USSoccer97531’s 2019 Player Rankings

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by ussoccer97531, Dec 24, 2019.

  1. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    I decided to make a rankings for the top players in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. I also made a top 50 list combining all of the years that has detailed explanations for the top 50 list.

    2001: Top 100
    2002: Top 80
    2003: Top 60
    2004: Top 40
    2005: Top 20

    The rankings for each year will also include an overview of the overall strengths and weaknesses of the age group.

    The top 50 list is an overall list combining factors such as ceiling, floor, pro readiness, position, skillset. Like with any list combining prospects from different years, the younger players are at a disadvantage due to age. The top 50 list is not a reflection of the caliber of the players in each year as opposed to a combination of those different factors. Older players have a built in advantage with a list like this.

    I have grouped all players into one of seven position categories. They are GK, RB, CB, LB, DM/CM, AM/Wing, Striker. The first four position categories are self explanatory. The rest is based on a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 formation. DM/CM is for #6’s and #8’s, AM/Wing is for #10’s and wingers. Striker encompasses center forwards and secondary strikers. Not all players will be capable of playing all positions in each category and some of these judgements are arguable. These are my own subjective assessments.

    I only included players that are not squarely in the set-up of another YNT. Some of that is also subjective. If you don’t see a player listed who might fit into that category, they probably do.

    I only included players I’ve seen play. The amount of viewings ranges a lot. About 10% of the 300 players I probably don’t have a great grasp on, and could change my assessment a lot with another few viewings, but I’m only a fan and do not get paid to watch these players, so there are holes in my knowledge. This is not a list that anyone should use as an official measurement for the best players in these age groups.

    I’m going to release everything all at once. It’s nearly done. I think it’ll be finished in the next few days, but I don’t know yet which day. I created a separate thread because it’s a lot of content and I didn’t want to clog another thread. I’m open to feedback and questions once I release everything.
     
  2. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    I just want to get in early here and say that your 2004 GK rankings are ridiculous and you should start the entire project over. ;)
     
  3. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
    You are psychotic...and my idol
     
  4. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    2001: Overall, a mediocre year. It’s not a terrible crop of players, but it’s not a particularly good one. The top-end talent is mediocre, as are players 5-25. Where the year is a little stronger is the middle of the top 100. It all blends in around the middle, and towards the end. The players towards the end are for the most part better than the players from other years at the end of a top 100 rankings. The big strength of the year is in wingers and defensive/central midfelders. There’s some depth in strikers and keepers, but the top-end talent isn’t very good at those positions. The biggest weakness are the fullbacks. Both right-back and left-back don’t have many real standouts.

     
    SoccerLover829, Patrick167 and Winoman repped this.
  5. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    2002: 2002 looks like the worst crop of players among the five years. There is not only a lack of top-end talent, but the depth names from around 5-25 are the clear weakest of the five years. Once you get to the middle and end of the top 80, the depth isn’t all too bad. It just appears that 2002 is a year where the amount of top-end players is lower than most years, and the amount of that next level of players is much lower than most years. The big strength of 2002 are the goalkeepers. It looks like the best year of goalkeepers of the five years. The goalkeeping crop has a variety of different types of keepers, great top-end goalkeeping talent, and a lot of depth. The biggest weakness of 2002 is probably defensive/central midfielders, although most positions are rather mediocre, so you could argue for most positions it’s not a good crop of years

     
  6. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    2003: While 2001 and 2002 might not be such strong years, 2003 looks like a potential golden generation of players. 2003 has a few top-level talents, but it also has a lot of good players in that next tier. I think there’s a drop-off in the level of player around 40. I wouldn’t say it’s actually any better than 2001 or 2002 past that point. 2003 has a number of strengths. 2003 is by far the best year of the five for fullbacks, both right back and left back. There’s a lot of depth in center-backs, there’s a number of high-end defensive/central midfielders and a number of high-end attacking midfielders/wingers. The striker depth isn’t great in 2003, and it’s the weakest year of the five for goalkeepers. It doesn’t have good top-end talent or depth in keepers.

     
    BigBirdLenny, Patrick167 and Winoman repped this.
  7. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    2004: 2004 is an average crop. It’s a little like 2001 in that the top-end talent is rather weak, and there’s not a clear hierarchy at the top of the age group. There are a number of potential top-end talents, but none who have clearly separated themselves as elite talents. What 2004 has that most of these other years don’t have is a lot of big, physical and great athletes in midfield. We are struggling recently to produce bigger central midfielders, taller and more athletic attacking midfielders/wingers, players with a physical edge in central midfield, etc. 2004 is more of an old-school age group that has a lot of the types of American players you’d see 10-20 years ago, but it also combines that with more talent than American teams 10-20 years ago had. Biggest strengths are all midfielders, defensive, central, attacking, wingers. The biggest weakness is striker depth. 2004’s striker depth is about as bad as the depth is in any position for any of the five age groups. 2004 also looks a little weaker at both full-back positions. There’s not a lot of top-end talent or depth at those positions.

