U23 Players in MLS this week - 9/14 [R]

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by Nutmeg, Sep 14, 2003.

  1. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    Code:
    [size=2]
    [u]Saturday:  San Jose 1-2 DCU[/u]	
    Player Name	Minutes	Goals	Assists
    Donovan   	90	0	0
    Walker       	25	1	0
    
    Convey       	39	0	0
    
    [u]Saturday:  NewEngland 2-1 Metrostars[/u]	
    Player Name	Minutes	Goals	Assists
    R. Clark   	77	0	0
    Gaven       	90	0	0
    Magee       	27	0	1
    
    [u]Saturday:  Dallas 2-3 Columbus[/u]	
    Player Name	Minutes	Goals	Assists
    Countess    	5 Saves
    B. Davis      	89	0	0
    Johnson      	90	1	0
    Stone      	90	0	0
    
    Martino   	77	0	1
    Buddle     	90	2	0
    Akwari      	90	0	0
    
    [u]Saturday:  Kansas City 0-1 Colorado[/u]
    Beck       	90	0	0
    Borchers      	90	0	0
    
    [u]Saturday:  Chicago 1-1 Los Angeles[/u]	
    Player Name	Minutes	Goals	Assists
    Beasley   	90	0	0
    Gray       	90	0	1
    Mapp      	81	0	0
    Jaqua      	1	1	0
    Pause      	9	0	0
    [/size]
    
    I believe these are the most points scored by the U23 pool in one week of MLS action ever. Or at least as long as I can remember. Buddle continues to be amazing. KC v Colorado was not televised, but it speaks well to both Beckerman and Borchers that the Wizards were shut out. I continue to believe that Beckerman has to be held in serious consideration for a starting midfield spot on the 23's.

    Also, just out of curiosity, does anyone know what happened to Arturo Alvarez? He's fallen off the map.

    If I were going to put a first-choice starting 11 on the field for an all U23 team, here is what it would look like:

    Buddle-Johnson

    Beasley-Beckerman-Martino-Donovan

    Convey-Gray-Borchers-Onyewu

    Countess
     
  2. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Eddie Johnson? He scored a goal and clearly has talent. But he is unproven at the Under 20 level, much less the much more competitive Olympic level. Maybe, just maybe, this is possible if Johnson tears it up at the Under 20s. But if not, move Convey into the midfield and Donovan up top.
     
  3. jeffmefun

    jeffmefun Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Quakeland, CA
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What happened to Alvarez is a mystery.
    He was suited up for the Quakes against NE, but did not travel to DC last weekend.
     
  4. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think Arturo Alvarez was ever supposed to play much this year. But when injuries and then National Team callups happened, he was forced to get out there.

    The continued health of Ian Russell and Manny Lagos really pushes him back on the depth chart on the left wing (his early advantage over someone like Jamil Walker), and the return of DeRosario and the continued health of Donovan, Mullan and Jamil Walker pushes him well back at forward too.

    I've been more impressed with the play of Justin Mapp thus far this year, and Mapp has managed to hold down the playing time he earned with his performances. A big step up from him this year and probably an area where you can fairly criticize Hudson.

    Eddie Johnson's goal is the reason why everyone's been drooling over his talent for so long. He was an absolute blur on the play. I have never seen a player move that fast with the ball at his feet. Seriously. Then again, his open net miss in the first half after successfully dribbling Jon Busch is the reason why so many have been shaking their heads.

    People say this a lot around here, but if we could only ship one guy to Brazil to play and train with a pro club down there, for me it would be this guy. Teach this kid how to be an attacking force and the USA has a behemoth on their hands. He'd make a guy like Kluivert look like Wolde Harris.

    Since it was on FSW I'm assuming many saw the game, but for those that didn't, I thought Kyle Martino played an excellent game and was a real problem for Dallas. Showed for the ball, quickly transitioned it from defense to attack. Made some creative through passes. Still needs to do a little better all around when closer to the goal but he's a player of a type we simply never develop and it's good to see him playing the role as it should be played. I miss his hair though. He's harder to spot now. :)
     
  5. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As far as lineups, the U23 team is now sufferring from the same problem the Senior Squad suffers from: why the hell do we have so many left midfielders and no left backs or right midfielders?

    Here's our U23 left wing pool:

    Beasley, Convey, Mapp and Brad Davis.

    There aren't two many U23s who have played better in MLS this year than Mapp and Davis. Davis in particular has been the ray of light in a season of darkness for the burn. And MLS defenses are probably getting tired of seeing Justin Mapp take the ball 70 yards from goal and charging up the field with it at his feet. These two are clearly 3 and 4 on the depth chart at the position.

    While Bruce has tried Convey and left back, I think Brad Davis might be better suited for the U23s.

