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The Next Generation: Young MLS Players to Watch Out for During the 2016 Season

A look at the next wave of talent to watch out for as the 2016 MLS season gets underway.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Gradually the talk of the MLS being a retirement league is dying down. This is all thanks to the emergence of many great young players graduating from college eventually plying their trade in the MLS. In other cases MLS academy teams managing to unearth and mould talent into top class players. In recent memory players like Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Fabian Castillo and Kekuta Manneh have all worked their way into becoming truly wonderful MLS talents. Here are a few young players to look out for in the 2016 MLS season.

Brandon Vincent, LB, Chicago Fire

Brandon Vincent was regarded as the most MLS ready talent in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. Many scouts were saying that if he does not achieve his maximum development he will still become the best defensive left back in the league. So far he has had a pretty solid preseason. The 21 year old has already received his first international cap for the U.S. on February 5th, 2016 after coming on as a second half substitute against Canada. In his final year at Stanford, Vincent managed to score 6 goals and assist 2 others out of defence. It is safe to say Chicago Fire have a great young player on their roster.

Luciano Acosta, FW, D.C. United

D.C. United snagged themselves a special player through the loan system. The 21-year-old diminutive forward was signed on loan from Argentine powerhouses Boca Juniors. Dave Kasper DC's GM said "Luciano is a dynamic creative midfielder who has solid experience the past two seasons in the top Argentine league, and we look forward to quickly integrating him into our group." It took Acosta only 28 minutes to assist MLS vet Fabian Espindola in preseason play. With over 50 appearances in the Argentine Primera Divisón Acosta has enough experience to take the MLS by storm.

Carlos Gruezo, AM, FC Dallas

Dallas already has a wealth of homegrown attacking talent. Well with the addition of Gruzero Dallas just enhanced their attack even more. Gruzero was signed from Bundesliga side Stuttgart. Gruzero at the tender age of 20 already has 10 caps for his nation of Ecuador. In 2014 Gruzero also managed to make Ecuador's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This is the exact type of player that all MLS teams should strive to sign. He might not make the scoresheet every game, but you can be sure that Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz will be even more lethal this year due to Gruzero's presence on the pitch.

Emmanuel Boateng, FW, LA Galaxy

The LA Galaxy have had a very busy offseason acquiring a boatload of talent. The additions of Ashley Cole and Nigel De Jong took all of the media attention. But the acquisition of Emmanuel Boateng might be the best one of them all. Boateng was bought from Swedish side Helsingborgs IF. He has already featured for the Galaxy starting on the left wing in their CONCACAF Champions League match against Santos Laguna. If he gets to see the field with players like Robbie Keane, Giovani Dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes his season could be truly spectacular. If this soccer thing does not work out for him Boateng has stated that he would like to go into medicine.

Ronaldo Matarrita, LB, NYCFC

New York's defence was absolutely terrible last year. If they want to make the playoffs this year they are going to need their backline to step up. Luckily NYCFC back office took note of their defensive frailty by adding this 21-year-old Costa Rican international. NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said "He has already broken through as an international and can help strengthen our squad immediately and at only 21, we know he will develop into an even more important player in the future." First year coach Patrick Vieira will be looking to improve the NYCFC defence. Matarrita will certainly help that cause.