A look ahead at 2005

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by appoo, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    so now that Nutmeg has given his expert review of 2004 I thought I'd launch a thread for some predictions on what us fans would like or think will happen in 2005.



    • We qualify for the World Cup. We'll finish 2nd, we won't beat Mexico on the road but we'll beat them at home
    • Between the January camp and the Gold Cup we'll integrate a number of players. Among those players will be the following
      • Chad Marshall, Robbie Russell, Edson Buddle, Alecko Eskandarian, Ricardo Clark, Clint Dempsy, Jonathon Spector, and....Craig Capano.
    • We'll win the Gold Cup. Eskandarian, Eddie Johnson, and Marshall will be the big stars for USA. However. Mexico's Luis Perez will be the best player of the tournament from his A-Mid spot.
    • Convey will continue to struggle at Reading through the end of the 04/05 season. He'll break out in the first half of the 05/06 season.
    • DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan will be among the brightest, young stars in UEFA. Ranking right along with Ronaldo, Rooney, Robben, Torres, Eto'o, Adriano, and the Italian Dude.
    • Brian McBride, Cobi Jones, and Earnie Stewart will play their finals USA matches.
    • John O'Brien and Claudio Reyna will start 3/4th of the meaningful HEX matches. And the USA fans will truly understand just good they are as they dominate every midfield we play.
    • Tim Howard will regain his mojo, starting spot with Manchester United, and win the starting spot with USA. In doing so he'll be ranked among the top 5 Goal keepers in the world with Cassilas, Cech, Buffon, and Niemi.
    • This will be the depth chart for USA on Decemebr 31st, 2005.
      • GK, Tim Howard
      • RB, LB - Steve Cherundolo, Jonathon Spector, Chris Albright, Bobby Convey
      • CD - Eddie Pope, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Chad Marshall
      • DM - Kerry Zevagnin, Pablo Marstroeni, Chris Armas
      • CM - John O'Brien, Claudio Reyna, Clint Dempsey, Ricardo Clark, Craig Capano
      • AM - Landon Donovan, Eddie Gaven, Bobby Convey, Kyle Martino
      • LW - DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Eddie Lewis
      • RW - Brian Mullan, Eddie Gaven, Landon Donovan
      • ST - Eddie Johnson, Conor Casey, Brian Ching
      • FW - Alecko Eskandarian, Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson, Eddie Gaven
    Players who might breakout along with Capano - Arturo Alvarez, Brian Namoff, Christain Jiminez, Memo Gonzalaz, Freddy Adu , Ned Grabavoy, Zak Whitbread, Knox Cameron, Ramon Nunez, Chris Wingert, Jamil Walker, Danny Szetela, and Danny Karbassiyoon.


    The Possible Kerry Zevagnin-vet come out of nowhere list - Jimmy Conrad

    The potential Return of the King List - Mike Petke, Nick Garcia, Jeff Cunningham, Danny Califf, Wade Barett
     
  2. numerista

    numerista New Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    ... between them. O'Brien speaks for everyone when he says, "We'll take it."

    These names look more like Knaves, Jokers, and possibly even Queens. :)
     
  3. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    perhaps I should have used a different title for this list :)

    To clarify (and I know numerista knew what I meant, I just meant for future clarif...uh...whatever) These are guys who've been brought in before for extended looks, been thrown to the wayside but might yet again return
     
  4. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    No chance in hell for Craig Capano. Justin Mapp is ahead of him, and he's not ready for the national team.
     
  5. arthur d

    arthur d Member

    Oct 17, 2004
    Cambridge England
    I love this Anglosaxon sarcasm thing. They should introduce it over here in Germany.
     
  6. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    what, we're not even allowed to predict good things for USA players anymore? damn. that sucks
     
  7. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    yea, Capano is the guy I'm going out on a limb for here. I liked what I saw out of him towards the end of the last season however and I don't think we have many guys who have his skill set in the middle of the field. But I agree, the chance of him making it this year is pretty low, but still, I think he can do it.

    However, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by Mapp. they play two different positions. But now that you do bring him up I wonder if he gets a chance to compete for the right wing spot.
     
  8. arthur d

    arthur d Member

    Oct 17, 2004
    Cambridge England
    Ok I was being a bit too critical maybe...

    I actually liked your post. And I hope Landon does well in Germany, but I think it won't be so easy.
     
  9. Khan

    Khan BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Mar 16, 2000
    On the road
    Apoo, I agree with a lot of this, actually, except for:

    McBride: target men don't need to be overly pacy; Just my opinion...

    Capano, who isn't very good, is soon to be on the bench behind whatever allocation P. Wilt signs, and has yet to emerge in 3 years is somehow going to breakout? If so, the national team WILL be a joke in 2K5.

    Danny Califf, who was as slow as a glacier, and has had more injuries to his knees is supposed to re-emerge? With several younger and better defenders available, Califf is [at best] an afterthought.