     
    BigBirdLenny and Winoman repped this.
  8. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    2004: 2004 is an average crop. It’s a little like 2001 in that the top-end talent is rather weak, and there’s not a clear hierarchy at the top of the age group. There are a number of potential top-end talents, but none who have clearly separated themselves as elite talents. What 2004 has that most of these other years don’t have is a lot of big, physical and great athletes in midfield. We are struggling recently to produce bigger central midfielders, taller and more athletic attacking midfielders/wingers, players with a physical edge in central midfield, etc. 2004 is more of an old-school age group that has a lot of the types of American players you’d see 10-20 years ago, but it also combines that with more talent than American teams 10-20 years ago had. Biggest strengths are all midfielders, defensive, central, attacking, wingers. The biggest weakness is striker depth. 2004’s striker depth is about as bad as the depth is in any position for any of the five age groups. 2004 also looks a little weaker at both full-back positions. There’s not a lot of top-end talent or depth at those positions.

     
    Cibo and BigBirdLenny repped this.
  9. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    2005: I think it’s a little too early to assess properly the quality, strengths, and weaknesses of the age group, so this is subject to change. I think the quality doesn’t look bad initially. Whether it’s great, good, average, it’s hard to know exactly. There does appear to be at least one elite player, and others could emerge. The next tier or two doesn’t look bad either. I think the real quality in 2005 appears to be up the middle of the field. It could be another strong year of defensive/central midfielders and attacking midfielders/wingers. CB also looks pretty good so far. The biggest weakness I can spot so far are the two full-back positions. I’m not so impressed with the full-backs in this age group. RB looks a little weak, while LB looks incredibly weak, but it’s probably a little early to be too definitive in an assessment of this crop of players.

     
    BigBirdLenny repped this.
  10. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    I made a list of club affiliations for all the players to see which teams had the most players. I grouped all the abroad into one category. I listed "unattached" for players who are not contracted with a club team that has a professional affiliate. That was mostly for players in the DA that play for clubs without pro affiliates, but there were a few that are out of contract and one or two that are in Europe and playing for amateur clubs.


     
  11. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Top 50:

    When I pasted it into this website, the numbers got messed up, but thats 50 players.

     
    dlokteff, Hubcity11, KUSA77 and 10 others repped this.
  12. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think Philly being #2 and close to FC Dallas shows that Earnie Stewart did know what he was doing. Hopefully, the National Team(s) start showing it next year as right now they appear to be in complete disarray other than the full team which is up in the air but at least has a coach.
     
  13. ChuckMe92

    ChuckMe92 Member+

    Jun 23, 2016
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Great list. One tiny point of contention is that it appears Dante Polvara is an '00, so you could replace him with someone like Marcus Brenes or Peter Kingston. Some of the listed '01s are now in NCAA, such as Stojanovic with Saint Louis U. and Ryan with Ohio State, though I'm sure you know this.

    http://nyfc.ussoccerda.com/sam/teams/index.php?team=3940860&player=263316569
     
    Patrick167 and ussoccer97531 repped this.
  14. ChuckMe92

    ChuckMe92 Member+

    Jun 23, 2016
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wangsness appears to be an '02, so he might make that year for you. Maybe replace in '03 with Jeremy Garay or Abel Mendoza.

    http://dafc.ussoccerda.com/sam/teams/index.php?team=1654446&player=59753895
     
    ussoccer97531 repped this.
  15. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
    The only major player I have a gripe with is Toure. He is terribly one footed and his soccer IQ is very, very, very bad for someone his age. I really don’t see him going very far once players catch up athletically. He has really dropped off for me post injury.
     
  16. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
    I am also wondering why Gabe Slonina isn’t in the top 40 for his age group
     
  17. ChuckMe92

    ChuckMe92 Member+

    Jun 23, 2016
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He's there, at #15.
     
    David Kerr repped this.
  18. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    Such a great work. Unfortunately it also shows how subjective all lists like that are. I've seen way less players than you have, but among those that I've seen, while characteristics of the players would be very similar the orders would be absolutely different.
     
    ussoccer97531 repped this.
  19. bpet15

    bpet15 Member

    Oct 4, 2016
    Congrats on putting this together, it’s awesome. I wish there were more like you, who enjoy spending time watching the players of tomorrow.

    Since these are your rankings, no one can disagree with what you’ve done. That said, we can always point you toward other players to watch so you can see some that maybe you haven’t been able to watch very often.

    The example I would use is your 2005 rankings. Specifically, Carleton and Villal, both of which are extremely high for me.

