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The 2018 USL 20 Under 20

By USLSoccer.com Staff, 10/08/18, 12:30PM EDT

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Who are the young standouts who have shone this season that you should know for the future?

Two seasons ago, in the first edition of the USL 20 Under 20, the list was populated by some fresh-faced young standouts that had only just begun to make their mark at the highest level. One of them had become the youngest goalscorer in the USL’s modern era at just 15 years of age, while another would go on to lift the USL Cup with his teammates on the New York Red Bulls II at the end of the season.

Not every player on that original list’s ascent could have been as rapid as 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Boot-winner Alphonso Davies or current U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Tyler Adams. Others are still making their way into regular MLS minutes like another young Red Bulls standout in Derrick Etienne Jr. or the Philadelphia Union’s Derrick Jones. Others have had their paths rerouted, like current Charleston Battery forward Victor Mansaray, who two years ago as a U.S. U20 international topped that first list.

But as we go through this year’s group – selected by ballots cast by technical staffs across the USL’s clubs and the USL Technical Committee – there’s a good chance you’re going to see names that will become much more recognizable in the future. A good place to start is going to be the 2018 CONCACAF U20 Championship that runs through most of November at IMG Academy, with the ultimate goal of reaching next May’s FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland.

With players who were born following this year’s cutoff of January 1, 1998, accounting for more than 1,000 appearances in the league this season, the league has seen its fair share of young talent in 2018. This week will reveal the cream of this year’s crop.   

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