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Alex Muyl is Backed By Messi

Not bad for a guy MLS didn't think was one of its top young players.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Muyl was snubbed by his own league's list of it's most promising youngsters, missing out on selection for this year's MLS 24-under-24. His consolation was an honorable mention from mlssoccer.com and some faint praise from Simon Borg.

Until now. Muyl's talents may not have captivated the MLS taste-makers, but he has been selected as one of 10 young players for Adidas' second annual Backed By Messi campaign.

Adidas and Messi have new branded boots to sell, of course. Backed By Messi is a marketing campaign, but so too is 24-under-24. The difference between them being Leo Messi doesn't put his name behind the 24-under-24 picks, and the global pool of young pro talent is a little bigger than that confined to MLS.

In 2015, Backed By Messi launched itself on to an unsuspecting public as a year-long flurry of YouTube videos.

We can expect much the same this year.

Last year's crop included two players in MLS - LA Galaxy's Gyasi Zardes and NYCFC's Khiry Shelton. This year's follows the same pattern: Muyl is joined by Vancouver Whitecaps' Kekuta Manneh.

Muyl is in good company. The Backed By Messi 2015 cohort included Timo Werner, a Stuttgart player at the time but now at RB Leipzig. This year's group includes Ajax's Kasper Dolberg, AC Milan's Davide Calabria, and Chernatovo's Nadya Karpova, the first woman to make the list.

As part of the campaign, the players will be wearing the brand new Messi-branded Adidas cleats.