Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Where are the rookies?
by Paul Kennedy, April 15th, 2008 10:12AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] Major League Soccer isn't like American leagues such as the NFL and NBA, which have ready-made stars emerge from their drafts each year.

The lack of young impact players is the most glaring weakness of American soccer, leaving MLS clubs to struggle to make use of the annual player draft.

For evidence, one needs to look no further than the first round of the MLS SuperDraft. To date, eight of the 14 players taken in the first round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft have yet to play while three other players have played a combined 27 minutes.

The only first-round picks to have started so far are Kansas City's Chance Myers (No. 1 pick) and Roger Espinoza (No. 11) -- who have made one start apiece -- and Sean Franklin (No. 4), who has started the last two games for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Indeed, the Wizards and Galaxy are the only teams to make big use of the 2008 SuperDraft.

Kansas City's Jonathan Feathers (No. 25 pick) leads all players with 270 minutes of action.

The Galaxy, starved for talent to play alongside DPs David Beckham and Landon Donovan, have started three rookies the last two weeks -- Ely Allen, taken with the No. 21 pick, Brendon McDonald, taken at No. 46, and Franklin.

Allen and McDonald rank second and third among all SuperDraft picks with 225 minutes and 212 minutes of action, respectively, after three weeks.

New York midfielder Luke Sassano(No. 32 pick) is the only rookie to have played every minute for his new team.

The only goal from a player taken in the SuperDraft has come from Houston's Geoff Cameron, taken with the No. 42 pick.

It is too early to tell whether this will go down as one of the weakest first-year classes in MLS history, but it is clear that it is harder for rookies to break into MLS.

Playing time for first-round draft picks was also slim in 2006 and 2007: less than half of them (12 of 25) played in the first three weeks of their rookie seasons.

MLS's increasing reliance on foreign players is a major factor.

In this past weekend's seven games, 33 percent of the starters were imports -- foreigners who come to the United States or Canada to play in MLS or college. In the comparable weekend five years ago, the percentage of import starters was only 15 percent.

2008 MLS SuperDraft, Round 1
PICK/TEAM PLAYER (COLLEGE) 2008 ACTION
1 Kansas City-Chance Myers (UCLA) 135 minutes

2 FC Dallas-Brek Shea (U-17 National Team)0 minutes
3 Real Salt Lake-Anthony Beltran (UCLA) 7 minutes
4 Los Angeles-Sean Franklin (Cal State Northridge) 180 minutes
5 Colorado-Ciaran O'Brien (UC Santa Barbara) 19 minutes
6 Columbus-Andy Iro (UC Santa Barbara) 1 minute
7 Chicago-Patrick Nyarko (Virginia Tech) 0 minutes
8 FC Dallas-Josh Lambo (U-17 National Team) 0 minutes
9 Toronto FC-Julius James (Connecticut) 0 minutes
10 Toronto FC-Pat Phelan (Wake Forest) 0 minutes
11 Kansas City-Roger Espinoza (Ohio State) 110 minutes
12 Chicago-Dominic Cervi (Tulsa) 0 minutes
13 New England-Rob Valentino (San Francisco) 0 minutes
14 Real Salt Lake-David Horst (Old Dominion)0 minutes
(Action through April 13.)



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Arbroath FC chairman John Christison    
"Our thanks to Guinness for clearing that up, that's tremendous news. We would probably have had ...
USA-Ecuador: Nagbe makes it a feel-good friendly    
It felt at times as if one were watching a scrimmage, the USA-Ecuador Copa Centenario preparation ...
MLS Week 13: Results & Standings    
The Philadelphia Union played Orlando City to a 2-2 tie at Camping World Stadium in front ...
What They're Saying: Mike Francesa    
"I know I get accused of knowing nothing about soccer, and I don't, I know absolutely ...
USA-Ecuador International Friendly Player Ratings    
Halftime subs Bobby Wood and Darlington Nagbe revived a sluggish U.S. attack and in the final ...
What They're Saying: Garth Lagerwey    
"I'd like to stay focused on the performance of the team. Obviously, for all of us, ...
MLS Countdown: Voids in Crew and Impact backlines    
In terms of severity, the knee injury suffered by Columbus centerback Gaston Sauro last weekend in ...
MLS: Coyle departs Houston Dynamo    
Owen Coyle is the first coaching casualty of the MLS season. The Houston Dynamo, last in ...
Roster: U.S. U-23 women head to Nordic Cup    
The U.S. U-23 women's national team, coached by Janet Rayfield, will face Sweden (June 2), Norway ...
Rampone's U.S. Olympic hopes fade    
Christie Rampone, whose 311 caps are second all-time behind Kristine Lilly's 354, pulled out of the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives