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
Young newcomers get off the mark fast
by Ridge Mahoney, April 12th, 2010 7:29PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  fc dallas, los angeles galaxy, mls, new england revolution

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

In the last two weeks, MLS has announced an ambitious expansion of its Designated Player option as well as more opportunities, to go along with better salaries, for young players whom teams have brought through their development programs.

In the past year, it has also signed a slew of young foreign players, many on loan, for investment as well as competitive purposes. There are three young Brazilians with the Galaxy, and while they haven’t been major contributors, they’ve not embarrassed themselves while LA has rolled up three straight shutout wins.

More DPs will get the league a lot of publicity, yet teams that load up on them and their relatively large salary cap hits will be just as dependent, if not more so, on young players who can get a good job done at a good price. The season is only three weeks old and already several players new to the league and the American pro game are showing their prowess.

For the Union’s historic first MLS game in Seattle March 25, Coach Peter Nowak rolled out all three of the teenagers he picked in the first round of the SuperDraft: No. 1 pick Danny Mwanga got a start, Amobi Okugo and Jack McInerney played the second half. Philly fell behind early, lost defender Tony Stahl to a red card late in the first half, and eventually lost, 2-0.

For the home opener Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field, Nowak only used McInerney, but he did keep 18-year-old Colombian Roger Torres in the lineup. Torres served up the cross that produced a header for Sebastian Le Toux and the first goal in team history. More veterans in the starting lineup – Fred, Stefani Miglioranzi, debutant Cristian Arrieta – and a strong game from Alejandro Moreno enabled Philly to take advantage of a shoddy and disjointed D.C. United and hit three goals by Le Toux, yet despite his youth Torres looked calm and capable in a frenzied, competitive environment.

Revs rookie Zack Schilawski strugged in his MLS debut against Los Angeles two weeks ago, but kept working to find space and link up with forward partner KheliDube. After a 1-0 defeat, Schilawski said, “It was frustrating at times. I think that once we settled in, moved the ball around, and had a little more possession, it was good.”

He started against D.C. April 3 and came off midway through the second half. His replacement, Kenny Mansally, scored twice within three minutes in a 2-0 win.

With another week of training and encouragement from Coach Steve Nicol, Schilawski – who scored 14 goals for Wake Forest as a senior and hit 40 in his four collegiate seasons -- destroyed Toronto FC with a hat trick in just his second pro game. Setting up one of his goals was 21-year-old Gambian Sainey Nyassi, whom Nicol had signed along with Mansally three years ago after the coach saw them play in the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

“You’re hoping to get some young guys who have some talent but haven’t shown it all yet, and hopefully we can give them that opportunity,” says Nicol of finding players from Africa as well as the college ranks. “The fact they are young means you can have them for a period of time. And for Central Americans and South Americans, there are only so many players available, so you have to broaden your horizons and look elsewhere.”

A pair of 22-year-olds with very different backgrounds scored two incredible goals last weekend. Guatemalan Marco Pappa hit a pulverizing shot from outside the penalty area into the top corner for Chicago’s goal in its 2-1 loss to San Jose, La Jolla Nomads and UC Santa Barbara product Eric Avila earned FC Dallas a 2-2 tie with Columbus by drilling a low shot off the inside of the post in stoppage time.

MLS is certainly a younger league than it was in its first few seasons, and more youth often means more mistakes and less polished play. Yet with the right young players alongside veterans in a viable situation, the effects can be impressive.



0 comments
  1. Duane Bolin
    commented on: April 13, 2010 at 10:38 a.m.
    McInerny did play for Philly against D.C. united. He came on in the 82d minute to replace Jacobson.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: April 13, 2010 at 11:17 a.m.
    More youth may meam more mistakes in the MLS, but for years the miscues have been blatantly evident and the game commentators on TV never touch on these inconsistencies. Add to that misery the TV game coverage which with the overabundance of camera crews has turned the game into a collage of closeups while the ball being the center of gravity disappears off the screen. Too much of anything destroys the simplicity of foootball while TV commentators suffocate the game.
  1. Daniel Oleary
    commented on: April 13, 2010 at 12:20 p.m.
    Steve Nicol has taken more players from Wake Forest and turned them into outstanding pros. He also won his 100 MLS game this week end.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Dynamo can't afford to stumble again in wake of Coyle departure    
Both former head coaches of the Houston Dynamo are natives of Scotland, and were born in ...
Il caso Giovinco: Italy's loss is MLS's gain    
Sebastian Giovinco isn't going to the Euros. Italy's loss is MLS's gain. More particularly, Toronto FC ...
Philadelphia Union embarks on its toughest stretch of games to date    
The Philadelphia Union, the Eastern Conference leader, plays in Orlando Wednesday, flies halfway across the country ...
Perry Kitchen finds a new niche in Scotland    
Perry Kitchen left MLS after five seasons though the destination turned out to be somewhat of ...
Howard leaves Everton for a much different MLS and USA    
Is the time right for Brad Guzan to take over as the U.S. No. 1? Both ...
Kamara deal shakes up stagnant Revs    
Nobody can match the production of Kei Kamara since he joined Columbus prior to the 2015 ...
Busy midweek schedules add to unique travel woes in MLS    
No MLS head coach or executive has ever praised the league's schedule-makers. Conflicts with other competitions ...
It's time for Klinsmann to go young    
At first blush, there is nothing startling about the 40-player list from which Jurgen Klinsmann will ...
NYCFC's Pirlo problem won't go away    
Jason Kreis, New York City FC's head coach for its expansion season, never came out and ...
Recent incidents sharpen focus on how video replay can improve the game    
MLS and other North American soccer leagues are awaiting specific guidelines to be issued by FIFA ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives