Top 25 U.S. U-21 prospects 

March, 5, 2013
03/05/13
8:46
AM ET

There's been plenty to consider over the last month in creating our latest Top 25 U.S. under-21 ranking.

While club action continues in Europe and picks back up in North America, the U-20s were busy in Puebla, Mexico, getting themselves back to the U-20 World Cup after missing out last cycle. That process told us plenty about how the prospects stack up, and who could still fill a need for the U.S. this summer in Turkey.

As a result of performances in Mexico, Daniel Cuevas, Caleb Stanko and Jose Villarreal move up the list. The top 10 was also impacted by the long-term injuries to Will Packwood and Marc Pelosi, who, had they remained healthy, would have been in the top five looking toward the U-20 World Cup.

With the MLS season kicking off, there's a good bit of speculation as far as potentially increasing roles for players like Luis Gil, Jack McInerney and Perry Kitchen. It all adds up to a good deal of movement from the previous edition of the Top 25.

Here are the current Top 25 U-21 U.S. prospects:

1
John Anthony Brooks
AGE: 20
DOB: 1/28/93
CLUB (COUNTRY) Hertha Berlin (Germany)
POS: D

Brooks has come on strong over the past few months, establishing himself as a Second Bundesliga starter while seeming to grow in stature and ability. The central defender -- a solid 6-foot-3 -- has finally grown into his potential as America's best prospect, but has also caught the attention of the German national team. With the U-20 World Cup and Gold Cup on tap for the summer, the battle for his allegiance will likely soon play out.

PREVIOUS RANK: 2 | PLAYER CARD


To see the full list of the Top 25 U.S. prospects under 21 years of age, plus get all of ESPN Insider's soccer content, sign up and become an Insider.

Brent Latham is a soccer commentator who covers the youth national teams for ESPN.com. Based in Guatemala, he has attended youth World Cups from Peru to Egypt, and places in between.

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