Hamid often jostles for position with Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the pecking order behind the top three. He likely holds the inside track for now because he offers a more steady presence between the sticks, but he must improve his rebound control to force his way further up the depth chart.
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Andrew Farrell, New England defender
Revolution coach Jay Heaps often deploys Farrell, 22, at right back, but he projects as a center back down the line. His robust frame makes him a good fit there, but he’ll need to continue to develop his tactical approach with match practice in order to state his claims for the next level.
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Shane O'Neill, Colorado defender
O’Neill continues to impress with his consistency and his versatility with the Rapids. His seasoning with the U.S. under-20 side means he is in the system already, though he also holds an Irish passport. The biggest test for him in the near future: settling into one position and staying there as first choice.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY SporIsaiah J. Downing
Erik Palmer-Brown, Sporting Kansas City defender
Sporting manager Peter Vermes threw Palmer-Brown, 17, straight into the fire when he needed a central defender earlier this year. Palmer-Brown just about survived his debut, but his best days remain ahead of him. He possesses the physical tools to cope with the demands of his position, but he will need to fill out a bit to make the leap toward the end of this cycle.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsTroy Taormina
Luis Gil, Real Salt Lake midfielder
U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann already has the talented U.S. under-20 international firmly on his radar. Gil, 20, will hit a century of MLS appearances sometime in the next few weeks. His development during that time period – the inevitable transition from a clever playmaker to a more complete midfielder in that diamond setup – makes him a player to watch during the next cycle. One caveat: he may move elsewhere when his contract ends in December.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
Dillon Powers, Colorado midfielder
The reigning Rookie of the Year has maintained the lofty standards set from a year ago. He allies industry with vision to move into the right spots and pick the right passes. If he can continue to sharpen his game, then he could serve as a potential box-to-box option moving forward.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY SportsRon Chenoy
Kelyn Rowe, New England midfielder
Rowe possesses some of the creative tools required to conjure chances in the attacking third. He also supplies a threat to score from distance, but he will need to return to his best and establish himself as a fixture with the Revs in central midfield to push his way into the frame.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY SportsWinslow Townson
Wil Trapp, Columbus midfielder
If U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann wants to adopt a more proactive approach in possession, then he can turn to under-20 starlet Trapp to help establish the tone. Trapp might need to bulk up a bit to cope at the international level, but his astute positioning and tidy work on the ball makes him a potential option in central midfield.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY SporTrevor Ruszkowski
Kekuta Manneh, Vancouver forward
It is all about potential for the 19-year-old Gambian. Manneh isn’t the finished product by any stretch, but his searing pace makes him an enticing prospect if he acquires American citizenship as anticipated over the next couple of years.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY SporAnne-Marie Sorvin
Jack McInerney, Montréal forward
U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann included McInerney in his CONCACAF Gold Cup squad last summer. Klinsmann opted not to use him at that time, but McInerney -- a instinctual poacher with some work still to do off the ball -- could force his way back into the reckoning if he continues to score regularly for the Impact.
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY SportsJean-Yves Ahern
Darlington Nagbe, Portland forward
Nagbe boasts the ingenuity and the tactical ability to succeed at the international level. He needs to improve his consistency and obtain American citizenship (he is reportedly on course to gain his passport next year) to force his way into the mix, but his silky skills could provide an intriguing element moving forward.