Major League Soccer put together an "expert" panel to rank the 24 best players under the age of 24 in the league. So far, two Kansas City Wizards have made the list: foward Teal Bunbury (#17) and midfielder Ryan Smith (#12).
The "expert" panel* is made up of writers Jeff Carlisle (ESPN.com) and Steve Davis (SI.com), TV personalities Brian Dunseth (Fox Soccer Channel), Allen Hopkins (ESPN) and Alexi Lalas (ESPN), and the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff.
Each player was judged and ranked based on their skill, upside, marketability, future value and intangibles. Despite initial mis-givings about seeing a list like this, I'm actually surprised at how much I agree so far.
Gohere to read the story and vote
on who will have the best 2011.*It should probably go without saying why I keep typing "experts" in quotation marks. If it doesn't go without saying, please note the second "expert" listed. (Or the fifth.) I don't particularly have any animus toward the guy; I read him every week. But calling him (or Lalas) an expert? That's like me calling myself an "expert" mechanic because I drive a car. Maybe I'm still bitter that, in the preseason, Davis actually wrote that KC hadn't made any offseason changes. It's only a 16-team league. It's not hard. Do so some research! Tangent finished.
Should Smith and Bunbury (the only real options on KC, unless they really have a high opinion of Jon Kempin or Korede Aiyegbusi) be higher? Lower? Are they in the right place?