FC Dallas

FC Dallas Midfielder Alan Velasco Tops MLS' 22 Under 22 List for 2023

October 12, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Dallas News Release

Frisco, Texas - FC Dallas midfielder Alan Velasco topped Major League Soccer's 22 Under 22 list presented by BODYARMOUR, the league announced today. Velasco becomes the third consecutive FC Dallas player to earn the honor after FC Dallas Homegrowns Jesús Ferreira and Ricardo Pepi topped the list in 2022 and 2021, respectively. FC Dallas forward Bernard Kamungo placed No.19 on the list in his first consolidated season with FC Dallas.

In 2023, Velasco made significant strides during his second year with the club. He secured his first National team call-up with Argentina and honed his skills in the midfielder position. Velasco's positional adaptability has been instrumental in assisting Dallas to maintain its position in the playoff race, especially as the club approaches the final two games of the regular season. This season, Velasco has featured in 26 MLS regular season matches, netting three goals and providing four assists.

Last season, Velasco made an immediate impact on the pitch, scoring six goals and seven assists through 26 matches. He earned MLS Team of the Week honors twice and Team of the Week bench honors twice. Velasco placed in seventh place in the 22 Under 22 rankings last year.

In 2023, Bernard Kamungo solidified his place in the FC Dallas squad with impressive performances and goal-scoring contributions. Kamungo has played in 15 MLS regular season matches, contributing four goals. In all four goal contributions, Kamungo played a crucial role in helping Dallas secure eight out of 12 possible points. Kamungo was called up to the U.S. Men's Olympic Team domestic training camp which is being held in Phoenix, AZ from October 8-18, 2023.

Kamungo was born in Kasulu, Tanzania and moved to the United States as a refugee in 2016, arriving in Abilene, Texas as a 14-year-old. He attended Abilene High School where he was a standout star for the varsity soccer program. He attended North Texas SC's 2021 open tryout in January and was one of four players invited to participate in the team's preseason training camp, before signing with the North Texas on March 25, 2021.

The voting panel was comprised of staff, members of the MLS player department and external media. Voters were asked to rank their Top-22 players in order based on technical, tactical, physical and potential abilities.

Producing The Best

For the third consecutive year, FC Dallas players have topped the MLS' list of top young players with Velasco joining Ferreira (2022) Pepi (2021). Dallas also saw Fabian Castillo (2015) and Brek Shea (2011) top the list in 2015 and 2011 respectively (formerly MLS' Top 24 Under 24). The rankings changed to 22 Under 22 in 2018.

History of FC Dallas Selections in MLS 22 Under 22/24 Under 24

2023: Alan Velasco (1), Bernard Kamungo (19)

2022: Jesús Ferreira (1), Alan Velasco (7)

2021: Ricardo Pepi (1), Jesús Ferreira (9), Paxton Pomykal (13), Justin Che (16)

2020: Paxton Pomykal (5), Jesús Ferreira (16), Bryan Reynolds (18), Tanner Tessmann (21)

2019: Paxton Pomykal (3), Reggie Cannon (5), Jesús Ferreira (9), Brandon Servania (18)

2018: Reggie Cannon (7), Pablo Aranguiz (18)

2017: Kellyn Acosta (2), Carlos Gruezo (14), Jesse Gonzalez (20)

2016: Kellyn Acosta (4), Carlos Gruezo (8), Jesse Gonzalez (9), Walker Zimmerman (11)

2015: Fabian Castillo (1), Kellyn Acosta (14)

2014: Fabian Castillo (3), Mauro Diaz (6), Tesho Akindele (23)

2013: Fabian Castillo (15)

2012: Brek Shea (3), Fabian Castillo (22)

2011: Brek Shea (1), Fabian Castillo (7)

2010: Brek Shea (7), Dax McCarty (24)

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