August Edition of Ursuline 100

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by GersMan, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. GersMan

    GersMan Member

    May 11, 2000
    The REAL DEAL - if someone would like to add ages in a reply post - fine.


    Best 100 Players in the USA now, by position, with an eye toward the 2006 World Cup (meaning youth players receive consideration - THERE IS NO AGE CEILING - if age causes a player to fall out of consideration, they will no longer be ranked).

    Goalkeepers (10)
    1. Brad Friedel
    2. Kasey Keller
    3. Tim Howard
    4. Nick Rimando
    5. Tony Meola
    6. Joe Cannon
    7. Zach Thornton
    8. Matt Jordan
    9. Adin Brown
    10. Kevin Hartman

    Defenders (30)
    1. Tony Sanneh
    2. Eddie Pope
    3. Carlos Bocanegra
    4. Greg Vanney
    5. Steve Cherundolo
    6. Greg Berhalter
    7. Frankie Hedjuk
    8. Carlos Llamosa
    9. Gooch Onyewu
    10. Corey Gibbs
    11. Ryan Suarez
    12. Mike Petke
    13. Danny Califf
    14. David Regis
    15. Jeff Agoos
    16. Jon Hunter Freeman
    17. Ramiro Corrales
    18. Steve Jolley
    19. Jim Curtin
    20. Phil Salyer
    21. CJ Brown
    22. Wade Barrett
    23. Rusty Pierce
    24. Chad Marshall
    25. Jim Conrad
    26. Charles Kauzlauskas (U20)
    27. Nick Garcia
    28. Alexi Lalas
    29. Chad McCarty
    30. Brandon Owens (U17)
    (out: Chris Gbandi, Carolos Parra)

    Attacking (5-hole) Midfielders and Wingers
    1. Landon Donovan
    2. Damarcus Beasley
    3. Ernie Stewart
    4. Eddie Lewis
    5. Bobby Convey
    6. Kyle Martino
    7. Brad Davis
    8. Chris Henderson
    9. Steve Ralston
    10. Sasha Victorine
    11. Ben Olsen
    12. Cobi Jones
    13, Justin Mapp
    14. John Thorington
    15. Ned Grabavoy
    (out: Raul Palomares, Guillermo Gonzalez)

    Central, Holding and Defensive Midfielders (15)
    1. Claudio Reyna
    2. John O'Brien
    3. Pablo Mastroeni
    4. Chris Armas
    5. Brian Maisonneuve
    6. Richard Mulrooney
    7. Pete Vagenas
    8. Kyle Beckerman
    9.Richie Williams
    10. Kelly Gray
    11. Diego Guttierez
    12 Kerry Zavagnin
    13. Jordan Stone
    14. Francisco Gomez
    15. Jeff Moore
    (out: Mark Lisi)

    Strikers (20)
    1. Brian McBride
    2. Clint Mathis
    3. Taylor Twellman
    4. Josh Wolff
    5. Conor Casey
    6. Ante Razov
    7. Santino Quaranta
    8. Jason Kreis
    9. Jeff Cunningham
    10. Joe Max-Moore
    11. Chris Carrieri
    12. Dema Kovalenko
    13. Eddie Johnson
    14, Edson Buddle
    15. Jovan Kirovski
    16. Mike Magee
    17. Alecko Eskandarian
    18. Marcus Storey
    19. Freddy Adu
    20. Ashley Kozicki
    (out: Nate Jacqua, Chris Albright)

    10 Wildcards (in no order)
    1. Knox Cameron
    2. Richard Frank
    3. Manny Lagos
    4. Craig Capano
    5. Alex Yi
    6. Devin Barclay
    7. Grover Gibson
    8. David Johnson
    9. Frank Simek
    10. Corey Ashe

    Others to watch: Zak Whitbred, Kyle Helton, John D'Rimando, Nelson Akwari, Brian West, Jon Busch, Zak Kingsley
  2. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Leicester City FC
    Shall I merge this with Soccernethost's thread?
  3. GersMan

    GersMan Member

    May 11, 2000
    No, because he has taken my list, made some changes to it, and called it the same thing.

    Obviously he's free to make a list, but I'd prefer he call it something else.

    I don't think it should be a big deal, how the list is done. I'm just doing it for fun. I figured if someone disagreed with the ranking, theywould just respond on the same thread with how they want to rank it.
  4. kingwho

    kingwho New Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    thanks again for the massive effort
    i love the list

    the most glaring "miss" for me would be kansas city's chris klein as an attacking midfielder

    and secondly colorado's jeff stewart on defense
  5. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    I think I agree with most. My poins of disgareement would be to put John O'Brien 1 infront of Reyna

    It took balls to put McBride on top and the way he is playing recently i'd agree. But I think Wolff should be #2, and then Conor Casey, and then Twellman. About Mathis: has he scored since world cup? I'd seriously consider dropping him until he is healthy and proven. Might I add a siggestion? make a new category, playmaker. This would be a very short list.

    1.Landon Donovan
    2.Claudio Reyna
    3.Kyle Martino
    4.Bobby Convey

    The reason being is that these are the Candidates for the #10. The playmaker. Just a suggestion though
  6. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I'm wondering if anyone has seen Jonny Walker more than once, and can speak to whether he is one of our top ten goalkeepeers? His name is the only one that jumps out at me off of this list.
  7. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    OK, using your criteria, my comments are relatively minor. I would be interesting to see how many players Arena uses from outside this list over the next two years (assuming he remains as coach).

    Come on, throw a bone to the anti-MLSers and put Johny Walker in there at number 10. I would drop Jordan too and replace him with his younger backup the injured Countess.

    Phil Salyer better than Gbandi? I don't care if Gbandi has operation on three of his knees, he still blows away Salyer, who is just terrible. Gbandi will be a top 5 guy soon if he gets healthy and is eligible. Brian Dunseth also belongs on the list. Where can I find out who Hunter Freeman is?

    Pretty good list here. I think Kirovski belongs here, and Thorrington should be slightly higher on the list.

    No Chris Klein? I think Gray will be a factor in the defense, though he is so versatile, who knows?

    Kirovski is more of an attacking midfielder. Casey is problamatic given how he looked in the injury-plagued appearance he had for Hannover against Lazio on Monday. It appears to me that he will have difficulty earning a starting position for Hannover.

    Sure, why not. Actually, Grover Gibson should be on a real list given his resume.
  8. Short Corner

    Short Corner Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    apples and Volvos

    My problem with this list and the previous variants is that it cannot make up its mind what it is evaluating. If we are listing according to current ability, McBride might be first among strikers, but Quaranta cannot be ranked above Kries (and many of the youngsters are overrated.) If we are giving the best possible current prediction of how good these players will be in 2006, McBride cannot be at the top (and many of the oldsters are overrated.)

    Even if you are trying to do some compromise, such as "who I would call into camp first if I were Bruce Arena", you need to be more specific about what the compromise is. At present it looks like "here are the 100 players I most look forward to watching play over the next 4 years", and all I can say is I would sure rank them different. But until we agree on what we are ranking its not worth quibbling over your failure to fully appreciate Paul Broome, or whatever.
  9. Mason16

    Mason16 Member

    Apr 11, 2001
    South Florida
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: gk

    I've seen him a couple of times on FSWE. He looks capable and has been put to the test in the Copa Libertadores against good competition. Maybe an argument could be made for spots 8 thru 10 but no higher.
  10. GersMan

    GersMan Member

    May 11, 2000
    Re: apples and Volvos

    *sigh* If I must explain....

    I suppose it is a bit of a hybrid in that I'm including some young players based in part (but not entirely) on their potential. But it is definitely not "who I look forward to seeing." The youth aspect is trying to track, however imperfectly, whose development I think is on track to be to that level over the next 4 years. But I do not find myself able to guess whether an "old" player is going to remain at the same level or fall, so I don't exclude them based on age.

    I mean, if Tony Sanneh continues to play at the same level, then he will be get picked, right? The young players I think I can at least take a stab at in terms of development. This is very imperfect, and of course is based in some cases merely on reports I've read. I know there are others out there who could merit attention under this format.

    And please keep in mind, the list is subjective. You say I can't rate Quaranta over Kreis. Well, actually, yes I can, and I did, and that's not based on potential. I think when he's healthy he's better. You can respond I'm on crack (in a friendly, congenial sort of way of course :) and that's fine too. The whole thing is supposed to be fun, something that some posters on here will enjoy discussing. Maybe you are not one of them, but you don't have to get on here and pronounce the thread "not worth quibbling over."

    How about the rest of you, would you rather see just a straight, "who are the best 100 right now" and only mention youth players if/when they make that ranking accordingly? My preference is to incorporate youth players somehow. I guess I could just put in a "players to watch - youth" section along with the 100. What say ye?
  11. SamsArmySam

    SamsArmySam Member+

    Apr 13, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    I say you've done a heck of a job, I like the list, and beyond that I don't have a lot to add to it. Thanks for your work.

    I think the other poster's difficulty with this list actually mirror's Bruce's difficulty preparing for first round qualifying. How much do you go with veteran talent who won't be around in '06? And how much do you develop the younger guys who have a shot at the Cup in '06 even though they're not ready now?
  12. Rocket

    Rocket Member

    Aug 29, 1999
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    You might want to split a couple of these categories the way you've already done for midfield.

    Instead of just one category "Defenders" use two: "Central Defenders, Sweepers" and "Fullbacks, Wingbacks"

    Similarly, instead of just one category "Strikers" use two: "Strikers" and "Second Forwards".
  13. GersMan

    GersMan Member

    May 11, 2000
    I've thought about that for defender and may at some point. ONe problem with that, and definitely for the two types of strikers, is you get a lot of debate about players, is he X, Y or Z (like with Kirovski as a striker or attacking mid).

    but something to consider definitely.

    just reading mcbride's comments on the web, sounds like he wants his chance overseas.
  14. TravisMinor_23

    TravisMinor_23 New Member

    Oct 16, 2001
    United States
    Re: gk

    Sure, he belongs on the list simply because he was the starting keeper on a team that did so much. But there are major questions about him. First of all he is apparently another MLS GK reject (i.e. Cassar and Feuer) who has gone abroad and found a spot. There have been no lack of rumors about him, thats for sure. He has been rumored to have been seeking Chiliean nationality because he loves it so much there, so that is always a worry, but honestly no one knows what the deal is with this kid. But he doesn't appear to be due for a callup anytime soon with the MLS keepers more likely to get some caps in the next friendly matches the US will plan.
  15. TexanSoccer06

    TexanSoccer06 New Member

    Re: Re: August Edition of Ursuline 100

    The point of the thread is to list the top 100 active players. You know of course, Gbandi is still a far way off from being back to 100%, and for all we know he could be a major flop (and this is coming from a Burn fan).

    Hunter Freeman signed with UVA IIRC, you can probably get his bio from the UVA website.
  16. thacharger

    thacharger New Member

    May 19, 2002
    Southaven, MS
    Johnny Walker should be number 5. Have yall watched the MLS goalkeeping lately?
  17. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: Re: August Edition of Ursuline 100

    Well I know Salyer can't play. I would place a guy who used to really be able to play on the list somewhere. I mean there are guys who have never even played college on the list, so I can't see how Gbandi's lack of pro experience disqualifies him from the list. I don't mean to quibble with the format, but I thought that the idea was to include the pool that Arena was likely to draw from in his USMNT callups. The fact that Gbandi is currently injured seriously (though not dead or permanently disabled) hurts his position on the list, but shouldn't exclude him. IMHO.

  18. Short Corner

    Short Corner Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    I didn’t mean to be harsh, GersMan, if the list wasn’t intriguing I would not have bothered to comment. But it would be easier to focus agreement and disagreement if there were two lists, one for who is playing the best football now, and one for potential to contribute in 2005-2006, assuming vets stay healthy and sharp, while the youngsters develop quickly. I am not so concerned with who is ranked one instead of two, but who gets in the top half versus the bottom half. Arena capped about 71 players last cycle; assume he caps a few less this time. The players in the top half of your rankings are those one would expect to get the vast majority of the caps. The bottom half are those who have a shot, but most will not contribute. So debating whether Sanneh or Pope should be the first ranked defender doesn’t interest me all that much (both start), but the difference between Gooch at 9 and Barret at 22 is important.

