Tommy Smyth and MLS star quality

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by cpwilson80, Aug 26, 2002.

  1. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Tommy was back with another chat wrap:

    In it, one question caught my eye:

    Shane(Westbury): Who are the top 3 players currently in the MLS?

    Tommy Smyth: I am not sure that you can look at the MLS and size out three players that stand out head and shoulders above other players and say these are the three best. The way the MLS strikes me is a lot like the Italian midfield-- a lot of very decent players that work very hard within team concepts. I wouldn't be prepared to single out just three players because I don't really think there are three that are that much better than everyone else.

    If there is one problem with MLS, there aren't enough players that jump out at you as a great player.

    I agree with Tommy's point. MLS lacks players who draw you to the match you weren't otherwise attending. Even players like Donovan, Mathis and Beasley, who are all great players, aren't that much better than everybody else. An outstanding player puts a thought into the season ticket holder that they absolutely cannot miss this game, and causes a buzz that draws the casual fans. I could be mistaken, but no player today has the drawing power to increase attendance by 1,000 on name power alone.

    This isn't a criticism of the league on the whole. I enjoy watching MLS more every year, especially when compared to the first couple of seasons. At times, it felt like watching a sibling's U-14 game - the soccer isn't great but you're there for support. MLS has proven to do a great job developing more depth for the US team while concurrently being an entertaining league.

    Even though Donadoni, Valderrama and Campos may have approached this star level in the past, I like the direction MLS has taken the past few years. However, as Tommy alludes to later in the chat, I would like to see MLS strive to attract that next level of international player in the near future.
  2. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Mathis is that much better than everybody else.
  3. JRedknapp11

    JRedknapp11 Red Card

    Dec 5, 2001
    Mathis is a good player but not the best. One great season doesn't make you the best.
  4. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    I'll spare Bigsoccer another Mathis debate. I couldn't disagree more with Smyth. He's totally wrong about this.
  5. Barca_Fan2003

    Barca_Fan2003 New Member

    Mar 30, 2002
    Slidell, LA
    Mathis isn't as good as you or anyone else make him out to be. He's pretty injury prone and when healthy he kind of flashes in and out of games. He's still a great player, but I don't think he is head and shoulders above the rest.
  6. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    If Mathis' hype streak (which was deserved, as his play preceded the hype) had continued on through the World Cup up today, I think he'd be there.

    Aside from him though, who else? Ideally, there would be 4-6 of these guys in the league.
  7. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Mathis had a great World Cup when given the opportunity. Who else? Donovan and Wolff are outstanding players. Also Eddie Pope. Maybe Pablo Mastroeni. Maybe Tim Howard. Maybe Bease. Maybe Ralston as well; he should have been in Korea. We'll see about guys like Ruiz, Twellman, and Carrieri. MLS has always had stars such as Etch (who now is the cause of most of DC United's problems now) and Moreno.

    Smyth made it seem like there are just a bunch of cogs. These cogs scored 3 times as many goals as France and Argentina combined.
  8. Kaiser

    Kaiser New Member

    Nov 12, 2000
    dark side of the moo
    OK 3 stars I pay to see:
    1. Mathis
    2. Twellman
    3. Donovan

    Extended list:
    4. Mastroeni
    5. Ruiz
    6. Vaca
  9. Kaiser

    Kaiser New Member

    Nov 12, 2000
    dark side of the moo
    I don't think Clint fit into Arenas scheme then when he gets back from Korea he get injured. Now since he had the great half season last year before his injury the Metrostars are a very different squad. I think he'll bouce back and finish this season like he was playing last year. I think he's the best player in MLS.
  10. FootyMundo

    FootyMundo New Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    I couldn't agree more with Smyth. He is totally right about this. Guys like Donovan, Beasley and Ruiz are all fine YOUNG players who could rise to superstar level. But right now there are no true superstars.
  11. dawgpound2

    dawgpound2 Member

    Mar 3, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    I know Tommy has done a lot of work with, in and around MLS, but he has some sort of chip on his shoulder concerning the league.

    Again, I now ask Tommy...While you were working the World Cup, did you actually WATCH THE FREAKIN THING???

    I urge everyone to pull out the tapes and watch the kinds of things Donovan, Beasley, and Mathis (though in very limited time) did. Mathis' goal against SK was almost unbelievable. That kind of touch is World Class eight days a week. You don't make some of the moves Donovan did without having World Class talent.

    I'm just so flabbergasted at how quickly everyone seems to forget.
  12. jmeissen0

    jmeissen0 New Member

    Mar 31, 2001
    page 1078
    tommy was dead on... no one pays money to see certain players in this league

    if you say you do, you don't because you would have gone to the match anyways

    there is no draw factor for any player (aside from el salvadorians in d.c.)
  13. The Cadaver

    The Cadaver It's very quiet here.

    Oct 24, 2000
    La Cañada, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Dead on arrival, maybe.

    You don't think the Landon groupies in San Jose are coming out to see Landon?

    You don't think the Cobi groupies in LA are coming out to see Cobi?

    Have you ever been to these venues and seen the make-up of the crowds?

    And, Mauricio Cienfuegos attracts Salvadorians in virtually evey venue, not just D.C.

    Maybe the soccer nuts (like you and me and the others on this board) will come out regardless of any individual player, but that is not the case for the casual fans.
  14. neilgrossman

    neilgrossman New Member

    May 12, 2000
    Hoboken, NJ
    Mastroeni? That will be the first time in the history of soccer that any one has paid to watch a defensive midfeilder.
  15. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    Does Roy Keane count?
  16. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think Roy Keane and a lot of English fans would disagree with you.
  17. stinky

    stinky Member

    May 14, 2000
    Long Beach, NY
    how a non-world class or top level professional can finish the way clint did against korea in korea in that environment is beyond me.

    i disagree with tommy....

    donovan, beasley and mathis are at least 3 players who play at a different level.....there are more out there.....

    next year...we'll be saying the same of twellman and brad davis.......
  18. Brownswan

    Brownswan New Member

    Jun 30, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    In Metroppolitan NY, too. I think the Salvadorans bumped us to 20k for the dc match. Many blue-and-white flags and jersies at the Swamp that day.

    About time Metro pass on the Colombians and bring in a striker from ElSal. Especialy since the FO is prone to think along these line anyway.

    Better yet, "discover" one in Queens.
  19. Beckhamcpt07

    Beckhamcpt07 Member

    Nov 16, 2001
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Steven Gerrard can be brilliant at times too.
  20. hangthadj

    hangthadj Member+

    A.S. Roma
    Mar 27, 2001
    Zone 14
    Columbus Crew
    Donovan in league has not proven to be a superstar. Even his most ardent supporters would have to agree he has been a bit of a disapointment since coming back from the world cup. he simply does not take over games, superstars do.
  21. Northside Rovers

    Jan 28, 2000
    Austin TX
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Roberto Carlos?

    This question bugged me:

    Eric (Sarasota, FL): When do you think the MLS will realize that to even draw serious soccer fans they need to open up their collective wallet and land some mid-ranged price international players, and not just washed up types like Matthias and Valderrama?

    I assume the guy meant Mattheus. And say what you will about Valderrama - he is not washed up. He still produces.
  22. GoHawks4

    GoHawks4 Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Watching Roy Keane play is like watching Mike Tyson box. You're just waiting for something to happen.
  23. csc7

    csc7 New Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    I think he's right. You don't have someone in the MLS like a Jordan or an A-Rod. I think some of those named are very good players (LD, DMB, etc) but they don't seem to take over games. SJ v DC, Donovan was really good but not amazing. NY v DC, Mathis was basically invisible (until he finished a shot that any 16 year old would have made). These guys don't show up everyday as a dominant force.

    I'm going to leave myself an out here--if someone steps up in the playoffs and dominates, I'll change my mind.

    MLS--good, getter better, not great.
  24. jmeissen0

    jmeissen0 New Member

    Mar 31, 2001
    page 1078

    pablo is huge on the bigsoccer pearl jam scene
  25. jmeissen0

    jmeissen0 New Member

    Mar 31, 2001
    page 1078

    you are dead on, most will just come for soccer

    not mls, not national team players, not a certain ethnic player... just to see professional soccer

    some will jump on it, like those of us here... others will just continue to see it occassionally and on a very casual level... nothing wrong with that

    but there are no draws, check out road attendance figures... nothing truly established... check out SJ home attendance numbers... where are the throngs???

    they simply aren't there

    the only thing that matters is that mls keeps striving to put out a better product... not a handful of good players and a majority of lower end players... they need to really look at what they are doing... it's striking me as they are have a public policy of announcing incest as best, whether or not that be something they internally are agreeing with... that is 100% what they are saying

    incest would kill a pro league, just as selling all your talent would kill a pro league

    there must be a middle ground that i don't see them being anywhere near (and no that doesn't mean that a certain number must be sold or anything of the sort... it's just that everything i read, see and hear reeks of incest)

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