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USL 20 Under 20 – No. 6 through No. 10

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 07/29/16, 3:56PM EDT


Two top Canadian youth internationals feature as the countdown continues

The USL 20 Under 20 countdown continues with two top Canadian youth internationals, the most recent MLS Homegrown signing, the USL’s top academy signing this season, and a strong Jamaican marksman.

USL 20 Under 20 

Wednesday, July 27: No. 16 through No. 20 | No. 17 - Ryo Fujii, LA Galaxy II
Thursday, July 28: No. 11 through No.15 | No. 11 - Coy Craft, OKC Energy FC

10. Derrick Jones, Bethlehem Steel FC

The first signing in the Steel’s history, Jones has more than lived up to the expectations placed upon him in his first professional season so far. The team’s leading scorer with four goals from his central midfield role, Jones has also recorded three assists, and sits fourth on the team with almost 1,500 minutes of action so far this season. An invitee to the Philadelphia Union’s training camp in the past, Jones made his debut for the MLS side in its international exhibition against Crystal Palace this month and signed a Homegrown contract with the Union on Wednesday. Scouting Report
The bulldog of the Steel midfield, Jones is a powerful, box-to-box midfielder who covers tremendous swathes of ground and tends to emerge on the winning side of 50-50 clashes in the center of the park. While he’s more than able on the defensive side, Jones also possesses a passing range and ability to lend a hand in the final third. If he can continue to improve and polish his first touch and ability to control the ball in tight spaces, there could be no limit to his ceiling.

9. Marco Bustos, Van. Whitecaps FC 2

One of the most exciting playmakers in the USL for the past two seasons, the Whitecaps Homegrown player has helped push WFC2 to the top of the Western Conference this season. Bustos has made 28 appearances in the USL over the past two years, recording 10 goals and three assists. In that time, he has also made his debut for Canada last October, and made his first MLS start earlier this season for the Whitecaps against D.C. United. Scouting Report
It isn’t often at this age you find a creative No. 10 who can drive a game from the pocket of space between the midfield and forward lines. That’s precisely what Vancouver has in Bustos, a Homegrown who’s gotten some minutes with the MLS side in addition to his quality outings in the USL. Bustos has the eyes of a hawk, consistently biding his time before finding a late runner or opening up the attack with a timely outlet pass to the wings. If Bustos continues developing at this pace, it won’t be long before we see him not only in MLS consistently, but at the national team level as well.

8. Alphonso Davies, Van. Whitecaps FC 2

The youngest player in the USL’s history at just 15 years of age when he signed with WFC2 this preseason, Davies’ ascent has been as prodigious as the talent he’s displayed. Since his signing in February, Davies has made his debut for the Canada U20 National Team, become the youngest goal-scorer in USL history, started in the final of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, and recently signed as the most recent Whitecaps Homegrown player, an impressive start to what could be a very bright career. Scouting Report
The youngest player to get a game in USL history, Davies is a ballyhooed prospect for good reason. Davies has every tool you want out of a central midfielder, and his creativity driving at defenders clearly serves him well on the professional stage. Between finding runners and beating defenders himself, Davies is an undeniable creative force. The fact that he recently signed for the Whitecaps’ MLS team at the tender age of 15 should give you an indication of his talent ceiling, which is as high as anyone’s north of the border.

7. Marco Farfan, Portland Timbers 2

The only academy signing in the 20 players that make up the USL 20 Under 20 list, Farfan has been a major bright spot for T2 this season as a 17-year-old fullback. Farfan has made 16 appearances for Portland this season, and sits third on the team in minutes played with 1,333. A recruit for the University of Portland, where he could continue his progression at the same field he’s starred at this season for the Pilots, Farfan is definitely one to watch as a potential Homegrown signing in the near future. Scouting Report
At just 17 years old, Farfan has emerged as a stalwart for T2 this season. The Portland commit looks to be one of the top prospects of the Timbers Academy, as his consistency has really set him apart from the typical youth prospect from an MLS Academy. Farfan’s improvement through USL play has earned him a spot on this list among a bevy of professional players, as he sits among the leaders in minutes played across the players included in this list.

6. Junior Flemmings, N.Y. Red Bulls II

The oldest player on the list thanks to his birthday arriving just after the January 1, 1996 cutoff, Flemmings has been an outstanding addition to the Red Bulls II squad this season, where he has thrived among the club’s other young standouts. The former Jamaican U20 international has recorded five goals and three assists for the Red Bulls II while logging the second-most minutes on the team, with his speed and finishing a threat opponents have to take into account every game. Scouting Report
Bringing an impressive resume from Jamaica to the USL, Flemmings is an electric wide player that has shown a knack for timely scoring. He has pace to burn on the flank and can link up and connect with teammates anywhere on the pitch. An experienced veteran of Jamaica’s U20 and U17 teams, he fits the mold of Red Bull flank players, unafraid to take opposing defenders off the dribble and generate dangerous chances for himself or others from wide areas.

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