U23 Players in MLS this week - 9/21 [R]

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by Nutmeg, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    [u]Friday:  Colorado 0-0 New England[/u]	
    Player Name	Minutes	Goals	Assists
    Beck       	43	**Red Card**
    Borchers      	90	0	0
    [u]Saturday:  Columbus 0-1 Metrostars[/u]	
    Player Name	Minutes	Goals	Assists
    Martino   	79	0	0
    Buddle     	90	0	0
    Akwari      	3	0	0
    R. Clark   	90	0	0
    Gaven       	25	0	0
    Magee       	51	0	0
    [u]Saturday:  San Jose 4-1 Kansas City[/u]	
    Player Name	Minutes	Goals	Assists
    Donovan   	90	3	0
    Walker       	10	0	0
    [u]Saturday:  Chicago 0-2 Dallas[/u]
    Player Name	Minutes	Goals	Assists
    Beasley   	90	0	0
    Gray       	90	0	0
    Mapp      	16	**Injured**
    Pause      	90	0	0
    Capano      	16	0	0
    B. Davis      	83	0	0
    Johnson      	74	1	0
    Stone      	90	0	0
    [u]Saturday:  DC United 1-1 Los Angeles[/u]	
    Player Name	Minutes	Goals	Assists
    Convey       	48	0	0
    Esky       	25	0	0
    Two obvious stars of the week are Landon and Eddie Johnson. Johnson has been hot lately and looks good in the 4-2-3-1 Dallas has been using. He created Dallas' first goal then buried the second, and I believe the change in scenery can only be good for young Johnson. Donovan's hat trick was nice, even making the Saturday night SportsCenter "Top 10" - tough to do on a college football Saturday. Donovan's control and teamwork at full speed in very, very tight space was eye-opening. Sometimes this kid can still surprise you.

    Speaking of surprises, the biggest surprise of the year in MLS is hands-down Nat Borchers. Borchers has shut down everything and everybody lately, and if Mooch isn't thinking about giving Nat a long hard look, he's making a mistake. A big one.

    Only other things of note are that Countess finally gets a break after getting shelled the entire year, Buddle finally doesn't get a point against Bunker Bob and the Metros, and Capano sees garbage minutes in Chicago.

    My all-U23 team still looks a lot like this:





    Except Clark may have been helped not by his efforts, but by the poor decision of Kyle Beckerman this week against New England. Beckerman has to learn how to physically play the position without accumulating cards.
  2. Soccernova78

    Soccernova78 Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Beyond The Infinite
    Great rundown as always Nutmeg. And I'm intrigued by your lineup which features Buddle and Johnson up top. I have a quick question for you about these two though. Let's say Johnson somehow continues his recent progress and realizes his vast potential. Who do you think will be the better player Johnson or Buddle? Having not seen enough of either player I can't really make a judgement.
  3. SUDano

    SUDano Member+

    Jan 18, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Clark over Beckerman, I like Davis too.

    Clark is simply a better player than Beckerman. More athletic, better header, better ball winner, shooter, slightly better ball handler, dribbler and passer/decidison maker. I like Beckerman but more off the bench when we have a lead and we need possession. Brad Davis should also get some time. starting a game or needing a goal. His free/corner kicks are a thing of beauty and he has nifty possession skills too. With our over-age players I'd like to keep similar ages and would love to see Howard in goal and Bocanegra manning center of defense and O'Brien running the Offense. My team would be: Howard
    Subs: Martino-Beckerman-Davis-Yi-Borchers-Lewis-Quaranta-Mapp-Alvarez-Countess-Burciaga
    Wow that's a good team. I just impressed myself.
  4. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    can somebody give a report on how Convey is looking? and why he doesn't seem to be playing full matches?
  5. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

    Jun 20, 2003

    My understanding is that Convey is not starting because DC's lineup was forged in the days that he was mostly off with the Nats, and that the team really took off then.

    Etch is playing pretty well as A-mid, and the team has been winning with him there next to Kovalenko.

    Meanwhile, Olsen has been getting stronger and stronger on the left, and has rightfully claimed that spot for himself.

    So Convey, since his return from London, has been left with late cameo appearances as a sub mostly for Etch. He has looked largely so so, but against LA he looked downright awful, IMO, and I'm a fan of his, not a detractor.
  6. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    Re: Convey

    I was afraid of this happening. And I actually predicted that this could happen. Its what happened to Mathis. He was all set to goto Europe, and then his deal got axed, and ever since his level of play has gone staright down. God knows what this kind of rejection does to a 20 year old.
  7. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    some evidence to support my theory


    man I hope he recovers real fast.
  8. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Very solid stuff from Borchers ... in retrospect, it's surprising that he wasn't regarded as more of a prospect. In 2002, he started for a team that reached the PDL final; then he was conference Player of the Year in the Mountain West. I wonder if he had some of the Jim Curtin stigma ... from just looking at the guy, he doesn't seem like he ought to be that good.

