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Adams, Weah and the top 10 teenagers in the USA talent pipeline

4:15 PM EDT 3/30/18
Tyler Adams New York Red Bulls CONCACAF Champions League
As part of the NxGn series, Goal takes a look at the most promising young players in the U.S. national team talent pool

The U.S. national team youth movement is in full swing, and we have already seen some teenagers break in early as they look to help the United States rebuild after failing to qualify for the World Cup.

The battle for playing time in Major League Soccer for teenage players continues to be a point of contention, with more and more fans calling for teams to "play their kids." Tyler Adams is leading the charge on that front as one of the New York Red Bulls' top players, while D.C. United's Chris Durkin has started to earn minutes with his club after making his MLS debut earlier this season.

Tim Weah earned his first U.S. cap in Tuesday's friendly win against Paraguay, capping a whirlwind start to 2018 that saw him make his first-team debut with Paris Saint-Germain. The 18-year-old forward has seen his stock rise considerably since impressing at last year's U-17 World Cup.

With Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie set to leave the teenage ranks with birthdays later this year, here is a look at the best American prospects born after 1998.

  • Ulysses Llanez LA Galaxy 02152018

    #1 Ulysses Llanez, LA Galaxy II

    Regarded as the top American prospect born in 2002, Llanez narrowly missed out making last year's U-17 World Cup squad and is already establishing himself as a top candidate for the next U.S. U-20 team. He impressed at the LA Galaxy's preseason training camp and, after making his pro debut with Galaxy II in 2017, Llanez should see an increased role this year with the USL side.
  • Manny Perez North Carolina State 2017

    #2 Manny Perez, North Carolina State

    The U.S. Under-20 national team defender is an exciting right back prospect who would have been a top two pick in the 2018 MLS draft had he chosen to sign the Generation Adidas offer made to him. A solid defender who is dangerous in the attack, Perez should turn pro soon and is already generating interest from European scouts.
  • Andrew Carleton 05032017

    #3 Andrew Carleton, Atlanta United

    The former U.S. Under-17 national team playmaker enjoyed a breakout showing at the U-17 World Cup last year, but the question now is when and if he will have his chance with Atlanta United. Minutes have been tough to come by in 2018, but he has shown glimpses that suggest he could handle an increased role.
  • Jonathan Amon FC Nordsjaelland

    #4 Jonathan Amon, Nordsjaelland

    A speedy winger who started generating buzz after breaking through at Danish club Nordsjaelland at the end of 2017, Amon is a South Carolina native who could emerge as solid left wing option in the upcoming U.S. Under-20 national team cycle. Left wingers are hard to come by, and he's showing himself to be a dangerous one, although he's been sidelined by injury in recent months. He turned heads at the U.S. youth national team super camp in January.
  • Chris Durkin, Dave Kasper, D.C. United, 06142016

    #5 Chris Durkin, D.C. United

    One of the biggest standouts at last year's U-17 World Cup for the United States, Durkin has made the most of 2018, earning his first minutes with D.C. United, having played in all four of the teams matches. The defensive midfielder is also garnering considerable transfer interest, with Benfica among the teams taking a look at the 18-year-old.
  • Giovanni Reyna USA U15

    #6 Giovanni Reyna, New York City FC academy

    The youngest player on the list, Reyna is the son of former U.S. national team captain Claudio Reyna. Only 15, Reyna is already drawing considerable interest from European scouts with his high-level technical skills and ability to create chances and score goals out of the midfield. The New York City FC academy product is considering a move overseas, with Borussia Dortmund believed to be among the clubs interested in his services.
  • Nick Taitague Schalke 08082017

    #7 Nick Taitague, Schalke

    Overshadowed at Schalke by Weston McKennie's breakthrough, Taitague is widely regarded in American soccer circles as one of the most technically skilled prospects to ever emerge from the U.S. An attacking midfielder by trade, Taitague still has to make his breakthrough as a pro, but the 19-year-old has spent time training with Schalke's first team and has the skill set to be a national team regular if he can stay healthy.
  • Josh Sargent USA Under 17 CONCACAF 05032017

    #8 Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen

    Sargent skyrocketed onto the U.S. national team radar in 2017 by shining at the U-20 World Cup, impressing at the U-17 World Cup as well. He officially turned pro in February, when he signed a professional contract with Werder Bremen after turning 18. A quick, strong and technical forward with a nose for goal, Sargent still has plenty to prove, but if he can hit the ground running in Germany like Christian Pulisic did, he could be the next American teenager on the fast track to Bundesliga success.
  • Timothy Weah PSG

    #9 Timothy Weah, Paris Saint-Germain

    Another young American enjoying a standout 2018, Weah made his Paris Saint-Germain and U.S. national team debuts just weeks apart and has seen his stock skyrocket in the months since his breakout showing at the U-17 World Cup. The 18-year-old winger is still raw, but he has the qualities to be a national team fixture sooner rather than later.
  • Tyler Adams USA

    #10 Tyler Adams, New York Red Bulls

    Adams is enjoying a breakout 2018 for club and country. He has helped the New York Red Bulls reach the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League and impressed in both of the U.S. national team's friendlies this year. He is looking more and more like a U.S. starter going forward, and European clubs are fully aware of the 19-year-old midfielder.