to look a little further afield for our footballing fix this summer.
One option out there is America’s Major League Soccer, or MLS, which runs throughout the summer months. Although the MLS receives little attention here, and is often criticised for a perceived lack of talent, there is no doubt that the United States top league has produced some excellent youngsters down the years.
From Football Manager sensation Freddy Adu, right up to Premier League and La Liga stars such as Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, the MLS (formerly NASL) has churned out some impressive talents.
But who are wonderkids to keep an eye out for this summer? Here are 10 to watch:
Juan Agudelo – New York Red Bulls – Striker – Colombia -18
New York Red Bulls may not be the ideal place for a young striker to make an impact, but this isn’t stopping Juan Agudelo from having a go. First team opportunities may be limited for the Colombian front-man as he finds himself weel down the pecking order behind Thierry Henry, Dwayne De Rosario and Luke Rodgers, but his potential cant be ignored forever by coach Hans Backe. Similar in many ways to former Red Bull, now Villarreal, hit-man Jozy Altidore, Agudelo is equally adept as the focal point of the frontline or part of a front two, thanks to his technical ability and general physical presence. Despite a lack of action for New York last term, (just 10 games, with two goals) Agudelo really come to the fore on the international scene.
His successes for the USA’s youth sides led to his his full international debut, where he was part of the 18-man squad for the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup in 2010. He came on as a substitute against South Africa, scoring the only goal of the game, and in the process gaining the record of the youngest ever senior goalscorer for the USA. Since then he has made a further three appearances scoring one more goal, against Argentina in a friendly.