5 Homegrown Players Shining In The MLS Western Conference

FloFC’s Homegrown check-in rolls on with a look at the Western Conference. This list could easily be devoted to Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas with the way they’ve developed and featured Homegrown talent recently, but there are several others out west who have been showing out so far in 2019.

If you missed out our look at Homegrown players in the Eastern Conference, you can find it here.

1. Paxton Pomykal | FC Dallas 

Paxton Pomykal signed a Homegrown contract back in 2016, but he’s had to patiently wait for his chance to shine in North Texas. Starting eight of the first nine matches, the 19-year-old has stormed out of the gates year with two goals and an assist and is proving to be one of the brightest young talents in the league.

The attacking midfielder is thriving in Luchi Gonzalez’s 4-3-3 and currently leads all outfield players with a 7.9 WhoScored rating. He’s been a menace for opposing defenses with his ability to create and pick out a pass in the final third.

2. Gianluca Busio | Sporting Kansas City

This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the 16-year-old. Sporting KC have been dealing with a plethora of injury issues and lineup changes, and it’s been none other than teenage midfielder Gianluca Busio who has capitalized when called upon.

Coach Peter Vermes recently credited Busio with playing well beyond his years and handed him his fourth start of the campaign in Saturday’s 4-4 draw with New England. Goals in three consecutive matches is the perfect recipe for winning over supporters in Kansas City, and they will be missing their young talent while he’s away with the U.S. U-17 squad at the Concacaf Championships in May.

3. Cole Bassett | Colorado Rapids

Life came fast for the teenage midfielder in 2018. The Rapids made Bassett their youngest-ever signing in August and he went on to notch six appearances and score his first league goal in a 2-1 win over Dallas on the final day of the season. Top that off with an October training camp with German outfit SC Freiburg and you have one heck of a year.

This year has presented Bassett with plenty more opportunities for both club and country and he has fully seized the moment. The 17-year-old was called into the U.S. U-18 January camp under the direction of Tab Ramos and he has already started five games for the Rapids. This silky smooth finish got his 2019 goal tally off and running, and he played provider for another in the 4-3 loss to Orlando.

4. Aaron Herrera | Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake set the MLS record in March for fielding for the most Homegrown Players in their match against LAFC (six). One of those on the pitch was Aaron Herrera, whose ability to play both outside back positions — right is his preferred side — is proving invaluable for head coach Mike Petke.

Herrera received his first MLS start in July of 2018 and hasn’t looked back since. He’s been in the starting XI in each of his side’s opening eight matches and currently leads the team in average interceptions (2.1). A brilliant performance in the home opener, a 1-0 win over Vancouver, earned him Man of the Match honors and a spot on the bench in the MLS Team of the Week. Take a moment and get to know the Las Cruces native.

5. Jesús Ferreira | FC Dallas

The son of former Dallas player David Ferreira is another young talent to break out under new coach Luchi Gonzalez. The 18-year-old appeared just once in 2018, but he’s already recorded six starts this campaign and has accounted for five of his side’s goals (three goals and two assists).

His nose for goal and composure in the box has fans dreaming of what he can produce with even more experience under his belt. Think Atlanta United’s raucous home atmosphere would be enough to rattle the young striker? Think again.

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