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Carlos Salcedo named to MLS homegrown game roster

Real Salt Lake defender Carlos Salcedo has been named to the MLS Homegrown Game roster against the Timbers U-23s.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Salcedo, brought to Real Salt Lake's senior team in 2013, hasn't earned the most minutes of homegrown players in MLS this year. Regardless, he's been named to the Homegrown Game roster to face a Portland Timbers under-23 side, which makes it all seem a little like a glorified press maneuver as much as anything.

Maybe that has something to do with being behind Nat Borchers and Chris Schuler at center back — two players who are always going to garner minutes when fit.

That hasn't stopped him from being called up to the Mexican under-21 national side, and it hasn't stopped him from being named to this roster. There's been a sense since his arrival that he is incredibly talented and one for the future, even if he has, at times, struggled in the first team.

Perhaps it's just a symptom of being a young center back. Indeed, it's probably very easy to argue that, because really, when was the last time you saw a 20-year-old central defender who slotted in perfectly every game?

There's a reason defenders are said to enter their prime in their mid-20s — 25 or thereabouts, if you're to believe the indomitable Simon Kuper, author of Soccernomics and other great things — and it's absolutely clear that Salcedo isn't 25. I mean, that's a verifiable thing.

Anyway, that does explain somewhat the inconsistency he exhibits. It's just sort of the name of the game, and he's showed he can develop into a fine player. Maybe a player can hit their prime significantly before that point, but the numbers aren't entirely friendly to that supposition.

It'll be some time before Salcedo hits his peak, and it'll be some time too before he hits his prime. But until then, it's pretty exciting that he's getting some MLS recognition.