Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by MarioKempes, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United, anywhere Pulisic plays
    Aug 3, 2000
    Proxima Centauri
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Too many on these boards have given up on Esky way too soon. He is a quality player who has shown his talent at several points during this season. His main problems have been:

    1) Unable to get consistent playing time -- Can't blame Hudson here. Esky needs to be brought along slowly. The one striker formations that Hudson used earlier in the season didn't help much, though. Can you say "Stranded Ali" ?

    2) Poor service from midfield -- DCU passing from midfield was often atrocious this past year. With Marco fading, there wasn't anyone that could step up and provide quality balls ON THE GROUND to strikers in position. More off the ball running from the frontmen would have eased some of the pressure, so can't blame it all on midfield.
  2. Esky seems to small and not creative or quick enough to play at this level. He gets muscled off of the ball and is not fast enough to create space.

    Watch his game compared to D.Ralph of chicago to see what creative and quick can do for you. Watch Noonan of New england to show what strenght can do for you.

    He may turn into a chris canerri <spelling?> of Colorado but I don't think he has the attitude he has.

    I don't see him becoming much in MLS, maybe I am biased because I still can't forgive him for missing an open header against the MetroScum.

    -The Far Side
  3. Tweaked

    Tweaked Member

    Jan 30, 2003
    The Hill
    Esky's blown header was quite possibly the worst blown goal of the year!
  4. GUTuna

    GUTuna Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Washington, DC USA
    Shades of Roy Lassiter!

    Of course if Esky had half the service Roy did, he may have approached him in goal total.
  5. ignatz

    ignatz New Member

    Jun 3, 2001
    Washington, DC
    I can't tell whether Esky is just another first round bust, and that all the pundits/evaluators were wrong, or whether it's Ray and his system or lack thereof in bringing along young players that is to blame for Esky's disappointing year.

    Certainly everybody was wrong on Damani Ralph, and the reverse can happen -- faster than you can say Jason Moore. Still, given Ray's inability to nurture and develop young talent, I'd like to keep Esky if we get a new coach and see what the new guy can do with him.

    Look at Justin Mapp: 3 appearances for a total of 28 minutes for us last year. Now he is really finding a role for himself with the best team in MLS. (I'm not knocking the trade; we got Dema and I think it was well worth it, particularly since we probably would have done nothing with Mapp if we'd kept him. But Mapp is an example of what a coach who is also a teacher can do for a young player).
  6. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    Somewhat surprisingly, Eskandarian had a goals/minute ratio that is pretty respectable. Granted this can be a deceiving stat, but considering how few starts (i.e. consistant playing time he got), 3 goals in 728 minutes isn't too bad.

    This tops a number of other players. Including Chris Carrieri, DeMarcus Beasley, Brian Mullen, John Wolyniac, Joe-Max Moore, Eddie Johnson, Igor Simutenkov, Josh Wolff and Jeff Cunningham.

    It is also very comparable to the rate of Clint Mathis, Mike Magee, Jason Kreis and Brian Ching.

    Oh and by the way - only Hristo had a better ratio on DC United. Another scary statistic - Q2 and Hristo (Q1 was also in the neighborhood) were the only guys who averaged more shots/minute and shots on goal/minute than Esky.

    I know that statistics are not the best way to measure the future success of a soccer player, but I wouldn't write Esky off yet. If he can add some other wrinkles to his game (a la Carrieri - who works hard and does a great job linking up play for instance), it will only help more.

    If you are interested - here are a couple of other guys who show up pretty well in this stat:

    Diego Serna - 3 goals in 650+ minutes
    Dwayne DeRosario - 4 goals in <700 minutes
    Alejandro Moreno - 6 goals in 1100+ minutes
    Jamil Walker - 4 goals in <400 minutes
    Edsen Buddle - 10 goals in 1500 min
    Taylor Twellman - 15 goals in <1900 min
    Zizi Roberts - 5 goals in 728 min
  7. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Eski's stats are very very very similar to another rookie forward who plays on the Fire. No! Not that one, you silly, but their first round pick, Nate Jaqua:


    I take Eski's season as follows: He's had a normal, yet promising rookie year as a forward and he showed he belonged in MLS. He has a good future ahead of him and deserves to get more minutes next year.
  8. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    Good point.

