Caleb Wiley is growing into one of the league's brightest young stars, confirmed in the latest list unveiled Thursday. The Homegrown defender for Atlanta United, who is 18 years old, was named to the 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR, which ranks the top 22 players in MLS under 22 years of age.
Wiley appeared on the list ranked ninth. Alan Velasco, the 21-year-old who plays for FC Dallas, took the top spot.
Wiley has long been a part of Atlanta United, so it's sometimes easy to forget just how young he is. He made his way up through the Atlanta United pathway, starting the Atlanta United Academy at the age of 11 as a member of the club’s inaugural U-12 team in 2016. Wiley progressed through the Academy and spent time with Atlanta United 2 before the first team signed him as a Homegrown Player on January 18, 2022.
The Homegrown is having a banner year in 2023. He's scored four goals and added four assists on the season, both career highs. He's become a regular starter for head coach Gonzalo Pineda, starting 27 matches this season for Atlanta United. He's also shown versatility and reliability, making appearances at both winger and left fullback.
Additionally, Wiley has logged the fifth-most minutes of any player on the team in 2023. Earlier this year, the 18-year-old hit a new milestone in the club's playoff-sealing win over CF Montréal on September 23. The match marked Wiley's 53rd MLS regular season match, the most appearances for an Atlanta United Homegrown.
Outside of his club, Wiley is also becoming of a factor for the national team program. On April 19, Wiley made his debut with the United States senior national team in the Allstate Continental Clásico against Mexico. Most recently, Wiley was called up by U.S. Olympic men's soccer team head coach Marko Mitrović for the October international window. The U.S. team is preparing for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
To be eligible for the 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR, players must be 21 or younger before the end of the 2023 regular season. Wiley is 18 years old and turns 19 in December. Click here to view the full list of 22 Under 22 on MLSSoccer.com.