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USL 20 Under 20 – No. 6 through No. 10

By Staff, 07/21/17, 2:44PM EDT


A trio of T2 standouts and the U.S. U17 captain continue the countdown

The 2017 USL 20 Under 20 reaches the Top 10, which includes the current U.S. U17 National Team captain, a standout defender from the west coast and a trio of young prodigies currently featuring for the Portland Timbers 2.

No. 10 – Chris Durkin, Richmond Kickers

Photo courtesy Sandy Williams / Richmond Kickers

- D.C. United Homegrown made professional debut for Kickers on July 23, 2016

- Captain of the U.S. U17 National Team ahead of 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup

- 80.9 pass completion rate on 50.9 passes/90 minutes in 2017 USL season Scouting Report
The starting defensive midfielder for the U.S. Under 17 Men’s National Team, Durkin has a high ceiling, yet has already shown the ability to keep pace with more experienced pros. His soft feet and ability to read the game allows him to excel sitting in front of a back four, while he also has a solid passing range and demonstrates a high caliber speed of thought. Capable of playing either in the midfield or as a center back, Durkin tends to position himself in the right spots defensively to snuff out opposing attacks and prevent counter attacks. His growth, both physically and technically, should only continue to see his stock rise.

No. 9 – Hugo Arellano, LA Galaxy II

Photo courtesy LA Galaxy II

- Academy standout turned professional with LA Galaxy II in July, 2016

- Competed for U.S. U20 National Team, made MLS debut June 17, 2017

- 81.4 pass completion rate, 65.2 percent aerial duels win-rate in USL in 2017 Scouting Report
A left-footed defender and veteran of the U.S. Under-17 World Cup squad, Arellano has started to make an impression in 2017 with the Galaxy, both in the USL and in Major League Soccer. Sitting fifth on Los Dos with 425 passes and sitting second in pass completion rate among those with more than 200 passes this season, in addition to ranking third in clearances, the center back has played his way into seeing action for the Galaxy in MLS on the team's injury-hit back line. Arellano can fill in as a left back in a pinch, but his future is in the middle, as he has the defensive ability and passing range to excel centrally.

No. 8 – Lamar Batista, Portland Timbers 2

Photo courtesy Steven Christy / OKC Energy FC

- Signed with T2 after one college season at UC Santa Barbara

- Second in passes attempted (704), fourth in minutes (1,123) for T2 in 2017

- 81 percent tackle success, 78 percent passing accuracy, 31 interceptions Scouting Report
Leaving UC Santa Barbara after one season to join up with the Timbers 2, Batista has quickly made an impression as one of the league’s top young talents despite his team’s struggles overall in the standings. Another promising central defender with the physical abilities to compete and stand out in the USL, he’s learning on the job as he seeks to improve his understanding of the game and defensive positioning against experienced competition. Leading T2 in interceptions and clearances, and putting in positive work with the ball at his feet, the chance to join the Timbers’ MLS squad might not be too far down the road if he continues to progress in his rookie season.

No. 7 – Marco Farfan, Portland Timbers 2

Photo courtesy Sam Ortega / Portland Timbers 2

- Ranked No. 7 in the USL 20 Under 20 for a second consecutive year

- 23 appearances for T2 since making USL debut on March 26, 2016

- Started in MLS debut on March 12, 2017 against the LA Galaxy Scouting Report
Exciting, young outside backs are somewhat hard to come by in American soccer, and those traits are what Farfan’s shown during his brief stint in MLS and after making an extended impression in the USL with the Timbers 2. Only 18 years old, the youngest Timbers Homegrown signing has a bright future ahead of him. Good in attack, Farfan has created five scoring chances in four USL appearances this season, and continues to improve in the defensive third, where he’s won 10 tackles and recorded 11 interceptions in the USL this season. He’ll continue to push for a starting spot in Caleb Porter’s lineup while gaining added experience in the USL ranks.

No. 6 – Victor Arboleda, Portland Timbers 2

Photo courtesy Craig Mitchelldyer / Portland Timbers 2

- Ranked No. 20 in the 2016 USL 20 Under 20

- Seven goals in 34 games for T2 since the start of the 2016 season

- 15 Key Passes and one assist in nine appearances for T2 in 2017 Scouting Report
It’s no shock to see Arboleda retain his spot on the Top 20 Under 20 list, given the electric abilities that he’s shown on the field. There was little surprise when the Timbers added him to their MLS roster ahead of the 2017 season, as he’s a good fit for a wide attacking role. Upping his production in the final third, whether in the USL or MLS, is now key to increasing his profile. Arboleda currently sports a rate of 249.3 minutes per goal and has only three goals on 19 shots this season for T2, but the speed and skill he brings make the 20-year-old one to continue to watch. 

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