clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jonathan Osorio Snubbed from Major League Soccer's 24 Under 24 List

New, 6 comments

No Toronto FC players were on the list released yesterday, but one certainly should have been.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Improving on a game by game basis is an old sport's cliché, but in the case of Jonathan Osorio it may actually ring true. At just 23 years of age, the Toronto FC midfielder is playing the best soccer of his career, and "best" continues to be augmented week after week.

This week, it meant a dominant performance against the Colorado Rapids. Osorio had 89 per cent passing, capped off with a brilliant back heel flick to Sebastian Giovinco that opened up the Rapids defense and resulted in an assist on the game's winning goal.

But Jonathan Osorio isn't good enough, apparently, for MLSSoccer.com's annual 24 under 24 list. Nor were any other Toronto FC players for that matter. He hasn't been on the list for two years since he claimed the final spot in his 2013 rookie season.

The 24 under 24 list is Major League Soccer's version of the best 40 under 40, exploring the league's up and coming players and ranking them based on promise. This year's leader was Fabian Castillo of FC Dallas, a player who is absolutely deserving of the honour.

So is Osorio, not at the top of the list like Castillo, but certainly on the list in some position. The fact that he wasn't, nor even mentioned in the follow-up for player's who came close but did not appear, is shocking.

Osorio's career stats read as follows: 80 MLS games played, 64 of which he has started, with 9 goals and 11 assists.

While numbers aren't always the best measurement of potential, they do certainly tell a story as to how much a player has accomplished. Looking at the number makes it all that much more surprising that Osorio was excluded.

It isn't an even category for all players, but only seven players have played more games in Major League Soccer than the Canadian. They are Castillo, Perry Kitchen, Joao Plata, Juan Agudelo, Diego Fagundez, Andrew Farrell and Kelyn Rowe.

The closest that one can come to "fair statistics" given the uneven amount of time all of these players have spent in the league, would be a per game percentage.

In goals per game, assists per game, shots per game, key passes per game, tackles per game and interceptions per game Osorio is top 15 in all categories.

Osorio sits 14th among members of the 24 under 24 list in goals per game and shots per game, 11th in successful tackles per game and interceptions per game, 6th in key passes per game, and only behind Castillo, Harrison Shipp, Kwadwo Poku, Kemar Lawrence, Fagundez and Rowe in assists per game.

In fact, Tommy Thompson of the San Jose Earthquakes, ranked 23 on the list does not have a single one of these stats that was better than Osorio. Wil Trapp, ranked 4, and Erik Palmer-Brown, ranked 24, only have one stat better than Osorio.

While the majority of the statistics measured admittedly favour attacking players, they make a pretty compelling case as to why Osorio should be on the list.

On top of his Major League Soccer accomplishments, he already has earned 13 caps for the Canadian national team. He would have earned more if Toronto FC had let him go, which they rarely seem willing to do considering how much he contributes.

There was only one Canadian on this year's list, Orlando City striker Cyle Larin who sits 10th after a rookie season that has seen him tie the league record for rookie goals in 11. He has four regular season games left to make the record his own.

Hopefully, Osorio responds positively to this snub, if even cares. TFC manager Greg Vanney has talked at length lately about using media criticism as a motivator.

Osorio may not have been acknowledged as one of the league's best young up and coming players, but maybe that's because he's not a prospect, he's already established as a solid player in MLS.