    And it is interesting to note that Jaqua was really the only other forward who was mentioned as a possibly having as much/more upside than Esky in the lead-up to the draft.

    Ralph and Noonan were both nowhere near as high in profile as these two, so it is pretty tough to fault DC for "wasting a pick" on Eski. I was hoping for Ricardo Clark (which would have allowed Dema to play up front), but who is to know if he would have been played? RH may have preferred Chino to Rico for all I know.
  9. subbuteo

    subbuteo New Member

    Dec 17, 2002
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I have always been high on AE's ability to produce and I will remain so. He was given sporadic minutes on a team where they changed lineups and formations more than Fletch changes his underwear. His production is comparable to that of the rest of the strikers on the team....and they're not rookies.
  10. Jester64

    Jester64 Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Takoma Park
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I agree without a doubt. And his two yellows within ten minutes of being subbed in (at C-bus?)wasn't too stellar either. He probably still needs a chance, but he shouldn't expect to be a fan favorite for a while.
  11. Cweedchop

    Cweedchop Member+

    Mar 6, 2000
    Ellicott City, Md
    The mere fact that both Noonan and Ralph blew up completely skew the "growth" trend that is normal with most MLS rookies..

    Let's be honest here, this draft produced some major surprises and this probably won't happen again any time soon..

    This is 1 out of 8 rookie drafts where there was some serious high goal scoring talent.. Esky in my opinion was moved along at a rather normal MLS rookie pace.. A couple of factors though really put him in a bad light..

    1) Noonan and Ralph went nuts..

    2) Clark played damn well also and Dunnivant didn't miss a minute all season..

    3) United's continuing goal scoring woes from their forwards really accentuated Esky's low output..
  12. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Comparing Esky's PT with other #1 college picks...

    96 -- Matt McKeon 823 mins. Played regularly when available, but missed half the season for the Olympics
    97 -- Tahj Jakins 1132 mins.
    98 -- Leo Cullen 2680 mins.
    99 -- Jason Moore 999 mins.
    00 -- Steve Shak 1393 mins.
    01 -- Chris Carrieri 1081 mins. (5 G, 4 A)
    02 -- Chris Gbandi 1573 mins in first season (2003)

    Eskandarian logged more bench time than any previous #1 pick, including some who were noteworthy busts.
  13. subbuteo

    subbuteo New Member

    Dec 17, 2002
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    and the point is....?
  14. lurking

    lurking Member+

    Feb 9, 2002
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Eskandarian just seems so ordinary to me out there. Im not sure why, but every time ive seen him I havent been impressed at all.

    His production in his limited minutes was certainly acceptable, so I would right him off. But nothing about him jumped out at me and said, "This kid has talent" when I watched him play. Kind of like Magee, who did get more minutes and had a solid rookie year, so what. But in comparison when I see Jaqua I have to think that he has potential to be something special. It may not happen, but I think it could.

    Just doesnt happen with Eskandarian.

    Anyways, I dont really have a point. Just sharing some observations of mine.
  15. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    This is more of an indictment of coaches than the players themselves. Plus, how do you compare the minutes a defender or a midfielder gets with the minutes a new forward gets? Defenders have much different substitution patterns than forwards.

    There are also between 1 and 2 less forwards on the field than defenders, so it is easier for a manager to go deeper on his bench for defenders than he does for forwards (esp. when factoring in injuries). Defenders also tend to pick up lots more automatic yellow and red cards (for "professional fouls" or "tactical fouls"). So plenty of managers are forced to start cut bait at an outside fullback position (in a crunch). This just isn't the case with forwards. Plenty of them (Casey Schmidt, Jamil Walker, Jaqua, etc) get squat playing time in tiny little chunks as the manager throws them on for 10 minutes here or 15 minutes there . . . and never get a start.

    And who knows what team needs/depth were like in each of the cases you mention above? The fact that Esky got any playing time is remarkable given the fact that Stokes and Carroll (and Warren prior to Rimando's injury) saw even less. That is the precedent with DC (see Mapp, Justin and other similar rookies).

    Kenny Arena got more playing time than Jamil Walker. This is clearly an indication of Walker's quality. Whatever dude.