    I am putting detailed comments on the defenders list in a second post. They illustrate my concerns that one overall list leads to confusion. We probably do disagree a lot even after things are sorted out. (If you were GM of Colorado, looking to get a striker on loan for the rest of the season and playoffs, and you had a choice between a healthy Santino and a healthy Jason Kreis at equal cost, you would choose Santino? Really? I would expect that to be a difficult choice in a year or two, but not now.) But some disagreements are probably just different focus.
  19. Short Corner

    Short Corner Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    too long, sorry

    Comments on the defenders list:

    3) Bocanegra and 4) Vanney. Why jump them into the middle of the list of those who went to Korea? They are not 3 and 4 in Arena’s pecking order now. They are not playing the third and fourth best football now or even close. Bocanegra isn’t even the third best defender in MLS: he isn’t playing as well as Barret (leading candidate for defender of the year, if the selectors have any sense) or Lalas (LA, Chi and Dallas have the next best defenses to SJ, and Alexi stands out much more in LA than anyone does in the collective efforts for the Fire and Burn) or even Nick Garcia in the games I’ve seen. Jim Curtin has played better than Bocanegra in the games I’ve seen, as has Ryan Suarez. As for Vanney, I don’t see how he can be placed above Agoos and Regis, especially if he continues to sit on the bench as the French season kicks off.

    If we are discussing potential, maybe Boca is a starter, though I suspect he gets caught behind Barret and Gbandi at left back (he just cannot attack well enough), and behind Gibbs, Sanneh and others in the center. But he is more developed at this point than Gbandi and Gibbs so maybe there is a mix where he is top 4.

    9) Gooch and (x) Gbandi. How one can rank one but not the other I cannot fathom. Of the players who have yet to play a professional regular season match, they are clearly pick of the litter, both for current ability and potential. Gooch is more impressive physically(most of all the prospects), Gbandi is currently more skilled (most of all the prospects), both are very strong all across the board. But when they played at the same level, in college, Gbandi was the more dominant player: Gooch was one of the top 5 his year, Gbandi was the best of the decade, the best since Reyna. (Though Gooch is younger.) Gbandi took his team to the title; Gooch did not.

    I would rank them together, and well above Salyer, Freeman, Kazlauskas, Marshall, Owens, et al. For potential in the top 6, for now about 12.

    12-24, MLS) Petke Califf and others. Again, the difference between rank 12 and 24 is fixture at Arena’s domestic camps versus long shot. Petke and Califf belong at the bottom of the MLS prospects heap, not the top. Moreover, Califf gets ranked only on potential: at the moment he is playing sufficiently poorly he is no longer a regular starter. Petke is the reverse, someone who could get ranked, barely, now, but will get passed like a tractor mower on the interstate once the youngsters start to develop.

    Wade Barret is having the best year of any MLS defender. He is the constant that has held San Jose together, the best defense even though Agoos and Dayak are often both out. Wade is also arguably the MLS defender who most contributes to his teams attack. (Lalas is having the second best year in MLS, but I don’t expect him to last to 2005 even if he finds the fountain of youth, so I won’t complain about his ranking.)

    Steve Jolley is playing better than Petke, and deserves to be ranked higher.

    Paul Broome is playing very well, and his speed and offensive ability could make him a better nat than MLS player.

    Brandon Prideaux is playing quite well, and should be ranked above Califf, Petke, Pierce, Brown, Conrad.

    In general, in projecting these players as nats, I assume Arena will be attempting to pair players who complement each other, since no US defender is the complete package. Thus over the past two years Agoos, the best organizer, distributer, and reader of the game in the central defender pool, was paired with someone who was better at man marking, better in the air and (with Pope but not Llamosa) faster. I expect Arena to try a young-old pair in qualifying, with Pope or Sanneh organizing. I expect a bigger, faster player, such as Gibbs, Suarez or Bocanegra, will add more than Pierce, Jolley, Garcia, even if the latter players were better and more complete club players (which they were a year ago, but may not be now or in the future.). I do not know which of the younger players will develop most at reading the game and organizing, but with the possible exception of Jolley, I think they are all years away from being able to contribute at the international level.

