MLS as a league has an abundance of talent, and teams in Europe have started to take note of that in recent years. Young players like Christian Pulisic, Chris Richards and Weston Mckennie set the tone by leaving the United States prior to even playing in the MLS to join Bundesliga academies.
Following Tyler Adams’ move to RB Leipzig, the move from MLS to top European leagues has become more frequent. This is evidenced by the likes of Brenden Aaronson, Paxten Aaronson, Caden Clark, Gabriel Slonina and Jhon Duran.
Borussia Dortmund have also capitalised by poaching top American talents prior to their senior club debuts in the United States such as Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna and more recently Jack Mize.
As more talents are developed in the MLS and due to BVB’s history with American players, they have a proven system to help integrate these players into the first-team. Here we take a look at five talented young players from the MLS that BVB should look to monitor in the coming months.
Noel Buck is likely the best performing teenage midfielder in the MLS at the moment. The 18 year old will undoubtedly be playing at a much higher level soon. The New England Revolution youngster plays in a double pivot and is a locked-in starter for one of the better teams in the MLS.
While comparing Noel Buck to Tyler Adams’ final MLS season – MLS has improved as a league making it marginally more impressive to have the same numbers – the former has more progressive carries and completes 62% of his 2.62 attempted dribbles per 90. While Adams was never a good ball carrier in the MLS or in the Bundesliga, Buck’s ability to attempt more take-ons, carry the ball forward more and still win 14% more of his take-ons compared to his compatriot shows how he may not have the same limitations.
Buck is also very secure in possession. While Adams had .04 more expected assists and 2.5 more progressive passes than Buck, the New England star completes 6.5% more of his passes. Buck has also clearly has shown elite ball security, completing 89% of his short passes and 87% of his medium passes and is better than Adams at every passing distance.
Noel Buck also has a high number of defensive actions at 4.13 tackles and interceptions per 90 compared to Adams’ 4.48. His progressive passing numbers and aerial ability do question his ability to play in a better league. However, at just 18 he is definitely worth keeping an eye on and could be a bargain for signing as he could be a cheap rotation for a team like Borussia Dortmund option in 12 months.