    BTW if you go by scoring rates - if Esky had played 1081 minutes, he would have scored "4.5 goals" and had 3 assists. Those are not substantially different stats from Carrieri's, especially considering that Carrieri was playing on a championship team and Esky played on a team with pitiful offensive output.
  16. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Easy, LSC, all I did was post the numbers from players who were in the same situation as Eskandarian. Bear in mind, it'd be real easy for me to jump all over you for an earlier post where you compare his goalscoring rate with a bunch of midfielders and players who had bad seasons due to injury.

    Actually, Carrieri didn't register a single point for the Quakes. In San Jose, he sat the bench behind Landon Donovan and (oddly enough) Ronald Cerritos. He got all of his points after being traded to Colorado. Anyway, is "almost as good as Carrieri" the assessment you're making now?
  17. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    Your pickup on Carrieri is good, but the critique of the players I picked is pretty lame.

    Of the list above, Mullen played a lot at midfield, true, but he also played at forward. And Beasley is generally considered a midfielder - but he played in a withdrawn forward role on many occasions this season. That is why I deamed it not necessary to qualify their inclusion with the statement that they are midfielders.

    As far as "cherry-picking" players with bad seasons due to injury - everyone on the list had a greater number of starts than Esky. If their manager started them while they were hurt - than shame on him. But the fact that they had more quality minutes as starters already gives them a leg up on Esky, who was generally sent on to play the role do human wind-up toy at the end of the match. And by the way - Esky was injured part of the season as well. So shouldn't we give him a pass like you seem to be willing to give to (some of) these other guys? The fact that I am using "rate stats" more or less neutralizes the injury/playing time quibble anyway.

    And don't forget - I am not at all trying to make an arguement that Esky is better than Josh Wolff or that he has more potential than Nate Jaqua. Each post I have made in this thread has been in regards to Esky's production this season.

    If you had done a comparison of the scoring rates of forwards picked in the first round - it would be interesting to see where Esky stacks up. But the list that you put down is a heck of a lot more misleading than the list I put down.

    Esky simply cannot be faulted for not getting playing time under the Hudson administration. The bench time he logged should not be held against him considering that he was more productive in his minutes on the field than any other player on the team (save Stoichkov).
  18. owendylan

    owendylan Member

    May 30, 2001
    DC United
    I'm not sure how valid a comparison this is since in Chicago you had 2 established goal scorers who were going to play unless injured. While in DC all we had were forwards who didn't really distinguish themselves and where the veteran players got the nod more frequently. You can argue that Ralph wasn't established since he was a rookie, but he did score goals early and often, more so than any forward DC has.
  19. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Minutes per Goal Prior to 2003
    Cunningham 169
    Wolff 181
    JM Moore 181

    These numbers are dramatically better than Eskandarian's 243 minutes per goal. In addition, note that substitute appearances tend to improve a player's scoring rate. That's because more goals are scored at the end of games, and because a sub gets a bunch of uncounted minutes due to time being added on.
  20. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Esky's stats based on a minutes played basis, not a games played basis, are not all that far off from Serna.
  21. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    Ray is really hard on younger players, though. DC had relatively few injuries at the forward position (Ali Curtis at the very beginning of the year and Quaranta in the middle), yet he fiddled around with veteren forwards without really giving Esky many minutes . . . Curtis and Stewart, Quaranta, Quintanilla (yes he played up front a little early in the season), Stoichkov all got extended minutes early in the season. Then he traded for Cerritos and signed Martins. As a result, Esky ended up competing with far more players for minutes than counterparts like Jaqua. Chicago didn't replace Faria for a long time. Ralph and Razov were relatively injury free, etc.

    Even Metrostars didn't hold Magee back after Moreno went down. They didn't sign Andreszkjlk;j Juskowiak until the very end of the season.

    Hudson is just so reflexively pro-veteren (though I suppose Quintanilla is not quite a veteren) that Esky didn't get much of a chance on the field. Granted you can say that Esky should have "earned" his time in practice. But rookie players very often don't do as well in practice as veterens and still play very well in games.

    All you have to do is read Diceson's reports to know that Stewart, Stoich and Marco have most of the playground drills that Trask uses to work on skills mastered. They almost always beat the younger players. But throw them in a game (where they have to play defense on a much bigger field) and they don't dominate so much. Hudson should have given Esky more (game-time) leash to either prove himself or prove he didn't belong in the lineup.