    Martino 79 0 0
    Buddle 90 0 0
    Akwari 3 0 0

    Buddle is just plain good; ref missed an obvious PK because Buddle didn't embellish it.

    Martino has the skills and the vision, but his toughness is still a question, both physically and mentally.

    R. Clark 90 0 0
    Gaven 25 0 0
    Magee 51 0 0

    Clark has rapidly made it to the Donovan/Beasley level, where you don't even need to mention that he's good. I was also impressed by Gaven, who filled in very nicely for the injured Lisi ... solid play, forced one opposing yellow, and set up Guevara on a one-on-one with the keeper.

    Walker 10 0 0

    Legitimate supersub, but probably not versatile enough to make an Olympic squad.

    Gray 90 0 0
    Mapp 16 **Injured**
    Pause 90 0 0
    Capano 16 0 0

    B. Davis 83 0 0
    Johnson 74 1 0
    Stone 90 0 0

    Correction ... no Stone.

    Gray continues to struggle defensively, but he nearly scored on a terrific free kick that hit the crossbar and sailed high into the air. Pause also struggled early, perhaps due to rust. Capano was trying to do too much and was ineffective as a result.

    Davis left the game after a bad foul from Whitfield. Hopefully, neither he nor Mapp (quad?) was seriously hurt.

    Johnson finally got some great service from his teammates, and he took advantage. Despite his size, he fits very naturally on the wing. But he does need to learn how to defend there.
  9. Treetaliano

    Treetaliano Member

    Jun 29, 2002
    San Diego
    Re: Clark over Beckerman, I like Davis too.

  10. big bonnie

    big bonnie New Member

    Jul 13, 2002
    You can have 3 overage players for the olympics. You should probably do your research before you post and try to make somebody look stupid.
  11. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Before he suffered the injury, Justin Mapp put a spin on somebody from Dallas that was jaw-dropping as he accelerated right by him down the touchline with the ball at his feet. He then maddeningly tried for the killer eraly-ball only to see it broken up, when he had at least 30 yards of open field in front of him. Is this a youth soccer thing, as Mapp does this a lot. Do they yell at the dribblers to get rid of the ball when they don't really have to? For now I'd rather see Mapp run with it until somebody comes up to stop him.

    Nhleko's goal was a lot more impressive play from Johnson than Johnson's goal. On the Nhleko goal, Johnson absolutely exploded by Kelly Gray to run onto a throughball and then fire a shot that Thornton parried right to the feet of Nhleko. Johnson's pace and acceleration are truly impressive.

    Donovan just got himself into the MVP race with a performance that oozed class. The second goal went Donovan to Roner to Donovan to DeRosario to Donovan doing his Eddie Johnson impersonation for the goal. This just in: he's good.

    Gaven continues to impress off the dribble and also slotted a terribly creative diagonal throughball to Guevara who missed on the shot.

    Borchers was impressive against Twellman, but Twellman did get off a bunch of shots that he was unable to put on target. Whether that's rust or good defense by Borchers I don't know. But he did look good.

    Clark seems to just be a lot more polished than the 20 year old Americans that usually enter MLS. Does thigns you usually only see from veterans. Trying to adapt to wide right for the Metros.

    I think Kelly Gray is currently a midfielder doing his best in defense. He seems a lot more comfortable going forward than checking back.
  12. Tmagic77

    Tmagic77 Member+

    Feb 10, 2003
    Chicago Fire

    There were *cough* four over age players listed. Isn't it funny that you get on a guy's case for having the wrong information when you are wrong yourself?
  13. johnh00

    johnh00 Member

    Apr 25, 2001
    CT, USA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Um, no. No there aren't. Unless you are assuming(as I guess Tree did) that Lewis is Eddie Lewis and not Ricky Lewis. ;)


    What is the cutoff for u-23's birthday-wise for the Olympics? 01-01-81?

  14. Cavalier

    Cavalier Member

    Sep 9, 1999
    Was it just me or was the Crew/Metros game one of the worst MLS games this year? Not the lack of goals, but just the incredibly poor quality displayed by both teams. This was a game I was really looking forward to, but it seemed like for the first 20 minutes, not more than 30 seconds would go by before the whistle blew for a foul, making the game very disjointed and then even when it got going, the skill on display was awful.

    I watched this on tape and then immediately watched the US vs Sweden women's game and for the first time ever, I honestly thought the women's game showed more skill than the men's game I had just seen.

    Couple other questions:
    Why does Martino keep getting pulled instead of one of the others midfielders? He didn't look that gassed.

    Was this an atypical game for Clark because I know people have been touting him right now for the Nats at right mid and what I saw was a guy who other than one nice shot from outside the box, lost the ball to Brian West everytime he tried to go around him, and numerous other times to bad passes (as did seemingly most of the players).
  15. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I thought the Crew v. Metros game stunk too, and ended up thinking a lot of it had to do with that FieldTurf crap they play on: high bounces, big divots in teh field, bad bounces, uncomfortable running and cutting, bad hops, etc. Made for a really messy game.

