10 MLS Players to Put on Your Radar

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Icon Sportswire / Contributor

Major League Soccer has become a top destination for young players to hone their skills over the years, and with the rising interest in the league it's only fitting that some of these youngsters are becoming the best in the league.

Last season, New York City FC won its first MLS Cup after a stellar campaign from leading goal scorer Valentin Castellanos, who has had interest from many top sides in Europe and South America.

From the American standpoint, Ricardo Pepi and Daryl Dike both completed huge moves to Europe over recent months after strong 2021 seasons for FC Dallas and Orlando City, respectively.

ONE37pm takes a closer look at 10 players that should be on your radar ahead of the 2022 MLS season.

10. Leon Flach - Philadelphia Union

Flach is super valuable to the Union because of his versatility playing outside back and in the midfield. The former FC St. Pauli player is only 20 years old and he's just one of the several Union talents that continue to make this team one of the best in the Eastern Conference.

9. Thiago Andrade - NYCFC

Andrade was solid in limited minutes with NYCFC during his debut season, but there's a good shot he gets a better opportunity to shine in 2022. If Valentin Castellanos does leave this season, expect Andrade to play a big role in NYCFC's attack.

8. David Ochoa - Real Salt Lake

Ochoa has already become one of the elite MLS goalkeepers at the age of 20 and his commitment to Mexico is a huge win for El Tri. Ochoa isn't afraid to speak his mind, but he backs up his talk with his commanding presence inside the penalty area. He's a vital piece for what Real Salt Lake are building in Utah.

7. Jesus Ferreira - FC Dallas

Just like Ricardo Pepi, Ferreira is a force up front and that's why the duo worked so well together. The American goal scorer will shoulder a bigger load in 2022 with Pepi now in Germany, but for Ferreira that may not be the worst thing as he has a very strong chance of becoming Dallas' next star to complete a move to Europe.

6. Efrain Alvarez - LA Galaxy

The Mexican national team received amazing news when Alvarez chose the Concacaf nation over the USMNT and his time at the Galaxy proves why. Alvarez is extremely creative and has the chance to really become a focal point for the Galaxy for many years to come.

5. Caden Clark - Red Bulls

Clark was slowed down after an appendectomy in 2021, but his skills are undeniable. He's easily the Red Bulls' most active player in the attacking third and can't beat teams in a variety of ways. He'll be heading to RB Leipzig once his loan in New York ends.

4. Cade Cowell - Earthquakes

Cowell has the chance to become one of the next USMNT stars that moves to Europe with his great technical skills, speed and finishing abilities. Only 18, Cowell's ceiling is incredibly high and there's a very strong chance he'll be moving on from MLS within the next 12 months.

3. Valentin Castellanos - NYCFC

Castellanos was easily one of the two or three best players in MLS last year and his role with NYCFC was so crucial for the club in their first-ever MLS Cup-winning season. There's been links of Castellanos heading to South America, but for the time being, he's as good as it gets in MLS.

2.Brian Rodriguez - LAFC

The Uruguayan has already developed into one of the most entertaining attackers in MLS and given that he plays outside Carlos Vela there's plenty of opportunities for Rodriguez to receive more interest from Europe.

1. Brenner - FC Cincinnati

Despite Cincinnati's struggles in 2021, Brenner still found a way to score eight goals for the Eastern Conference side. The Brazilian is hoping to have a huge follow-up campaign this year after being brought in with Designated Player money and significant expectations.

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