Criteria:Who Should Continue in MLS & Who Should Move On To Play Abroad

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by 4mybroRRT, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. 4mybroRRT

    4mybroRRT Member

    Apr 10, 2001
    N. VA - DCU-land
    The Dilemma of MLS and, in particular, US young (age 25 and younger) talent. As I look at players such as Landon, DaMarcus, Convey, Boca, and the list continues to grow, these players are coming the apex of the MLS careers. I don't see how they can better their individual skill levels without being challenged not only to keep place on a match level, but having to prove their place even in a practice level. These players are becoming too comfortable, challenges seem to make their play disinterested or recreational during segments on the pitch. If MLS is truly here to better the US Nats, then they need to implicate a criteria to move these players along. With only 10,soon to be 12 teams, these players are taking up spots which can be used to find new talent, develop leadership skills, such witnessed with the under-17 teams, or the Eddie Gavins of MLS.

    But MLS is a business and they need to market recognizale faces of US Soccer, especially to the younger generations.
    So I present the following criteria to consider to keep the league and its exceptional, young talent-base both moving/developing progressly:
    US Players, especially with Senior National Team Caps under the age of 25 -such as the players stated above, MUST be encouraged to move on esp. to leagues other than the EPL, with regards their subjective restrictions ie Wade Barrett, Cory Gibbs, Cherundulo, etc. Those US players above the age of 25 - or those under-25 who have experience numerous injuries, MLS should focus on resigning and making them the forefront of the MLS marketing campaigns, such as Mathis, Pope, Wolff, Razov, Armas, etc.

    The players know their window of opportunity. I believe players like Donovan, Mastroeni, Martino, Califf are losing their opportunity to make a real impact for US Soccer on the world stage at the club level ie Howard, O'Brien.

    They should look at leagues in Spain, Germany, Netherlands, or even in South America where they are more tolerable and open to US young player development, especially the under-23 age.
  2. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't feel like giving it an all out analysis, but I will comment on the following: Bocanegra and Beasley.

    While I don't want to see either of them leave, they are both definetly European bound within the next two years. Boca is ready to go now and can contribute on just about any team in any league. Obviously some more experience on a higher level will only allow him to improve. I wouldn't be surprised to see Boca starting on a Champions league team within the next 3 years. Beasley, however, I believe can benefit from another year in MLS. A little work to bulk up a bit more and hopefully put together around a 10 goal season with a minimum of 7 assists and I would say he's ready to go.

    [This also staggers the loss of two star players for Chicago. To lose both of these guys at the same time would be horrendous.]
  3. masterklh

    masterklh New Member

    Oct 21, 2003
    MLS should not be a farm team.

    If I were Garber, I would be trying to lock down the marketable young US talent. Instead of trying to cater to the USMNT, and let them go overseas. MLS will never get the recognition it deserves, nor will it ever be more than a farm team if all they ever do is develop players to the point where they can ride the pine in Everton. With that being said, MLS will never truly develop into a league that can stand on its own two feet if they continue to lose every name that is marketable.

    I think that is one of the problems with MLS. They can not keep a player of European quality around, and that is exactly what the fans want to see. They want to see quality soccer that can be compared to the Manchester United’s, or the Real Madrid’s, or Santos FC etc.. If MLS had a team as good as Real Madrid, or any of the Big named European teams, I bet they sell out almost every game they play. Those are just my thoughts.
  4. ignatz

    ignatz New Member

    Jun 3, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Re: MLS should not be a farm team.

    I agree, but to do that successfully the salary cap has to increase. There seems to be a lot of "leakage" (from the MLS point of view) of young talent to Europe -- Conor Casey et al.

    MLS has marketed its stars from the 2002 WC, and rightly so. I think it said some thing like 12 of the 23 were present or former MLS players. There were 10 present MLS players plus Friedel and Sanneh who went from MLS to Europe. If MLS drops below half on the Nats, and if the Nats do well, it won't be a positive for MLS.

    So I hope Uncle Phil, Lamar Hunt and the Krafts and the new guys can dig a little deeper and inch the salary cap up a little each year.
  5. 4mybroRRT

    4mybroRRT Member

    Apr 10, 2001
    N. VA - DCU-land
    In the case of say the Columbus Crew, with young players like Martino, Cunningham, and Walsh seem to be MLS's version of Real Madrid.

    There seems to be so much talent on one team, the leadership development seem to be lacking - esp. Martino and Walsh. Those two just seemed to fade out. I think of players like Quaranta, Eddie Johnson, Gbandi, and Eskadarian. These players lose the opportunity to develop with only , soon-to-be 12 teams. Yeah, they may get time with the A-League. But I think that has something to do with why Columbus and Dallas underachieved. They arguably have the best young, US-talent-laden rosters. But the are either stifled by conservative coaching philosophies, a veteran team leader playing the same position, or a on a starting eleven that leaves no room for them to take ownership of their team from a leadership and development in creativity/skills standpoint.

    I honestly believe a Martino, Quaranta (mindful of injuries), Eskadarian, or Suarez either took steps back or didn't progress as expected this season. Look at the Metrostars, or even the Fire, with Ralph. Those clubs not only developed their young talent because their players understood their was no option B - they had to perform, but they also became leaders on the field and thus grew tremendously, giving the public a vision of seeing them on the 2006 WC Nats team.

    I think expansion will take care of a lot of the consilidation of talent. But clearly, we have talent that is not being maximized by being lost in the shuffle of condensed MLS rosters.

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