    I thought Martino had a terrible game myself. Couldn't get in a rythym, couldn't connect with the frontrunners, couldn't play any give and gos in dangerous spots, etc. He was just taking up space, and dribbling too much IMHO.
  16. lurking

    lurking Member+

    Feb 9, 2002
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It depends on the individual field turf.. or more acurately how much sand fill and rubber fill they put in between the artificial blades. It looks like the meadowlands has a lot of both types of fill, and probably a good share of rubber making it relatively speaking much more like the old astroturf than other instalations. Hence the ball rolls fast and bounces high.

    And I agree, field conditions uglied up that game, made it extremely hard to play balls over the defense (either you hit it to slow, and its intercepted, or you hit it too hard and it is taken by the keeper). On a grass field you can hit it hard to get it past defenders and the grass will kill it making it possible for the offensive player to get to it before it goes over the line or is taken by the keeper. Overall just made the field effectively smaller and made the ball harder to control.
  17. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    1. Early in the game, Clark stripped the ball away from Kyle Martino, then sent a quick diagonal ball forward that led to a scoring chance. Perhaps it wasn't such a noticeable play, but it showed defensive technique, strength, passing control, vision, and speed of thought. Few US players can steal the ball from Martino and then immediately turn that into a numerical advantage downfield.

    2. Clark played 99 minutes in a 3-5-2 and consistently had a positive impact on the play around both boxes. Playing against him in a 4-4-2 was Brian West, who has an exceptional ability to get behind a defense. Clark did a remarkable job of thwarting West while also getting forward.

    3. Clark's passing was much better than you've stated. He was a consistent outlet from the back, and in the first half alone, he also had a nice cross that Mathis headed into the side netting, plus a quick through ball to put Lisi in against the keeper (winning a corner). He made intelligent decisions and showed the skill to be effective in the attacking third.

    You can't judge Clark's contributions from merely looking at his shooting opportunities, plus one or two attempts to dribble past a guy one-on-one.
  18. Cavalier

    Cavalier Member

    Sep 9, 1999
    OK, I guess I just had not noticed most of what you said. I have already deleted the game but will try to pay more attention to Clark the next time I get to see him.

    Although to be honest, about the only guy who looked good to me in this game was Pope. The others I was watching out for, namely any Nat or potential Nat all had dissappointing games.
  19. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    I was looking forward to watching Clark, but was also dismayed to see him get dispossessed by West over and over. He seemed to have no moves.

    And yes, the game -- except for the final goal -- stunk up the joint.
  20. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    Beasley and Gray, Open Cup vs LA [R]

    I am going to talk about last night's open cup match, which I saw in person, and the 23s, so if you don't want to see the result, don't read any further.

    Beasley has a truly phenomenal game last night in the 3-2 Fire win, with a goal and an assist. He had another goal nullified by a dubious offside call. He was all over the field, popping up left, centrally, or on the right. DMB's speed was giving LA fits all night, especially Bo, who fouled him four times, I beleive, with one meriting a yellow and the final one getting a red.

    Kelly Gray went 90 and had an excellent game as well.
  21. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Re: Beasley and Gray, Open Cup vs LA [R]

    The event log backs you up ... four Bo fouls on Beasley, all in the last 32 mins. As Peter Hirdt pointed out in one of his columns, Beasley gets more and more effective as his opponents get tired.

    In the heat of Greece in August, that's precisely the kind of player who will thrive. Thank goodness we have Beasley, Clark, and Donovan.
  22. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just have to concur that Beasley played a phenomenal game last night, by far his best game since the Gold Cup (at least the ones that I've seen).

    A thoroughly dominating performance that so upset the Korean Bo that I think he booked the next flight out on Air Korea back to Seoul.
  23. SocFanMan

    SocFanMan New Member

    Sep 25, 2003
    Any one have thoughts on some of the guys still in college - U-23's? Most are jrs and srs and I assume several will jump college after this season. I saw Wagenfuhr from Creighton play a couple times - think he could be a diamond in the rough - very talented, under-recognized by some. There are others in that same boat...
  24. Crazy_Yank

    Crazy_Yank Member

    Jan 8, 2001
    Matamoros, Mexico
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I highly doubt any college players will be considered. All the teams we'll be facing use professionals. It would be silly for us to use any amatuer players. The only college player on the 2000 squad was Conor Casey. At the time I felt he did not deserve a spot. His play justified my feelings. He has since proven to be solid pro with a big upside. At the time he was not prepared to play in the Olympics.
  25. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the defender from St. John is kind of in the pool. Adolfo Gregorio of UCLA may get a look because he can play on the right, though I think he didn't play too well the last time he was with the team. Maybe if Chad Marshal does well in Quatar and signs a pro contract.

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