The annual MLSSoccer.com 24 Under 24 list came out today and FC Dallas was represented fairly well on the list but none better than midfielder Fabian Castillo who came in at number three on the list behind Chivas' Erick Torres and Seattle's DeAndre Yedlin.
Castillo has enjoyed a great year so far under first-year FCD manager Oscar Pareja. In 23 starts, Castillo has nine goals and four assists.
What the technical staffers say: "A terrific talent. For many years, I pretty consistently thought he can beat a player 10 out of 10 times, but his delivery into the box and his finishing was about 1 out of 10. Just this past year, he's turned that corner and starting to score the goal and make that final pass to assist on the goal, such that I think he's a fantastic prospect."
What Opta Sports says: Leads all players in MLS this season with 212 dribbles attempted and 102 dribbles completed.
Next on the list for FC Dallas at number 6 was Mauro Diaz. The Argentine playmaker made headlines early this season by becoming the league's Player of the Month back in March. Diaz has struggled to stay healthy this season however as he only has three goals and three assists to his name.
What the technical staffers say: "Creative, dynamic player. He's got some pace and he's quick on the ball. But he can't stay healthy. You've got to be on the field if you want to get somewhere. It's not unusual for guys who come to the league to struggle to adjust to the physicality of our league. But he will thrive in this league over time."
What Opta says: Ranks fourth among players under 24 with 2.22 chances created per 90 minutes this season. He also ranks second among players under 24 with 3.23 successful dribbles per 90 minutes. Diaz ranks second in all of MLS with 3.43 fouls suffered per 90 minutes (minimum 500 minutes played).
The third FCD player on the list is our favorite rookie, Tesho Akindele who clocks in at number 23.
Akindele is enjoying a fine rookie season, one that could end up in a Rookie of the Year award. He currently leads all rookies with seven goals.
What the experts say: "He works hard and he scores goals. If you do those two things, you'll play in this league a long time. He could be in line for a sophomore slump as teams figure him out and start to focus on stopping him. His game is probably not varied enough to sustain the production level of this year."
What Opta says: Ranks fourth in chances created from open play per 90 (1.19) minutes among players under 24. He also ranks fifth in goals scored per 90 minutes among the same group (0.41).
FC Dallas is one of five teams in the league to have three players on the annual list. New England, Salt Lake, Vancouver and Colorado are the others.
A 50-player short list was selected by a preliminary panel of MLSsoccer.com editors and external constituents, and then the larger panel rated the 50 players based on the following criteria:
Technical (skills, dribbling, shooting, first touch, heading, etc.)
Soccer IQ (positioning, reading game, situational understanding, tactical awareness, etc.)
Physical Attributes (speed, endurance, strength, vertical leap, etc.)
Personality (attitude, marketability, media savviness, charisma, intangibles, etc.)
Potential (improvability, ceiling, national team potential, potential future transfer value, etc.)
The votes were tabulated to establish the final 24 players.
The cut-off date for eligibility for this year's was October 26, the final day of the 2014 MLS regular season.