Ten Best: Academy graduates
December 23, 2018
As we enter the offseason wondering what academy graduates will join the all-time signing list, we had a look at that list and thought, that's a lot of range out there... There have been 20 so far, and their success has been all over the map. So let's do the top 10... alas, it's not gonna be that easy.
10) Evan Louro
No MLS games for Louro yet, and none likely anytime soon barring a strange trade or an injury disaster, but he has proven to be an excellent shot stopper in his two years as the starter in the USL.
9) Ben Mines
One MLS game, one MLS goal, at the age of 17. So far so good, right? Alas, he didn't exactly tear it up in the USL last year... Still, the potential is there. High hopes for this one.
8) Kyle Duncan
We're cheating here, since he is not an official academy graduate and doesn't belong to the 20, but since he never played in a professional game in France, so we'll let it slide. Duncan was a revelation in starting the first four games last year, before going down with an ACL tear.
7) Juan Agudelo
When he stepped onto the field late in 2010, we thought he was the future... turns out, not Metro's future. He only ended up scoring six goals in mostly relief duty, before being shipped to Chivas USA for Heath Pearce. Now in New England, he is a punk.
6) Derrick Etienne
A career in a game: a missed penalty kick followed by a Shield-clinching goal. Never change, Derrick! Actually, scratch that. Keep changing for the better.
5) Alex Muyl
He was a forward in college? As bad as Muyl seems in front of the goal, he is relentless on the flanks, and has helped create numerous opportunities with his never-say-die attitude. 10 goals and 17 assists in three seasons for a part-time starter is not exactly terrible either.
4) Connor Lade
About to enter his eighth year with a team, which is the longest continuous stint in history (we'll skip over the loan to minor-league Cosmos). What Lade lacks in height, he makes up in tenacity. Ready to fill wherever needed (even in central defense!). Heck, Titi Henry was a fan.
3) Sean Davis
After Felipe's departure, there were some worries about Metro's midfield, but Davis made them go away. About to enter his fifth Metro season, he's played 122 games in all competitions, and should get some serious consideration for the national team. Now, if only started to use his shot.
2) Matt Miazga
14 minutes in 2013, seven games in 2014... and then an amazing 2015, as he was turning 20, Miazga was perhaps the best defender in MLS as Metro won its second Shield. US national caps were already there, and a big-money move to Chelsea followed. Such as the way of MLS.
1) Tyler Adams
And such is the way of Red Bull. Adams, the prize of the academy, the first player signed by the nascent USL team, the best defensive midfielder in MLS last year, the engine of the best league record in history, is now at RB Leipzig. Alas.