In a follow up to my previous article, we will take a look at the future of U.S. Men’s soccer, checking out our most exciting prospects and how they are faring so far this season. Let’s dive right in.
Jozy Altidore, Striker, AZ Alkmaar
I’m including Jozy in this list because, even though he has been on the men’s radar for quite some time, he is still only 22 years old and potentially the best young attacker on the roster. He has already put up eight goals in sixgames for his club team, AZ Alkmaar, in the Dutch Premier League. If he can continue his torrid pace, it is only a matter of time before a major European team takes interest and Altidore can make a large impact on the international level.
Joe Corona, Midfielder, Tijuana
Corona was substituted in late in the game against Guatemala, locking him into the United States' international team, as previously he had played for both Mexico and the U.S. This 22-year-old plays for Tijuana on the club level and was a key factorin propelling the team into Mexico’s first division last year. Though diminutive, standing at only 5’8”, he is aggressive on the ball and possesses a strong shot that has allowed him to net four goals in three games started for the U.S. Men’s U-23 team.
Freddy Adu, Midfielder, Philadelphia Union
The former wunderkind and U.S. soccer prodigy has certainly fallen from stardom. After a few club failures, he revitalized his game and is now an effective young player. Adu failed to stick with a major European team, so he returned to the U.S. and has starred for the Philadelphia Union in the MLS, starting 20 games this year and contributing 5 goals and an assist. His play in the Olympic qualifying was telling because, although the U.S. failed to qualify for the Olympics, Adu’s play was a lone bright spot as he added a goal and two assists in three games, remaining a consistent attacking force throughout. He may not be able to live up to the hype of a few years ago, but he could develop into a good contributor on the international level.
Juan Agudelo, Forward, Chivas U.S.
After bursting onto the scene with his goal against Argentina last year, Agudelo has struggled for his club team. Despite starting 15 games with four substitute appearances for his MLS team, Chivas U.S., he has only been able to tally two goals, these coming on an outrageous 32 shots. That means his shooting percentages is only 6.3 percent— very low for a striker. It is clear that Agudelo is able to create scoring opportunities, but to become a good striker he needs to learn how to finish.
Brek Shea, Midfielder, FC Dallas
Shea has slightly regressed this year, notching only three goals in 20 starts this season. Last year, he had a fantastic season that saw him gain 10 goals in 31 starts for FC Dallas, along with a call-up to the National Team and seven appearances for Jurgen Klinsmann. Dallas has struggled this year and remains in the middle of the pack in the MLS. Shea will need to improve his play if they look to compete for the title. Klinsmann is hoping Shea can raise his game up to a new level come 2014 for the World Cup and he will have to be a key contributor to shore up the midfield.
Terrence Boyd, Forward, Rapid Wein
Another player who has surged into view for the U.S., the split German-U.S. national made a final decision to play for the U.S. in international play. The 21-year-old had a strong season last year with Barussia Dortmund’s reserve team, scoring 20 goals in 35 games. This season, he is off to a good start with Austrian team Rapid Wein, he has five goals in nine appearances so far. He will be looking for a move to a major team in the next couple of years and if his play with the U.S. U-23 team is any indication, he certainly has the tools to develop into a very efficient striker. Boyd could be part of the solution to Landon Donovan’s eventual retirement.
Sean Johnson (DC United)/Bill Hammid (Philadelphia Union), Goalkeeper
These two represent the future of U.S. soccer following Tim Howard’s retirement. Hammid, 22, is the starting goalkeeper for the Philadelphia Union and has kept eight clean sheets, despite playing for a team which is average defensively. Hammid also started all three games for the U.S. in Olympic qualifying, as well as for the U.S. senior team in a 1-0 victory against Venezuela, and appears to be pegged for the eventual starting job after Howard. Johnson, 23, has been the starting keeper for DC United, and has been a big contributor that has allowed them to near the top of the Eastern Conference.
Marc Pelosi, Midfielder, Liverpool
This 18-year-old made a big splash, signing for Liverpool this past year. However, a knee injury in training has kept him out of the reserve lineup, but playing with top-level competition will be excellent for his development once he gets healthy. He has a high ceiling and it should be interesting to track his performance once he can crack the lineup.
School, major and year: A&S, History/Poly Sci double major, 2014
Hometown Buffalo, New York
What makes the Gavel so BANGin’? That’s easy, the people. No organization on BC’s campus gives its members the freedom to pursue the stories and ideas they come up with without stifling their creativity or shutting them down outright.
You have 24 hours to give prospective students a tour of BC and convince them to enroll. How do you spend the day? I start the day with your run-of-the-mill campus tour. Then I’d take the students to lunch at Eagle’s Nest, take them to a PULSE class with my former teacher, Professor Troxell. Eventually I’d work my way to dinner with some friends at Lower, and I’d make sure to take the students to a BC hockey game to finish up the night.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a pep talk the night before you moved into BC as a freshman, what is the most important piece of advice that you would give to your former self? By far the most important thing I would’ve told myself would be to not be so shy or concerned about putting a bad foot forward when meeting people. It took me a while to start to meet people at BC because I was so nervous getting there, and I wish I could sort of have a do-over and give that another shot.
What is your favorite study spot on campus? Easy question, the study desks on the 4th floor of O’Neil that face the plaza.
What is your go-to meal at Late Night? It depends on the night, honestly. Generally I’ll go with a steak and cheese with BBQ, but there are times when I go with a Hawaiian mini-pizza. Occasionally I’ll go with mozzarella sticks or chicken fingers. So I guess really anything I’m in the mood for, not too sure I have a “go-to”
What is the #1 most played song on your iTunes? Ever? "Hold Me Tight" by The Beatles. Lately? "And We Danced," by Macklemore
What is the best Halloween costume that you have ever worn? Probably Indiana Jones in 7th grade. That was a cool one.
If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Jims Steakout, a local Buffalo sub shop. Best chicken finger sub on the planet.
If you could befriend the main characters from any TV show or movie, who would you choose and why? From a TV show, definitely the main characters from "How I Met Your Mother." From a movie, Luke, Leia, and Han from "Star Wars."