The Buck Stops Here: 17-Year-Old Midfielder Calls Game in D.C.
Did you know Noel Buck is 17 years old?
Noel Buck is 17 years old.
You have probably heard this on numerous occasions but that is because he is playing at a level far beyond his years. The Arlington native was a key cog in the New England Revolution machine and arguably the main reason that the Revs secured three points against D.C. United.
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Buck scored the game-winning goal in the 2-1 win. In 90 minutes played, the youngster tallied 67 touches while completing 84 percent of his passes.
The midfielder also showed a great ability to break the back line with nine passes into his opponent’s final third. Buck also tallied six recoveries, two clearances, and an interception while winning five of eight ground duels.
Bruce Arena thought that the 17-year-old was the best player on the field for the first 60 minutes of the game. The head coach and sporting director also mentioned that Buck has earned his trust a long time ago.
“Noel, I thought, played a complete game and I think for our first 60 minutes, he was probably our best player,” Arena said. “And I’ll tell you, Noel has played in every game to date. … He’s earned our trust long ago.”
Arena also touched upon what has impressed him about Buck’s play.
“He continues to grow physically, which is impressive, as is his tactical understanding,” the head coach said. “His first touch is very good. He’s got an excellent work rate. He’s become a real good player.”
Again, Arena isn’t saying this about a 30-year-old such as Carles Gil. The head coach is talking about a 17-year-old who has played in 12 total Major League Soccer matches.
Being so young, Buck is still growing into his body and also increasing his understanding of the game. DeJuan Jones touched upon Buck’s growth after the win.
“Yeah, just from last year, I think maybe he’s gotten taller, he’s gotten stronger,” Jones said. “He knows the game better as well, and yeah, honestly as soon as I saw him shoot it, I thought it was going in and yeah, it went in. So, he’s a player that’s going to continue to impress people. I think he’s got even more in the tank that he hasn’t shown, so he’s going to keep scoring goals for us and keep being a strong player in the midfield for us.”
Playing well at such a young age attracts attention. Prior to the start of the 2023 season, Buck was close to training with Tottenham of the English Premier League but ended up not getting the opportunity.
It appears that Buck is already thinking about what lies ahead in his career. The midfielder revealed that he has a United Kingdom passport which could help facilitate a move to Europe when speaking to Charles Boehm after the win.
If Buck continues to perform as he did against D.C. United, he very well could end up playing in Europe. Being so young, his potential is through the roof.
So while he is just 17 years old, Noel Buck is showing that he has no problems hanging with the big boys. His 2023 season couldn’t have begun in a better fashion.