The Venezuelan international is named on the list for the first time, thanks to an outstanding campaign in the heart of NYCFC’s midfield.
Herrera, who has missed the last five games with an injury picked up on international duty, is currently on loan from sister club, Manchester City FC.
Signed in the offseason, Herrera made his NYCFC debut in the Home Opener win over DC United and has not looked back, racking up 14 MLS appearances for the club since.
NYCFC clinched an MLS Playoffs berth last weekend following the Houston tie and Atlanta United’s win over Montreal and Herrera is expected to return shortly after the next international break at the start of October – hopefully in time for MLS Playoffs.
To date, Herrera has scored one goal for NYCFC and has appeared on four occasions for his National Team, Venezuela.
This annual 24 Under 24 countdown from the MLS Editorial team aims to measure the best U-24 players in the league across five metrics (technical, soccer IQ, physical attributes, personality and potential).
What the Technical Staffers Say:
"He’s special … Maybe because he’s Venezuelan and plays a No. 6/8 role people don’t notice him, but he’s a huge talent, tough kid, covers a lot of ground … tremendous upside, great get for City … lucky to have Vieira, who played his role, tutoring him … one of the players of the U-20 World Cup … people will take notice even though he’s so young … Dynamic, covers ground, covers gaps that can open up when NYCFC get into their buildup play and knows when to slow down the play, or making a good decision on when to go into a hard tackle and win the ball – those are dangerous areas and if you don’t get it right, you’re in trouble. So for a young player he’s got that savviness, recognizing when to win the ball, when to delay… Helps his team by running for others … understands his role well for such a young age, makes him very valuable to his team … plays to his strengths, plays the simple possession pass when it’s there, doesn’t try stuff … effective… when you’re a young guy with all that energy and liveliness, you have to learn to recognize moments in games when you need to hold your shape, cover for attacking teammates … wants to show his quality but with a bit more experience he’ll realize when to manage the game … has displaced Pirlo at his position, so you know his coach has confidence in him."
All MLS players aged 23 or younger before October 22, 2017 were eligible for consideration. The final list of 24 players is determined by a panel made up of top soccer media members and the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff. The panel ranked the eligible players based on the following criteria:
- Technical: first touch, dribbling, shooting, heading
- Soccer IQ: positioning, reading game, situational understanding, tactical awareness
- Physical Attributes: balance, agility, speed, endurance, strength, vertical leap
- Personality: attitude, marketability, media savviness, charisma, intangibles
- Potential: improvability, ceiling, national team potential, potential transfer value
2017 List (So Far)
No. 3. Jack Harrison (New York City FC)
No. 4. Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps)
No. 5. Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC)
No. 6. Yangel Herrera (New York City FC)
No. 7. Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
No. 8. Hector Villalba (Atlanta United)
No. 9. Paul Arriola (DC United)
No. 10. Tyler Adams (Red Bulls)
No. 11. Yamil Asad (Atlanta United)
No. 12. Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo)
No. 13. Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
No. 14. Carlos Gruezo (FC Dallas)
No. 15. Albert Rusnak (Real Salt Lake)
No. 16. Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC)
No. 17. Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC)
No. 18. Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake)
No. 19. Ballou Tabla (Montreal Impact)
No. 20. Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas)
No. 21. Luciano Acosta (D.C. United)
No. 22. Jefferson Savarino (Real Salt Lake)
No. 23. Kekuta Manneh (Columbus Crew SC)
No. 24. Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution)