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Discussion in 'Colorado Rapids' started by m vann, Mar 5, 2015.
Why? Assuming drafting college seniors is working, why do we need that shift?
Have to agree with Vann here I'm not a fan of hotheads and Shane definitely gets angry easily. I feel like I remember him losing his mark on a corner and thus we tied or lost a game this year. I guess Sjoberg has probably cost us something though too I just don't remember.
A little off topic side note that is soccer and Rapids related. I don't know if it is just me, but, I feel like players are so much whinier (if thats a word) than they used to be. Seems like the majority of our players now a days can't keep their mouths shut and play on when they don't get a call their way. Maybe I'm thinking way too far back to my playing days when we only had a couple of cry babies... I wanted to slap Irwin for making such a big deal, basically, stopping the game because he thought that striker made a dive. I really need to get to some event or pose the question to one of the guys that has a twitter take over whether or not they are actually taught to act out?
Did anyone ever have a coach that told them to go nuts on the ref when a call was bad or just attempting to confuse them into pointing the wrong way?
Well Sjoberg or Burling....
The team has been very consistent with whatever combination of: Moor, Burling, O'Neill, and Sjoberg.
Mastashroeni - has the defense playing well. He deserves credit for that. There's some serious competition in the back and I won't complain about that. O'Neill may be as much a victim of travel as he is of Sjoberg's success, not to mention Burling getting time.
Well, I am being a little pessimistic in thinking someone will come after Sjoberg since I am looking at it from the angle of the Rapids losing him in a couple years. There was that risk for O'Neill too given his ambitions and age. But I was more going by the idea that one tends to get noticed for a conspicuous skill/attribute that stands out compared to an all around player (unless it's a very good all around player) and Sjoberg does stop the aerials. But then, Omar Gonzalez is still in the league. Though would he have been without the knee injury and then the DP contract.
I'd be happy if everyone just left Sjoberg here to develop.
A few weeks ago I was thinking about how Sjöberg is having an impact similar to Gonzalez in his first season with the Gals. It seems that Arena wanted to shore up the defense and zeroed in on Omar and the rest is history.
Now, I am not saying that Axel is the next Omar, but there are parallels, beyond just the height. Instant impact, decent movement for being tall, etc.
The combination of Slöberg's skill and confidence combined with O'Neill's call-ups has given the tall fellow a leading role in the Rapids' defensive success.
Right now the Rapids' best pairing on the back line is Sjöberg and Moor.
This is just my opinion...
1. Sjoberg is 24 in his first season, O'Neill was 19 I think for his first season and is now 21. If these two guys are capable of being the same player (I actually think O'Neill is better passing out of the back and maybe isn't quite as strong as Sjoberg in the air - but I think O'Neill will be the better player) then you take the younger player every single time.
2. Local interest. The factor of saying, "I remember Shane from that tournament from when we were 11." or "He was a few years behind me at Fairview HS." or "I got wasted at his parents bar in Boulder" or whatever. There is a connection Shane has to this community and this community has to him. That is real. That is interesting. It breeds involvement in the community.
3. The ideal (which maybe hasn't been a reality yet for the Rapids) is to develop players in THEIR system. Teach a kid the way you want him to perform in a given situation when he is in the first team. Theoretically there is less emphasis on winning at all cost and developing the player. Less relying on your raw talent to 'just get the win' and more focus on becoming a rounded technical player. If that is the goal then kids need to see a shining example of what success looks like through that avenue.
I guess to flip the question - I'll ask you why any club would invest any of their resources in having an academy. The Rapids would have more $ for the first team if they just abandon the whole academy concept all together. If your assumption is correct, every MLS team is wasting a ton of $$ for no good reason.
I don't think the draft has enough good players for every team to be successful at it. Right now though, whomever is doing the scouting of the draft for the Rapids is more successful than other teams. So why not ride that advantage while we have it?
Also our 'bar' is set at an easier level to raise then some club's ... unfortunately. Poster child case, would Badji have started/played on most other teams?
Little known fact, Sjoberg's father, Lars-Erick, is the Chairman/GM of Djurgårdens out of Stockholm, a well known, heavily supported, and 7-time Allsvenkan Champion club. Presumably, Axel has connections and probably had a chance play for this club and/or another respectable Swedish club. Allsvanskan clubs have had no problems bringing in college players (American and Non-American) over to Sweden. There are a slew of them currently in the top 2 divisions. Axel chose to stay in the States and try MLS when he could have easily returned home. While I'm not naive to think he won't, at some point, draw interest from Sweden and elsewhere in Europe, but I don't think he'd jump ship at the first opportunity. He's mentioned several times that he's fully enriched and comfortable in the American culture. He likes it here and will probably stick around for a while or until something pops up in Europe in which he can't refuse. I would love to see the Rapids build around him. I know it's early but it's pretty clear to me that Axel is going to be a very, very strong and well respected defender in this league.
Looks like O'Neill got the start for the U-23s today. I don't see Serna but he may be on the bench.
U.S. down 3-0 at half, giving up all 3 in an 11 minute span from the 10'-21'
As much as I like O'Neill, I am quite happy that we players of such quality that he can't make the field. This isn't like last year when we were wondering WTF Pablo was thinking. This is a case where O'Neill has enough quality for the U-23 team, but can't quite crack the starting lineup.
Clubs that have true depth have this problem. It is a good problem to have!
Serna entered in the 62'.
My issue is how does a 21 y.o. with 49 MLS appearances get displaced by a rookie who is 24 y.o? Record and Stats prove the Rapids were more successful with O'Neil in starting XI over without him. But we are to believe that a rookie comes in and out performs (coaching or scouting view wise) O'Neil? Given last years coaching/ results I find this a difficult reasoning to grasp. I do understand O'Neil was with USMNT for a chunk of pre-season but isn't that more reason to justify him as a starter? If their was a rotation of CB's this might explain it somewhat but if there is one, O'Neil sure doesn't seem to e a part of it. Maybe its because O'Neil has already told the Rapids to fly a kite and next summer he is moving to Europe on a free, so they reteliate with no P.T.- to me this is as good a guess as any others proposed in here.
In my book all things being equal, you go with the younger guy. Especially one who is local and came through your academy that is already losing out on player talent to other local youth academy's.
But who says things are equal? The defense is playing very well with sjoburg. I have no problem giving Pablo the leeway to keep playing the player who performs. I don't recall many mistakes from Alex, so I don't see a need to change based solely on age.
To be clear, I am not saying O'Neill is a bad choice, just that Pablo sees them both on a daily basis and I don't see any obvious reason for a change. (Unlike the goalie fiasco last year)
I'd be happy to jump on the USMNT boards' "Pablo is an idiot for not playing Serna and O'Neill" bandwagon, but, on the evidence, there's just not much there to argue for their inclusion in the first XI. Fact is, Sjoberg has been sensational. Situationally, I'm sure they'll get time throughout the season.
Who knows how long O'Neill will stick around, but to my eye Moor was already showing some signs of age before his injury. He brings a lot of non-technical qualities on the field, of course, but his productive days are limited. While LaBrocca and Sarvas are out, it might not be completely crazy to use O'Neill in the midfield either, though it's been awhile for him there.
I think the response to this is quite simple, the results (in terms of goals against) thus far state that Moor and Sjöberg are the best pairing at center back. No, I haven't gone and looked at the scores with the various pairings, but I'm willing to bet very few goals have been scored with these two together. And unlike some positions, the last place on the field to be making frequent changes is center back as communication and understanding are critical.
Now, there may be some other factors at play here. Pablo has stated that Shane's time with the national team during the Rapids pre-season training put him behind in terms of integrating with the team and their new emphasis on defending. So had he been in camp the entire pre-season perhaps he would be playing more right now.
Nice. He's kind of like Forsberg. Though NHL:Swedish ice hockey league is not like MLS:Swedish soccer league of course.
I think it sucks for O'Neil but this happens. I think a lot of you are too easily tossing O'Neils performance history (2 years) out the window for a guy who has under 15 games as a professional. I will say I never understood why Rapids defense stats were so superior when O'Neil started when not much sticks out of his play, but that's not necessarily a bad thing for a CB. Last game announcers said Sjoberg lead MLS in clearances (hoofing the ball downfield) next guy has less then a third of his total. That is not what modern soccer is looking for in a CB.
But it is awesome we can have these discussion over the raw who sucks more from last year.
Switchbacks up 1-0 in SLC on FSL2 at half in USOC play. Winner comes to the Dick on June 16th.
Switchbacks held on for the 1-0 win.
I wonder when they'll announce plans/tickets for the Open Cup match?
I think you are mis-characterizing what counts as a clearance. While I'm sure some portion of his numbers are attributable to "hoofing the ball downfield", I would venture a guess that a good number of his clearances are balls headed out of danger, a skill set I think we can all agree is exactly what we are looking for in a modern CB.
Assuming Sjoberg plays this weekend, I plan to keep close tabs on how he plays the ball out of the back. He's been tabbed as not being particularly good at it, but I actually think he's already made substantial improvement in that department.
Serna & O'Neill go the full 90 in US 3-1 victory over the Netherlands - per a tweet from Crookham.