Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bocanegra Makes 10 Worst Buys List

Norman Hubbard at Soccernet has a column up on the 10 worst buys in the Premiership for this year and Carlos Bocanegra made it on the list. But it's not in that way. Boca's been at Fulham for a few years. This list is only of players who were newly purchased by their club for 06-07. Boca is on this list as a comparison for the number one (that is, the single worst) on Hubbard's list. Congrats to Carlos on outscoring Shevchenko!

1. Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea, £30.7 million)
Carlos Bocanegra 5, Andriy Shevchenko 4. The West London shootout is being won by Fulham's American defender who, though not even a set-piece specialist, is outscoring Britain's costliest player in the Premiership. At Chelsea, the callow Salomon Kalou has struck almost twice as often. Shevchenko's occasional high-class finishes - such as his FA Cup goal against Tottenham - only heighten the exasperation with a player of undoubted quality. Sublime in Serie A, he has been poor in the Premiership. Missing the Champions League semi-final second leg, exactly the sort of match he was signed for, hardly helped but when Jose Mourinho referred, in his indictment of the players who had cost Chelsea a third successive title, of those who would fail to garner a single vote in the club's Player of the Year voting, he surely had their biggest buy in mind

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sophomore Player Of The Year

Last year with help from the folks at From College To Pros, I took a look at who should be the 2006 MLS Sophomore Player of the Year. It's a new season and time to start looking at which rookies from last year are stepping up and putting in the performances to get them talked about for 2007. Ones that I've been watching so far are : Chicago Fire Calan Carr Floyd Franks Brian Plotkin Dasan Robinson Chivas USA Jonathan Bornstein Sasha Kljestan Lawson Vaughn Colorado Rapids Colin Clarke Jacob Peterson Daniel Wasson Columbus Crew Jason Garey Andy Gruenebaum Will Hesmer Kei Kamara Brandon Moss DC United Mark Burch Jeff Carroll Stephen deRoux Rod Dyachenko Devon McTavish Justin Moose FC Dallas Kenny Cooper Dax McCarthy Dominic Oduro Houston Stuart Holden Patrick Ianni Kansas City Wizards Matt Groenwald Amir Lowery Yura Movsisyan Tyson Wahl Lance Watson Los Angeles Quavas Kirk Nathan Sturgis Kyle Veris New England Revolution none New York Red Bulls Jozy Altidore Blake Camp Elie Angku Jerrod Laventure Joe Vide Real Salt Lake Kyle Brown Willis Forko Attiba Harris Medhi Ballouchy Toronto FC Abbe Ibrahim Marvel Wynne If I've missed anyone, please let me know. Some like Kenny Cooper played professionally in England. Because of this I wouldn't have had him in the running for rookie of the year. The same applies for sophomore player of the year. My shortlist of players to keep an eye on are : Jozy Altidore (NYRB), Medhi Ballouchy (RSL), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Willis Forko (RSL), Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus), Sasha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarthy (FCD), Justin Moose (DCU), Dominic Oduo (FCD), Jacob Peterson (Colorado), Dasan Robinson (Chicago), Nathan Sturgis (LAG), Marvel Wynne (Toronto FC)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Major League Soccer Rookies

If you follow the MLS and feel you've seen a rookie playing well, make sure to swing by From College to Pros and let them now. Each week FCTP looks at how they played that week and picks a rookie of the week. Their week 5 picks can be seen here.

Questions For MLS Commish, Don Garber

Why does the web site not list US Open Cup games on the right side? If all owner-investors also own part of the league why would they not want to fully promote all the games (non-friendlies) that get played? Is this a result of some of the budget cutbacks that have us using the same software for for a 2nd year with a yet a 2nd year of being able to do basic tasks like setting your own password? When will you admit the Designated Player rule was a way to make the salary cap a bit harder? When will the MLS start selling clothing and trinkets for toddlers and babies? Why hasn't the league reviewed the video and given Eddie Robinson a fine and suspension for striking Roberto "El Bombardo" Brown? Why isn't the 1996 MLS Cup Final available for sale on DVD? With all the population growth in Florida and the Southeast, why is the not an MLS team there? And if it's a matter of finding an investor, why hasn't the MLS found one? Surely a league with so much promise could attract one or two. When will the league do something to ensure referees don't gift RSL points at Rice-Eccles? It happened a couple times last year. And it started this year with refs gifting them 2 goals in the last few minutes of the game. How long does Houston have before it has to get a new stadium? What about KC? Will we ever be told if Joey Franchino violated the league's substance policies and that he was actually suspended?

The Scoop On RSL

If you're wondering what is going on with Real Salt Lake these days, the best place to get the scoop on them is the RSLFM Report. Unfortunately they don't have a RSS feed (maybe like the rest of Utah, a bit behind the times?). They do have a great mix of news and analysis on the team. And it's never sugar-coated just because they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

From The Pitch Comments 4

I missed some of the talk with Plush with some other things going on. Caller : Asked about name change. Plush : Did say they were close to a name change. Skipped on commenting on IF they will still change the name other than saying they are happy where they are. Plush - Doesn't think Arsenal will come here under Wenger but does think that Rapids will play in the Emirates stadium. Balboa - Thought having Arsenal here for the MLS all-start game here in Denver would've been perfect. Plush - One more partnership is going to be announced; most likely with a Mexican club.