    Here's a hypothetical XI

    Countess
    Gray - Onyewu - Borchers - Convey
    Beckerman
    R. Clark - Martino - Beasley
    Buddle - Donovan

    With:
    GK - Warren/Yeldell
    D - Stokes - Burciaga/Yi
    M - Davis/Mapp - Pause/Trembly
    F - Casey - E. Johnson/Magee

    It's odd that a fair number of these are currently U20s (Coney, Johnson, Clark, Mapp, Magee) but I think they belong, if not now, then soon.

    The technical skills on the XI above are extremely high. Even more than usual, playing boomball with that group would be a real waste. In particular, the foursome of Donovan, Beasley, Martino and Convey should be able to spring some thoroughly deadly attacks down the left using one touch, quick passing, combined with Beasley starting one-twos and getting behind the defense (a tactic which suffocated Chivas in the all-star game). I hope the plan is in place to go with a more creative style. For once we have the players to do it.
     
  6. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    Against the Gals, the Fire U23s acquitted themselves quite well. Beasley was in and out of this game, but did have an incredible shot that Hartman desperately parried away. And, once again, he gets fouled fouled fouled (4 FS, I counted).

    Typically, too, Mapp ran out of gas and was subbed out. The good news is that he was subbed out quite late, so perhaps his fitness is inching ever so slowly to the 90 minute level. This has been, of course, the Achilles heel of his game as he tends to poop out in the later minutes. His speed caused the Gals problems all night.

    Gray did well, but struggled with Cobi's speed and was turned on a couple of Cobi carries. Is he too slow to play in the back at the international level?

    Jacqua's goal, though, his first as a pro, was clearly the highlight for this group in this game. Foiling the offside trap (strike partner Razov was clearly in a offside positon, but remained passive and out of the play) Jacqua carried into the area with excellent close control, and finished clinically near post under an outstretched Hartman.
     
  7. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The worst of which was a rather cynical and red-card worthy foul by Danny Califf. Beasley intercepted a lazy backpass to Califf and was headed for paydirt when Califf stuck out his left leg and connected with DMB at knee level sending him pinwheeling in the air. For a moment I thought DMB was badly hurt, but nothing permanent was done. DMB was not happy.

    I'm beginning to become of the opinion that the young American I'd most like to see move abroad is Danny Califf. A little because it might help his skills, but mostly because he's developing a disturbing tendency to send our most talented players to the turf rather harshly (more through clumsiness than maliciousness IMO) and I'd rather he practice on players of other nationalities.
     
  8. juventino3

    juventino3 Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    You guys are definitely underrating Brad Davis. He would be a definite contributor on this team. Where do players like Jordan Stone and Ricky Lewis fit into the equation? They are both contributors, but are not exactly impact players on their respective teams.
     
  9. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    His goal was astounding and you put it right: he was a blur -- and yet to show such control at that pace was phenomenal.

    The botched first chance -- hey, that happens at the highest level. Just ask Diego Forlan.

    But Johnson showed character in coming back to redeem himself and score the equalizer.

    I really like Nutmeg's lineup.

    Also, how about Buddle beating Johnson to the post on Edson's last goal? I didn't know it, but I guess Buddle has serious pace, too.
     
  10. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The problem is where do you play him. DaMarcus Beasley obviously is a mortal lock barring injury, and then there's Convey.

    I'm very impressed with Davis but he suffers from the same problem Eddie Lewis suffers from on the senior team: I'd be completely happy with him on the left wing, but I'd be happier with a few of our other choices.

    Stone is likely a little far back on the depth chart for the U23s (certainly in the mix U20 though), but Lewis is a factor for the time being.
     
  11. Soccernova78

    Soccernova78 Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Beyond The Infinite
    Re: Re: U23 Players in MLS this week - 9/14 [R]

    I haven't seen that goal but it seems like Johnson exhibited all the attributes that I had seen flashes of in the few times I've seen him. This guy has it all. Size, speed, a nose for goal and great ball control. If EJ could just get his head on straight and grow up he could become a force to reckoned with.

    Man, we could have formidable strike force by the time 2004 rolls around.
     
  12. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    Re: Re: U23 Players in MLS this week - 9/14 [R]

    Martin, I can clearly see why someone would disagree with my preference to Johnson, and your move makes sense.

    I would select Johnson purely on the talent he has shown in the relatively little we have been able to see of him. I honestly believe this kid has the physical tools of speed, strength, quickness, and size to be a monster. On top of that, he is exceptionally skilled. He controls the ball well in close quarters. He shields pretty well, but he can and should improve. He has a very good shot. He has that "intangible" ability to get behind defenses and understands the subtleties of the game, essential from your forwards.