    Try and watch the highlights of the Atlanta/FCD match in YouTube. I was lucky enough to get my hands on full match video for this and it was as dominant a U15 performance I’ve ever seen. Jordan Jones and Matthew Corcoran ran circles around them and FCD won 6-1. I think Jones is the best 2005 midfielder (a glaring omission) and I think Corcoran will grade out to be the best 2006 midfielder. I am constantly receiving requests for information and reports from Euro teams on these two kids. If I can find the link to the film match video I will send it to you in a private message.

    Again, thanks for putting the time into this. It will be exciting to see how all these kids progress. I wish you happy youth football watching in the New Year!
     
    STR1, gogorath, Luksarus and 2 others repped this.
  20. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    I appreciate the feedback.

    Jones was #21 or 22. I don’t remember which one exactly and I can’t get to the list right now, but he just missed the list. His consistency is what I’d point to as the main problem with his game. He disappears from games often and while he’s talented, I don’t know if he’s so talented that his lack of consistency doesn’t factor in. I realize it’s U-15 football and these players are still developing, but the best players should be the most consistent in their own age group. I’d cut them more slack if they are playing up age groups.

    Corcoran is an ‘06. I’ve not started formulating a list yet for 2006, but I would think he’s a top 10 or so player in that age group. I like both players.

    With Villal and Carleton, I think both have a very high soccer IQ. That Atlanta team has a lot of athletes, but those two can make a difference with IQ and technique. Carleton has tremendous passing vision, Villal is a very good dribbler. I think I’ve seen more of these Atlanta players than any of the 2005 players, but I’m not entirely sure about where to rank players for this age group yet past Clarke. I think we’ll get a better idea of this age group in another season or two.
     
    bpet15 repped this.
  21. bpet15

    bpet15 Member

    Oct 4, 2016
    I agree with you completely about Jones. It is a common topic when discussing him. As talented as he is, he doesn’t take over matches the way you think he should. That said, he has a unique skill set and while no single area of his game is world class, he does everything very well. He’s much better when partnered with Corcoran who can do most of the conducting, which enables Jones to drive forward more often. I would like to see more goals and assists from Jones as well, but still think he’s an exceptional talent. It makes sense that you’ve seen Atlanta play most often. I’m the same way with the FCD teams and don’t think the two Atlanta kids could get into that FCD team.

    I will look for that link again, I think you would be shocked at the level it was played at. Cheers, thanks again for all the effort you put into this.
     
    ussoccer97531 repped this.
  22. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member+

    Dec 16, 1999
    Monterey, Ca
    A couple of San Jose Quake players that could be close to your list.

    2003 Brandon Zelaya. He’s very fast and lightning quick. He wears the captain’s arm band for the U-17s. He has 11 goals in 13 games for U-17s and 1 goal in 2 games for U-19s. He netted 24 goals in 29 games at the U-17 level for a very strong De Anza Force team last year. I don’t see a lot of strikers that put up those numbers at U-17 and beyond in the DA. I think he could play internationally for USA, Mexico or El Salvador.

    2005 Nico Tsakiris. Super high soccer IQ (which you would expect from a kid with a father like Shaun Tsakiris). He plays so well in the middle as an 8 or 10. Keeps his head up, has good speed and is not afraid to run with the ball. He had an injury for several games so it will be interesting to see if it effects his confidence going forward. Will he be aggressive or timid?
     
    ussoccer97531 repped this.
  23. WheezingUSASupport

    Dortmund
    United States
    Aug 28, 2017
    If Gio Reyna becomes a star player in Dortmund and the players above him are even better then the USNT will become a top 10 team.

    This is great stuff man and perfect timing during the MLS off season, and Bundesliga break when there isn’t much going on.
     
    justinpaul10, Winoman and ussoccer97531 repped this.
  24. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    I personally am not all too impressed by Zelaya, and I’ve focused on his play in the games I’ve seen of him because I know he’s highly rated. Maybe my opinion is wrong though.

    Tsakiris was on the initial list I made from his age group that was around 50 names. He got left off once it went down to 20. I don’t have it on hand, so I can’t tell you exactly where he would’ve been, but he’s a good player, in my opinion, although not top 20 from what I’ve seen. What I think would keep him out of a top 20 list is that I don’t know if he has top-level skill. He’s a smart player with a good engine in midfield, but can he control a game at a higher level? To me, that’s still to be determined.

    I also think his father is a very good coach, and got shafted out of the U-17 NT job. I think we would’ve been a lot better if he remained in the job over Wicky. I’d like to see him back as a YNT coach when they make the new hires.
     
  25. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    These lists are truly awesome.

    If you are up to it, I'd like to see the tiers you actually discuss rather than just numbers. Is #47 really different from #54? Maybe just "Top End Talent","Middling Prospects", "Others to watch" or something. Or even Tier 1-5 (or whatever). I'd even really appreciate just maybe putting the kids you consider, "Top End" in bold.
     
    USSoccerNova repped this.

Share This Page