From The Pitch Comments 3

Call into the show 303-485-2152 Plush is in as a guest. - Thrilled to be in the new stadium - Can learn from mistakes - Still a lot of work to do to build the sport - The Rapids think the new stadium, Dicks Sporting Goods Park, is the best of it's kind (context may have been limited to MLS). Denver : - Best sports market in the US as far as KSE is concerned. - They need to learn how to cut through the clutter - Shows like From The Pitch are important to build the fan base - But it's a process; it is going to take a lot of time. Talked about DP. Did Plush just say the did not meet Cruz Azul's offer for Borgetti? Last Feb he said they were right on par with Cruz Azul and implied they were offering just as much money. This time he said to the affect that he didn't know if Borgetti would've done it as Cruz Azul had offered a pretty big number.

From The Pitch Comments 2

Calle - Street Soccer - Play on asphalt - Better develop individual skills on the ball - 95% of soccer balls are made in Pakistan - Big tournament later part of July Soccer Stop

From The Pitch Comments 1

Going to try some quick comments on the "From The Pitch" Radio show Clavijo - CO did better on set pieces. The team didn't show up and play well; let Houston do what they love to do which is run at you out of the midfield. Rapids wore black armband as a show of respect with what happened at Virginia Tech. It's a short week so it's crucial the fitness coach has the team do just enough but not too much. Clavijo - We'll see Thornton soon. And we'll see Cancela and continue to see Casey. Clavijo - Tonight was the first night he heard about the Guevara + Rapids rumor. Caller - Will Ugo be fit for Thursday? Clavijo - He's lookin' pretty good and looks like he'll play Thursday.

2005 Adidas College Combine (Forwards)

A few months ago in chatting with my friend that runs From College To Pros, I realized that there wasn't anyone on the Internet that seemed to be tracking what happened to players who attended the MLS college combine. It's only been going since 2004 in it's current form. We agreed that it would be interesting to look at how players from the combine fared. I jumped into the project but it's been collecting cobwebs the last two months. I've finally dusted off some of my notes and am working on getting the 2005 list out this week. The list of forwards from the 2005 combine can be found here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

MLS & Colorado Rapids Radio Show

"From The Pitch" with Marcelo Balboa & Dino Costa
Presented by Soccer Stop & adidas,
Tuesday May 8, 2007 6-8PM AM1060
Tuesday night's guests include: ~ Jeff Plush VP & Managing Director of the Colorado Rapids ~ Fernando Clavijo Head coach of the Colorado Rapids ~ Travis Calle Street Soccer * One lucky caller this week will win a pair of adidas Predators from Soccer Stop & Adidas The program will be able to be streamed on: AM-1060 in Denver AM-1580 in Colorado Springs AM-610 in Vail AM-1450 in Buena Vista world wide internet stream at:

Who Will Be The Third?

As you may know by now, Charlton lost today and was relegated along with Watford. Charlton's loss with Fulham's win (finally) means that Fulham is now safe. The most Wigan can finish with is 38 points and Fulham has 39. The question is, which club will be the third to be relegated. Wigan looks the most likely to go down. They need to win at Sheffield United to stay up. If they do, they should at least be tied with Sheffield United with a -22 goal differential. Please correct me if I am wrong but after GD I believe the next tie-breaker is total goals for. If that's the case, Wigan will have Sheffield United beat. But that may be a moot point depending on how West Ham does at Old Trafford against Manchester United. If West Ham loses and Wigan wins, West Ham's -26+ GD will mean they'll go down before Sheffield United's -22+. That is unless Wigan, which has been playing horribly, wins by more than 3 goals on the road. It could happen but unlikely. And all of this could turn out to be a moot point depending on how any legal action turns out by Wigan, Sheffield United or other clubs. It stands to reason that if West Ham isn't relegated that they will bring a court action against the premier league for not deducting points from West Ham for playing players (Tevez, Mascherano) they admitted that they knew could not legitimately turn out for West Ham. If that occurs and the courts side with the plantiffs, it stands to reason that West Ham would be deducted more than enough points (3 or more) to have them relegated regardless of how they finished the season. Sheffield United - 38 points West Ham - 38 points Wigan - 35 points R Charlton - 33 points R Watford - 24 points And the remaining games : Charlton's remaining games : @ Man City April 6th ~ 0-0 Tie Reading April 9th ~0-0 @ Everton April 14th ~ 2-1 Loss Sheff Utd April 21st ~ 1-1 @ Blackburn April 28th ~ 4-1 Loss Tottenham May 7th @ Liverpool May 13th Sheffield United's remaining games : Newcastle April 7th ~ 1-2 Loss West Ham April 14th ~ 3-0 Win @ Man Utd April 17th ~ 2-0 Loss @ Charlton April 21st ~ 1-1 Watford April 28th ~ 1-0 Win @ Aston Villa April 5th ~ 3-0 Loss Wigan April 13th West Ham's remaining games : @ Arsenal April 7th ~ 0-1 Win @ Sheff Utd April 14th ~ 3-0 Loss Chelsea April 18th ~ 1-4 Loss Everton April 21st ~ 1-0 Win @ Wigan April 28th ~ 0-3 Win Bolton May 5th ~ 3-1 Win @ Man Utd May 13th Wigan's remaining games : Bolton April 7th ~ 1-3 Loss @ Aston Villa April 9th ~1-1 Tottenham April 15th ~3-3 @ Liverpool April 21st ~ 2-0 Loss West Ham April 28th ~ 0-3 Loss Middlesbrough May 5th ~ 0-1 Loss @ Sheff Utd May 13th