Good news, though - Major League Soccer is in full swing, and as the league continues to grow in quality, there are multiple standout young prospects who will be looking to make a move to Europe sooner rather than later.
As the Blues continue to find a foothold in terms of support in the United States (we miss you, Timmy), we thought it would be instructive to cull through the names and get straight to the bottom of which players might be a future fit at USM Finch Farm.
Here’s what we’re going to do — our American based writers will evaluate 6 MLS players over the course of the next month, based on the following criteria:
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Ability to contribute now
- Ability to contribute long term
- Does Everton need a player in this position? Does the player fit Everton tactically?
- Likelihood of move
Without further ado, here are the names.
May 29 | Cyle Larin | Striker | Orlando City | 22 years old
A powerful number 9 in the style of Romelu Lukaku, Larin is one of the best pure goal scorers in MLS, and is already sought after by clubs around Europe.
June 3 | Tyler Adams | Defensive midfielder | New York Red Bulls | 18 years old
As it stands, Everton’s best midfield prospects (Kieran Dowell, Tom Davies) are cut from a more forward-thinking cloth. Tyler Adams can play multiple midfield positions, but excels in a deep lying role, and is one of the premier midfield prospects in the United States.
June 6 | Jordan Morris | Forward | Seattle Sounders | 22 years old
Morris needs less introduction than some of our other names. He’s already made a name for himself on an international stage, and can play anywhere across a forward line. Previously, he rejected a move to the Bundesliga in order to remain close to home.
June 12 | Walker Zimmerman | Center back | FC Dallas | 24 years old
A little older than the rest of our group, Zimmermann is the rock of FC Dallas’ defense. They’re one of the division’s top teams, and Zimmermann recently received his first cap for the United States Men’s National Team.
June 20 | Zack Steffen | Goalkeeper | Columbus Crew | 23 years old
Everton need a new starting goalkeeper, and if Joel Robles and/or Maarten Stekelenburg leave, they need a backup, too. Enter Zack Steffen, late of SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga.
June 25 | Kellyn Acosta | Defensive midfielder | FC Dallas | 21 years old
Much like Tyler Adams, Acosta is the future of the United States midfield. He’s sometimes played at fullback for the national team, but that’s a mistake. Acosta is a wonderfully talented defensive midfielder who is unlikely to be long for MLS.
We’ll be breaking down each player in detail in the coming weeks, and in several cases, you’ll have the opportunity to check them out on television to see for yourself if they might be a good fit at Everton.
Who knows - the Blues might find the next Tim Howard or Landon Donovan.