With DeAndre Yedlin set to move to Tottenham Hotspur at some point in 2015 following his $4 million purchase from the Seattle Sounders, it’s clear that MLS is fast-becoming a league littered with top, domestic-grown talent, with the potential to become household names in Europe.
Whether work permit issues would prevent the following five from linking up with the right-back in the Premier League remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that all have the potential to succeed at the highest level, and could well join their compatriot in making the move overseas in the future.
Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution)
Having made his professional debut in 2011, aged just 16, Fagundez experienced a breakout season in 2013, grabbing 13 goals and seven assists in 31 games to establish himself as one of the hottest prospects in the league.
The Uruguayan-born forward has already scored more than Freddy Adu managed during his six seasons in MLS and is sure to be on the radars of multiple European clubs at this point, despite a somewhat slower first-half to the 2014 campaign.
Having moved to the US at age five, the diminutive attacker won’t be eligible for the national side until at least late-2018 when he gains citizenship, but fans remain hopeful that he will hold out until then, rather than opt for the nation of his birth.
Perry Kitchen (DC United)
The 22-year-old passed on a trial with Anderlecht in 2011 before being drafted first-overall by United, and has been a stalwart in the side at defensive midfield ever since.
Overlooked somewhat last season due to the club’s last-place finish, Kitchen, however, has earned widespread plaudits for his performances during their 2014 bounce back campaign, with some earmarking him as a future US national team regular and potential star on the European scene as a result.
Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union)
The 23-year-old goalkeeper has already made close to 100 appearances since being taken fifth overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft but, despite his commendable performances, the club seem intent on running him out of town.
He’s kept his place in the side so far this season, despite the Union drafting backup Andre Blake first overall in 2014, as well as signing Algerian World Cup star Rais M’Bolhi last month, but one gets the impression that an unwarranted benching could soon be on the cards.
Having trained with Everton in the past, the former under-20 international is another in the long line of promising shot-stoppers the US have produced, and a move abroad could well be what’s needed to take his game to another level.
Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids)
The 2013 Rookie of the Year, Powers may only be in his second year in MLS but he’s already one of the most impressive midfielders around, standing out for his amazing versatility and all-round skills.
The 23-year-old certainly looks like he has a future with the US national team based on his first 18 months in the league and, if he continues to progress at this current rate, then he could also be enjoying one in Europe before too long.
Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire)
The 22-year-old old playmaker has been a revelation in his first season in the league, having already established himself as a regular in the Chicago side after producing five goals and four assists in his first 13 professional games.
The clear front-runner for MLS Rookie of the Year, there have even been rumours of a potential move to Marseille this month and, while that might well prove pure paper talk, it’s clear that the homegrown product has a future on such a stage.
Which MLS youngsters would star in European football?