    [Don't take this too hard, Convey-@ss lickers] Convey is supposed to emerge with Reading next year in the EPL, despite not even regularly participating with a Colaship team? Convey is going to be ahead of Lewis in the "national team depth chart?" [Lewis, who both participates AND contributes to his team] Sorry, I just don't see this. I'd be happy if Convey regularly participates... I'd be STUNNED if he contributes to Reading's success.

    If Twellman, who had his one lucky year can't become a national team regular, how can the extremely left-footed Eskandarian become a regular? Twellman had a much better 1st year in MLS [on a decidedly mediocre team] than Eskandarian did with the champions in 2K4. If Eskandarian makes it into the forward rotation, AND is ahead of those players on your "depth chart," the US will not advance in the hex.


    Speaking of your "depth chart,"

    1. Why is there only one GK listed? Seems somewhat incomplete.
    2. Why list the RB/LB together? Why not list the two positions separate, as you did with the wingers?
    3. I've made the assumption that you list the players in order of precedence. If Eskandarian is ahead of Donovan by 12/31/05, I'll assume Donovan either developed a debilitating disease, or was in a tragic accident on the autobahn.
    4. I notice your DCU fandom in your listings of "breakout players" and in the national team depth chart. Why not list all of the DCU guys first?


    Cheers!
     
  10. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    I'll be the first to say that DMB and Landon have a tough road ahead of them, but I've watched these two kids so exceed my expectations so often that I can't help but believe that they'll be stars where ever they play. I'll also admit that I'm probably a bit jaded because I watch more USA matches than I do European matches. But from what I have seen, I think both of those players can do VERY well on the European stage. Landon. I think, will have the more difficult road because I think he'll weighted down by expectations. Anything short of spectacular and he'll be seen as a dissapointment by many because of the hype and the nature of his contract up till this point.

    I'll accept your skepticism of Tim Howard however. He's been nothing but erratic since coming to Manchester United. And would seem an unlikely candidate to rise to world class in the next year. But one can hope.
     
  11. JoeSoccerFan

    JoeSoccerFan Member+

    Aug 11, 2000
    Nice post - no Klein???? Do you think that he won't recover from the injury?
     
  12. arthur d

    arthur d Member

    Oct 17, 2004
    Cambridge England
    Yep, don't really know what happened with Tim Howard. He was a great keeper a year or so ago, but he seems to have lost it since. Friedel is far better than him at the mo, from what I've seen.

    As for Landon, let's wait and see. Expectations in Germany are not so high, but that's partly due to our fabulous European arrogance of course. Bayer Leverkusen is a good choice though, not too big for him to be benched (as would happen if he went to Bayern Munich) but big enough to play international club football.
     
  13. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    Thanks for the response. You've brought up some good talking points.

    With McBride - I think it'll be injuries and lack of playing time more than anything else. Also, I think Johnson will simply prove to be a better soccer player.

    Califf - no reason to think he'll rebound but I like that Arena brought him into camp. I know that he is slow but he's a pretty good on the ball defender. And that can get you places with the National team. I don't think its likely he'll break out but I think its possible

    Convey - an excellent point actually. Again, nothing more than a gut-feeling that Convey's natural talent will finally break through. I'll admit that these days it becoming hard to envision that Convey will ever become a consistent player however. Consistently good player that is.

    Eskandarian - I just think he's our best finisher. And I think he has more than a left-foot. He's improved 1000% from last season and I don't think he's finished. You don't need blinding talent to be a good on the international stage and I think he's the right mix of talent to be VERY good for USA. I also think he's a better striker than Taylor Twellman.

    1. I don't know whats behind Howard because I can't predict what will become of Kasey Keller's and Bred Freidel's futures. These are guys at the twilight of their playing days and who knows what direction they will turn towards.

    2. Simply because I think its easier to switch between LB and RB than it is between LW and RW. I think Spector can be either a RB or LB, same with Hejduk (even though I don't list him here). But to clarify - RB = Dolo and Albright, LB = Spector and Convey.

    3. The assumption you should have made is that Donovan will be a fulltime Attacking Midfielder. Either on the right or in the middle. And we won't force him to move from that position until certain players are unavailible.
     
  14. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    honestly, I never thought Klein had the talent to be an attacking midfielder at the internetional level. Much like Steve Ralston IMHO. I hope he proves me wrong.
     
  15. Khan

    Khan BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Mar 16, 2000
    On the road
    If you hated the sloth-like pace of Agoos, in Korea, you'll despise the glacier that is Califf. What's worse is that Califf isn't 1/1,000th the MLS player Agoos was, and not the organizer that Agoos was. So Califf's lack of pace is all the more a detriment to him playing internationally.


    Despite what you, superdave, and other blindly loyal Convey fans believe, I don't dislike Convey. I WANT Convey to do well. I HOPE he does well. I CHEER for Bobby Convey when he plays internationally. I merely don't see the reputed "natural talent" in Convey.


    Based on ONE good season? When he has more than ONE good season, I'll believe the hype. Again, Twellman scored more goals in his 1st year in MLS did, with less of a "supporting cast" than Eskandarian.

