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Top U20 Players: Midfielders

08/29/2018, 3:30pm EDT
By COLTON CORESCHI - colton.coreschi@uslsoccer.com

Chicago’s Prpa, Brilla FC’s Jimenez among those named

While the Premier Development League Top Prospects list and Top College Prospects highlight those players nearing the jump to the professional level, many young athletes compete in the PDL in the early stages of their careers, seeking to establish themselves as top up-and-coming talents.

The PDL Top Under-20 Players lists will highlight those players at each position who have shown themselves to be among the league’s rising stars. Over four days, the top goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards under the age of 20 (as of July 15, 2018) will be honored.

Monday, Aug. 27: Goalkeepers
Tuesday, Aug. 28: Defenders
Wednesday, Aug. 29: Midfielders
Thursday, Aug. 30: Forwards
Friday, Aug. 31: Recap

Top U20 Midfielders

The deepest position in our Top U20 Players series, the midfield class boasts numerous players who led their team to the PDL Playoffs - including several who became key components of their teams’ attacks and defenses.

Of the 26 midfielders named to the list, 16 appeared in 10 or more matches for their clubs this season and seven guided their teams to the playoffs. Leading the list is the winner of the PDL Young Player of the Year award, Chicago FC United midfielder Luka Prpa, who recorded two goals and one assist in 949 minutes across 12 matches. His play helped Chicago claim the Central Conference Championship before eventually falling in the PDL National Semifinals to eventual champions Calgary Foothills FC.

A pair of midfielders from the New York Red Bulls U23 also appear on the list after guiding their club to the Eastern Conference Championship match. Omir Fernandez appeared in only four matches for the club this season, but made a massive impact with five goals and three assists in that span. He’s joined by Allen Gavilanes, who recorded one goal and two assists in 12 matches (705 minutes) for the Red Bulls U23.

Two more young midfielders also guided their clubs to the playoffs. One of the league’s youngest players - born in May 2001 - Marcelo Palomino appeared in four matches for Brazos Valley Cavalry F.C. in the team’s Mid South Division-winning season, with the U.S. U18 Men’s National Team player recording four goals and one assist in that span. Also performing well was FC Tucson midfielder Adrian Valenzuela, who helped his team to the Western Conference wildcard and Championship game while recording two goals and three assists in nine matches (682 minutes).

Here’s a look at 26 young midfielders who impressed in the 2018 PDL season.

Name

PDL Team

DOB

GP

Min.

G

A

Shots

Jose Aldaco 10/20/2000 5 300 3 0 3
Matias Barraza 9/29/1998 6 479 2 1 6
Dante Brigida 3/1/1999 14 952 0 1 21
Nicholas Chiappetta 8/25/1998 14 462 1 0 1
Mackenzie Cole 8/17/1998 9 514 1 1 8
Kalil El Medkhar 8/18/1999 10 630 2 2 14
Leroy Enzugusi 6/13/1999 10 581 4 2 19
Omir Fernandez 2/8/1999 4 188 5 3 5
Carlos Flores 11/8/1998 11 954 2 2 8
Allen Gavilanes 8/24/1999 12 705 1 2 13
Jared Greene 3/19/1999 12 957 3 0 19
Federico Gutierrez 8/7/1998 9 787 1 0 3
Abdulkadir Haji 12/1/1999 7 505 2 0 9
Dylan Hooper 8/20/1998 13 852 1 0 8
Pablo Jimenez 2/25/1999 10 665 2 4 9
Ilias Kosmitis 10/4/1998 7 613 5 1 5
Zachary Maas 9/29/1998 12 809 0 1 5
Conor McGlynn 11/20/1998 14 1259 1 0 14
Mitchell Myers 7/15/1999 14 982 1 0 3
George O'Malley 10/28/1998 7 630 1 2 3
Marcelo Palomino 5/21/2001 4 360 4 2 19
Luka Prpa 7/27/1998 12 949 2 1 15
Adrian Rebollar 11/12/1999 14 761 0 1 4
Evan Sawula 9/22/1998 13 709 1 1 3
Justin Sukow 9/19/1998 13 553 1 1 5
Adrian Valenzuela 7/29/1998 9 682 2 3 7

Check back tomorrow for the next installment, where we examine the top young forwards from the 2018 PDL season.


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