    To a certain degree, he reminds me of Memo, although I don't believe that Memo is quite the head case that Johnson reportedly is. For Eddie, it all comes down to whether or not he has the character and the work ethic to put in the time to harvest his potential. I also think he needed a change of scenery in Dallas. Some players and coaches just don't mix.

    Ask Sigi and DaMarcus.

    Yeah, Eddie would be a gamble. But in the risk assessment, the upside is definitely worth the potential for failure. A great coach could help Eddie work himself into a true star. For Eddie's sake, I hope Dallas finds one.
     
  13. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  14. Shaster

    Shaster Member

    Apr 13, 1999
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    I think our England based youngsters especially the defenders--Whitbred, Simak and Spencer may get something going on for them. Also don't rule out Cooper and Karb.
     
  15. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: Re: U23 Players in MLS this week - 9/14 [R]

    Like I said, it's possible. But I don't think you take a complete flyer on a guy who has not performed overall as a pro at the Olympic level -- a level where a significant number of the the guys are full Nats. I realize that Johnson is in a tough situation at Dallas and he has tremendous ability, so I would watch him carefully at the under 20s. If he suceeds there, then I would seriously consider him. But I think he has to go beyond potential and flashes to start ahead of guys like Conor Casey and Ricardo Clark (Donovan at right mid instead of foward).
     
  16. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think you must have been high when you mentioned Cooper and "Karb" in relation to the Olympic team. Even if, and its a big if, they are huge sucesses at the EPL Reserve Team level, it doesn't prove much. Jovan Kirovski was the greatest Reserve player in the history of ManU and it doesn't mean he can play internationally, which is what the Olympics basically are.

    Now the US is weaker in Under 23 defenders, so a good showing by Whitbred or Simak at the Under 20s might do the trick for them.
     
  17. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    HOLY *#*#*#*#! The ball was never more than 2 inches away from his feet and he was in a dead freakin sprint. How the hell did he do that? You know, I always thought that Landon Donovan had the best control of the ball while sprinting, but this kid comes really close. Wow.
     
  18. luvdagame

    luvdagame Member+

    Jul 6, 2000
    from martin fischer:
    "Eddie Johnson? He ... is unproven at the Under 20 level, ...."
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    what??!!

    that's the level at which he seems to do wonders for rongen. i don't know if it's the coach, but for the u20's this guy is a pure stud. he is one of our top scorers at that level!!
     
  19. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Uh, you understand the difference between friendlies and real games? Johnson will be "proven" to me at the under 20 level if he starts for the US at the World Cup and actually plays well.
     
  20. luvdagame

    luvdagame Member+

    Jul 6, 2000
    i understand.

    they've played some tough tournaments though, and he's done well. but with that yardstick, don't say he hasn't proven himself, say he hasn't had a chance to prove himself. in fact, with that yardstick, no one on that team has proven himself.
     
  21. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Right, though the exception is Convey, who has proven himself at a higher level with the full Nats in the ConFed Cup. But since no other under 20s except Ricardo Clark, who is a better MLSer so far, is being seriously banded for a starting Olympic role, so that's why I focused on Johnson.
     
  22. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Did Bocanegra play in 2000? Because he seems like an absolutely no-brainer for one of the overage spots if we qualify considering our lack of depth?
     
  23. highlander

    highlander Member

    Nov 9, 2002
    Springfield, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: Re: U23 Players in MLS this week - 9/14 [R]

    I'm wondering if Johnson's renewed passion has to do with Jeffries being dismissed. Whatever the case, I'm glad the kid appears to be having fun again. I'm not saying that it was Jeffries fault that Eddie has been a bit of a head case. I just don't think that the two of them ever connected on any level and that can bring out all of a person's very worst traits. Here's to hoping that both of them have much more success separately than they had together.
     
  24. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: Re: Re: U23 Players in MLS this week - 9/14 [R]

    It could be assimple as having a bunch more black players on the team. Asst. Coach Haynes has tried to help him (I think Eddie stayed or still stays with him) but Bonseu is the only black player who has been here as long as Eddie. They added Gbandi last year and he was hurt but he has been with them all of this year. Thomas was a draft pick. Nhleko was a discovery pickup. Hendrickson and Glinton came in the LA trade and Curtis in the DC trade. The Burn have really changed as the year has gone on. Also isn't Chefik Simo a friend of Eddie's? If so his accident probably didn't help as he even went to Burn practice when he was able.
     
  25. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    The Play

    One very nice play. The kind that assures any reasonable observer that Johnson is fast and has very good ball skills.

    Takes a lot more than that to be a valuable member of a U.S. National team, or even a consistent MLS contributor.

    Still, being fast and skilled is a nice starting point.
     

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