    Not much more than a left foot: He isn't particularly quick, isn't good in the air, and, while not as worthless on his right as some, he certainly hasn't proven to be consistent on his right.

    OK, that's your opinion. Here's mine:
    I think having an in shape, healthy, and interested Moreno is more responsible for Eskandarian's improvement. I see Adu overtaking Eskandarian in DC, and as Moreno ages/becomes less interested/becomes "fat Jaime" again, Eskandarian will become less of a factor for club/country.

    But Convey's "natural talent" is enough to make him a national team regular? I agree that Eskandarian has a chance to become a national team player. I just don't think it is much of a chance. Simply because he does not appear to have the qualities necessary to distinguish himself. He will have a nice MLS career, but never be a star for his club, and therefore a standard for his country.


    OK, so what of Joe Cannon, Marcus Hanneman (sp.), or any of the other quality GK in MLS or abroad? Do you actually watch the league at all? I also assumed you watch Reading matches, due to your affinity for Convey; This would afford you the opportunity to watch M. Hannehman (sp.) as well. You stepped out on Capano, step out here!!


    What you should have posted was, "This is in no particular order," but then it wouldn't be a "depth chart." When one sees "Eskandarian" first in a set of names, and then "Donovan," how is anyone to read your mind? In most Western languages, is one places a name to the left of another in a sentence, it infers a ranking to this order.
     
  16. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    you'll get a rep from when we open up February with this partnership :)

    FWIW - I do agree with you. I just think Esky will eventually force his way into the line-up.

    Khan - I don't want this to turn into a Convey thread. I'm not going to respond to your post. If you like, start a new thread and I'll post my thoughts there.
     
  17. fidlerre

    fidlerre Member+

    Oct 10, 2000
    Central Ohio
    What's to say that Johnson and McBride cannot co-exist together on the field? I think they make an excellent striking pair up top, Johnson to run off the numerous balls McBride will win. You'll come to see this as the 2004 qualifying gets underway...just remember that I told ya so :)
     
  18. Khan

    Khan BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Mar 16, 2000
    On the road
    What about your thinly-veiled DCU fandom/fandom for Eskandarian? I actually think I was more critical of your ardor for "Esky's" one lucky season than I was re: Convey.

    I already know of your opinion of Convey and disagree with you. This is already well-documented. I don't understand your support for Eskandarian, other than he plays for your favorite MLS team. Now this, I AM interested in discussing..
     
  19. ugaaccountant

    ugaaccountant New Member

    Oct 26, 2003
    Just to clarify he has Donovan as the starting AM so that leaves this spot for possibly Eskandarian or others. This appears to be consistent with Arena's current reality. I honestly think Eskandarian is our best option to pair with Johnson, Mcbride a few years younger would be better.
     
  20. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    Where the hell is Buddle, and why isn't he on your list?
     
  21. Khan

    Khan BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Mar 16, 2000
    On the road
    The Immortal Alecko Eskandarian is so far ahead of Buddle, its not even close...


    BTW, who has scored more for DCU in a season, Stevel Rammel, or Eskandarian? Just wondering.
     
  22. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    Just to be fair to apoo he listed Buddle as breakingthrough but not on the depth chart. But I mean, it's not like Buddle's 6'2" strong, fast, and can score from distance.
     
  23. Khan

    Khan BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Mar 16, 2000
    On the road
    OK, I found this on MLSNET:

    NAME TEAM(S) GAMES GOALS ASSISTS POINTS

    Steve Rammel DC 26 14 3 31 [1996]

    Alecko Eskandarian 24 10 2 22 [2004]


    So the statement that, "Eskandarian is our best finisher," is really a myth, unless Apoo forgot he's not on the DCU boards; Hence, when Apoo stated "our," perhaps he meant his club rather than the national team.


    Just for comparison, here are Twellman's numbers in 2002:

    NAME TEAM(S) GAMES GOALS ASSISTS POINTS
    Taylor Twellman 28 23 6 52


    One may not be able to fully judge a player's ability solely by statistics, but I can think of no other way to judge a player's ability as a finisher.
     
  24. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    look, I wasn't making a definitive list or lineup or whatever. They were simply a series of predictions. what MIGHT happen, not what WILL happen.

    Alecko Eskandarian is another guy I'm going to go out on a limb for. I realize that many of the statistics may not support my precition but I like his game. I don't think he is more talented soccer player than Edson Buddle but I do think he is a better striker. Thats its. nothing more.
     
  25. Bigrose30

    Bigrose30 Member+

    Sep 11, 2004
    Jersey City, NJ
    My breakout player: Jose Burciaga Jr.

    Reason: He is young, can get forward, and the left back spot is up in the air...Vanney's days are done, Convey is no left back, and Spector, as promising as he is, was only a left back out of need (I believe his position of choice would be center back) and I have a hunch he might make his living at another position for the nats.

    Disclaimer: This message is void if he can't stay healthy.



    Also, I would love to see Twellman and EJ combo up front. Just try it Bruce...you may like it.
     

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