The Angle

FiftyFive.One Best of 2016: Young Male Player U-23

by on 22 December 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, FiftyFive.One is honoring the best Minnesota soccer players. This week, we’ll release the shortlist of nominees across six categories. Readers can vote for their favorites with the winners announced next week.

Today we look at Minnesota’s young guns. These guys are playing in different parts of the world and are at different stages of their careers. However, there is one thing they all have in common: they hail from Minnesota.

Mukwelle Akale

Photo courtesy of Villarreal CF

Mukwelle Akale

The only Minnesotan player on this list currently playing in Europe is Mukwelle Akale. At just 19 years old, he is climbing through the ranks at Villarreal. He is currently on the Villarreal reserve C Squad in Spain. However, Akale has been spending a good deal of time training with the first team under the new manager, Fran Escriba. Akale made his first team debut in the 61st minute in the final preseason match this fall. Currently he splits time between the B and C squads. Akale also made an appearance with the US U-20 National Team at the 2016 NTC Invitational.


Sean Boyle. Photo courtesy of Team USA

Photo courtesy of Team USA

Sean Boyle

Almost a year after surgery that doctors thought would end his soccer career, Sean Boyle represented the USA at the 2016 Rio Paralympics as a goalkeeper. Boyle started all three games that the USA played, including a comeback draw against the Netherlands. Boyle tallied 28 saves throughout the Paralympics.



Ish Jome

Ismaila Jome

The only Loon to appear on this list, Ismaila Jome signed with Minnesota United in March. Before signing, Jome played college soccer at the University of California-Santa Barbara. A left winger, Jome played in nine games for the Loons this past season. His debut was arguably his best game — coming on as a sub in the 63rd minute, Jome scored to seal a 3-1 home win against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. 


Jackson Yueill

Jackson Yueill

The sophomore Yueill spent 2016 plying his trade in college for UCLA. As a midfielder, Yueill tallied two goals and eleven assists throughout the 2016 season. Four of those assists came in a 6-1 early season victory against Akron where he set an NCAA record for three assists in 32 seconds. Yueill’s play on the pitch earned him an All Pac-12 first team selection and Top Drawer’s D1 Best XI team. Midway through his Sophomore year, the Bloomington native is expected to hear his named called early at the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and is likely to land a Generation Adidas contract after announcing he will go pro this year.


Honorable Mention: Tyler David

David was drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the fourth round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. He was released after training camp, however. He signed with USL side and recent Minnesota United US Open Cup foe, Saint Louis FC. The defender had 22 appearances last season scoring one goal. He has re-signed for the 2017 season.

2016 U-23 Men's Player of the Year


See all of FiftyFive.One Best of 2016 Player of the Year categories and vote!

Young Female U-23

Gopher Soccer

Minnesota United FC

Mpls. City SC


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