When Minnesota United FC joined MLS in 2017, fans and particularly young players were able to finally look up and see players at the top level of American soccer play in their community. These role models will, no doubt inspire the next generation of Minnesotan professional soccer players. In the meanwhile, though, there are a number of Minnesotan Men who played exceptionally well.
Brent Kallman, Minnesota United FC, CB
For years Brent was “Kallman the Younger,” having joined the team of his older brother Brian. In the years since joining the Minnesota Stars, Brent has emerged as a talent in his own right. In 2017, however, he became a standout Minnesotan, joining the small list of Minnesotans who have played in MLS. He pushed his way to a starting spot and played almost 2,000 minutes in MLS, scoring two goals along the way. Kallman also earned two Team of the Week honors in week three and week thirty one.
Jackson Yueill, San Jose Earthquakes, CM
The youngest of our nominees, Jackson Yueill, went professional in 2017 when he was chosen sixth in the MLS SuperDraft by the San Jose Earthquakes. The Minnesota Thunder Academy graduate spent part of the year on loan to Quakes affiliate Reno 1868 FC. But he also earned almost a thousand minutes while back with his parent club. He received plaudits for his ability to pick a pass and make a quick jump up to MLS.
Teal Bunbury, New England Revolution, FW
Despite being only 27 years old, Teal Bunbury just wrapped up his eighth season as a professional. In 2017, Bunbury saw a more limited role with the New England Revolution, playing only 1,279 minutes for the club. Despite this, he scored seven goals, including a brace over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Cody Cropper, New England Revolution, GK
When Cody Cropper returned to the United States in 2016 after his time playing in England, he was still recovering from an injury and unsure of where he’d land. In 2017, his goalkeeping career kicked off as he solidified his position between the sticks for the Revolution. He made 71 saves after facing 126 shots on goal. He was also nominated for MLS Save of the Week in week 25 and was named to the week 21 Team of the Week.
Eric Miller, Colorado Rapids, FB
Since making the move to Colorado from the Montreal Impact, Woodbury native Eric Miller has been a mainstay in the stingy Rapids defense. He played 2,617 minutes for the Rapids that, despite a dropoff in results from 2016, still maintained a relatively low 51 goals conceded.
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