    On the outside, I think a player will need either great speed or strong offensive skills, or both, to get a look. So I think Paul Broome has a better chance than Greg Vanney (who will be a central defender or a spectator). Petke, Pierce and Garcia will not get looks outside. Boca will need to develop his offense or he will be inside only. Even Suarez may be moved. This is why Gooch and Onyewu are on such a fast track. Converted midfielders, such as Mulrooney, O’Brien, Klein, even Lewis and DMB, will play here before the Petkes of the world.

    20)Salyer, Kauzlauskas, youth. On current ability, as far as we can tell, they would not be in the top 30. There are MLS players, not mentioned yet, like Weible, Zaidie, or vets like Gutierrez, who are very close to the MLS players listed in current ability that would take us at least 50 deep.

    Moreover, the chances are at least 50-50 that each of Salyer, Kauzlauskas and friends with never reach the level of say Brandon Prideaux. More than half of reserve players for their clubs and half of US youth team members never pan out at all. The number who will be of nat caliber in 4 years is quite small. It is fun to speculate on which of these players will make it, but it is hard enough finding a good reason to prefer Salyer to Akwari. I can’t begin to decide how to rank Salyer against Ramiro Corrales. I would rank Salyer over a Rusty Pierce only because I think Rusty's chance at playing in a world cup is miniscule, while Salyer has yet to prove he has no chance. But if I were a MLS GM looking to next year, its Rusty all the way.
  20. GersMan

    GersMan Member

    May 11, 2000
    Thanks SC - reading this makes me think a separate list for youth and college players is probably a good idea. Look for that in September. The top 100 will be for professionals only (since no youth or college player is likely to be called up - if a youth goes pro, that's obviously different) and will be strictly the best 100 at that time - not any projection of who might be good in 2006 or who will go well with whom.

    As to some of your characterizations of the rankings, that's what this is supposed to be about. I disagree especially with what you say about Bocanegra, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    If Vanney continues on the bench, then yes, his ranking will likely go down.

    Let's hear from some others about Gbandi. He's a pro now, although injured. How good is he?

    Disagree re Prideaux and Broome. I've watched both in about every game, and they don't seem to do as much for me as they do for you.

    Again - I'm going to make a separate list for youth and college next time.
  21. TexanSoccer06

    TexanSoccer06 New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: August Edition of Ursuline 100

    I'd like to hear you back this up, if you dont mind.
  22. DigitalTron

    DigitalTron New Member

    Apr 4, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    Yet another stellar job digging up the good stuff GersMan, thanks. :)

    Hunter Freeman is the stud sweeper that is a rising freshman at UVa. He played well in the youth team and has continued his dominant defense. The kid has ball skills and is fast as well ... oh yeah, and he's got size to boot. His best aspect is he seems to read the game amazingly well for a player his age. He can beat people off the dribble and become a terror at outside back flying up the wings and crossing into the box. Or, he can become a dynamite central defender who organizes the defense ala Carlos Bocanegra. I think this guy is going to be special. Learning defense at UVA under Gelnovatch can only help. How long he remains there is debatable. Keep an eye on this one, because he could become an international defender if everything breaks right.

  23. Jose L. Couso

    Jose L. Couso New Member

    Jul 31, 2000
    Arlington, VA
    Great list!

    I think your next list, will have a dramatic change in on player.

    He has played very little in the last two games, but in that little time has caused so much havoc.

    Once he gets fit to play a whole game, there will be very few players who will measure up to him.

    Ben Olsen will definitely be in the top 3 in the next list.
  24. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: August Edition of Ursuline 100

    Sure. I have seen him play 5 to 10 times, with Maryland and the under 20s. My opinion based on observing him is that he is slow, with below average ball skills and not much sense of the game. All of this is relative to the standard of Division 1 pro ball in the U.S.

    Second, he doesn't seem to be able to get much playing time at a low level of the German professional system. This is of less value, because soemtimes good players do get overlooked by their clubs, but combined with the first, is pretty solid for me.
  25. TexanSoccer06

    TexanSoccer06 New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: August Edition of Ursuline 100

    I respect you opinion, but you are the only person I've ever heard say he cant play.
    And as far as no playing time with Bremen, a guy named Landon Donovandidn't get much PT with Leverkusen either......:).

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