As revealed on Monday morning, Chicago Fire midfielder Matt Polster was selected to Major League Soccer's "24 under 24" list, an annual ranking of the top players in the league under the age of 24.
Polster's selection is his second in consecutive years, having come in at No. 21 during his rookie campaign in 2015. Polster has appeared in 21 games for the Fire so far this season, having earned his first two career goals during his sophomore campaign in Chicago.
“I think it’s great news," head coach Veljko Paunovic said. "Credit to Matt that he’s developed and performed very well this season so he was selected for such an important matter. For us as a club, as a team that is building and having a lot of young players on the roster, it’s something that is encouraging. We believe that for us it’s important as a staff to keep working and improving all our guys, and we believe in the future we can have even more players selected. It’s a great thing.”
All MLS players aged 23 or younger before October 23, 2016 were eligible for consideration. The final list of 24 players is determined by a panel made up of top soccer media members and the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff. The panel ranked the eligible players based on the following criteria:
- Technical: first touch, dribbling, shooting, heading
- Soccer IQ: positioning, reading game, situational understanding, tactical awareness
- Physical Attributes: balance, agility, speed, endurance, strength, vertical leap
- Personality: attitude, marketability, media savviness, charisma, intangibles
- Potential: improvability, ceiling, national team potential, potential transfer value
For the full breakdown on Polster's selection and to hear what technical staff members around the league had to say about the 23-year-old, follow MLSsoccer.com's coverage of "24 under 24" here.