The USL revealed today the top five players in their annual 20 Under 20 list, highlighting the league’s top 20 players under the age of 20.
Coming in at #4… LA Galaxy II’s Carlos Harvey.
One of two young Panamanian players brought in on loan by the LA Galaxy II last offseason, Carlos Harvey has impressed for club and country in 2019 while helping Los Dos make a push for their first trip to the USL Championship Playoffs since the 2016 season.
Harvey began the year making his full international debut for Los Canaleros days before his 19th birthday, appearing in an exhibition against the United States, but since then he’s become a versatile two-way player in the Galaxy II midfield. Harvey has won the second-most duels (141 of 263) among players eligible for this year’s 20 Under 20, behind only fellow selection Cristian Parano of San Antonio FC, while recording 113 recoveries and 25 interceptions in 17 appearances.
Harvey has also shown the ability to strike from distance, with both of his goals for Los Dos this season coming from beyond the penalty area.
After playing every minute earlier this summer as he helped Panama reach the knockout stages of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Harvey’s ability and versatility in fulfilling multiple roles for Los Dos has him poised for big things ahead.
CLUB PERSPECTIVE – LA GALAXY II HEAD COACH JUNIOR GONZALEZ
The Galaxy organization brought Carlos in on loan from Tauro this offseason, what was it that the club liked about his game that made him a player to pursue?
We liked that he was versatile. He had played half his games in central defense and half the games as a No. 6 for the Panama U-20s in the CONCACAF Championships. He’s a good ball-winner and he’s got good physical characteristics to play the No. 6 in a 4-3-3. A great ball-winner and a player than can cover ground and distribute. Those are his characteristics, but he has a presence and a mentality about himself in that position.
Is there anything that’s surprised you about the way he’s performed this season?
One thing that I’ve noticed he’s done a good job of is just understanding his function and role within our system. That has enabled him to perfect three or four functions and be able to do them well. He’s started to understand where he needs to be on what parts of the field and what zones and at what times, and that’s helping him quite a bit. We’ve seen a transformation from him in that midfield position, because he’s starting to understand his role more. He’s also started to become a little more goal dangerous when we switch up on the attack in zone three.
The call-ups to Panama’s national team clearly show how he’s regarded back home, what’s going to be the next step in fulfilling that potential?
He needs to become more of a vocal player. He tends to be a quiet player and just show who he is through his performances. But I think him taking leadership and organizing people around him and understanding the roles and functions of the players around him so that he can start coaching on the field is something that he needs to improve. But I feel that he is close to being a first team level player in MLS. The only thing that may hold him back is just his international status. But if I look at defensive midfielders from our team and defensive midfielders around MLS, he definitely has the ability to make the step to the first team.