    Sarachan did what he could to get Jaqua minutes (he even played Capano, Fugitaki and other very young players). Bradley certainly played his rookies (even when they didn't really deserve it - Forchetti and Arena). Andrulis didn't have many youngsters to play. Nicol relied heavily on youngsters. Hanki played youngsters a lot (Borchers and Trembly - I bet Schmidt would have had more minutes if the team had not started the season so miserably). The fired guy (Jeffries) in Dallas didn't play his young (attacking) players much, but they (EJ and Nhloko) played a ton after he got fired. Sigi never plays young players much (Glinton got on a bit, Memo not at all). Yallop plays youngsters frequently (Ching, Dunivant) although Walker didn't get too many minutes. Gansler didn't have too many youngsters (I am aware of). But he did give younger players like Fabbro and Zotinca lots of time (I am not as familiar with this roster).

    Frankly, Hudson penalizes guys for not popping out of the chute as full-blown professional players (with hair in all of the appropriate places as he was wont to say). Eskandarian did well in the limited playing time he had. Statistics bear this out. He may never be as good as Magee, Gaven, Ralph, Noonan or some of the other rookies who had breakout type seasons. But the very fact that he did not get playing time like the typical number one draft pick sort of shows that he got jobbed by his manager more than it demonstrates that he is a failure.

    If Freddy Adu only plays 750 minutes and scores 3 goals should he be considered a failure? It very well could happen.

    Forwards with a complete range of abilities from Wolyniac, Ching, Mullen, Alejandro Moreno and even Jaime Moreno (stats very similar to Esky's) have had tepid initial seasons in MLS. Yet each has been productive after settling in. Lets just hope that Esky settles in too.
  22. Lowecifer

    Lowecifer Member+

    Jan 11, 2000
    Baltimore, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    When it comes to diving, Esky can't touch Serna's impressive stats.
  23. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    Did you read what I said? I specifically stated that I was not arguing Esky is better than Josh Wolff or players such as you mentioned. I said that based on his production this season, Eskandarian did not do as badly as one might think. Is that so hard to understand? He might never be as good as Joe Max-Moore or Josh Wolff. But he produced enough in his limited time to warrant the witholding of judgment.

    And many of Alecko's substitute appearances came in matches when DC was bunkering and needed someone to play the role of "forechecking" forward (when Stoich, Marco and/or others were gassed). It is not like DC was a great counterattacking team this season, that generated a lot of goals by forwards in the second half. For crying out loud, the leading scorers on the team were all midfielders (Etcheverry, Olsen, Kovalenko) or withdrawn attackers (Stoichkov). He didn't have lots of quality attacking minutes.
  24. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Hudson made Nick Rimando the youngest regular starting goalkeeper in league history. He obviously isn't a youth-first guy like Bradley, but few MLS coaches are.

    ... only if you think that "worse across-the-board than Carrieri's rookie year" equals "did well."

    Oh please. You're comparing Eskandarian at age 21 to a U-17!

    Wolyniec = Sucks
    Ching = Injured as a rookie
    Mullan = Sucks as a forward, now a wide mid.
    A. Moreno = Not comparable ... broke through as a 3rd-round pick, played mostly wide
    Jaime Moreno = Not comparable ... joined team late in the season
  25. Grasscutter

    Grasscutter Member

    Jan 21, 2003
    DC United

    Still have a soft spot for Esky for setting up our most important goal of the year, Dema's late game-winner at N.E. that turned our season around--for a little while.

    Really, I think this sets up a Santino-vs.-Alecko showdown for next season. Since neither would be pegged as an expected starter now, I'd be surprised if either would be willing to enter next season as the #4 or #5 forward.

    Cerritos will stay, as we just traded our top pick for him. Martins probably showed enough in A-League and at DCU that he'll be in the mix. And I'd be surprised if we don't acquire a high-profile forward from overseas, or possibly another MLS team (Cunningham? Mathis?). So even if you say Earnie does nothing but play mid next year, and if Stoitch is gone, I doubt we would enter the season with both Esky and 'Tino. If only because Tino is younger and still has more potential, I'd seriously start looking to ship out Esky.

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