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
Real Salt Lake's Colombian is tops in central D
by Ridge Mahoney, December 1st, 2010 1:20AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS]Soccer America's position-by-position rankings for the 2010 season continue as Ridge Mahoney rates the league's top center backs.

Center backs work in tandem and in different systems. Sometimes a strict zonal system is used, in other cases one player serves primarily as a marking back with the other sweeping and plugging holes as they occur. Ideally, both center backs will be reliable in the tackle and strong in the air, with at least one blessed with enough speed to run down long balls played over the top.

The players listed here rated the highest for individual performance as well as their effectiveness in the system and formation played by their teams.

Soccer America's Top 12 MLS center backs for 2010
1. JAMISON OLAVE (Real Salt Lake)
2. Drew Moor (Colorado)
3. Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake)
4. Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles)
5. Tim Ream (New York)
6. George John (FC Dallas)
7. Chad Marshall (Columbus)
8. Jason Hernandez (San Jose)
9. Jeff Parke (Seattle)
10. Ugo Ihemelu (FC Dallas)
11. Marvell Wynne (Colorado)
12. Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City)

Jamison Olave led an RSL defense that set a league record by conceding just 20 goals and led the league with 14 shutouts. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Colombian certainly has the size and strength ideal for a center back, yet he’s also reasonably fast and is seldom exposed due to a shrewd sense of anticipation. With his range he gets into tackles other center backs can’t reach, which explains somewhat his eight cautions. He’s also occasionally punished for simply overpowering players but that’s how it works in MLS, even for its Defender of the Year.

Drew Moorformed a solid pairing with ex-right back Marvell Wynne and defused numerous situations with his ability to win balls in the air and read situations quickly. Nat Borchers performed solidly all season and was a Defender of the Year finalist. Omar Gonzalezplayed with several different back-line combinations as last year’s partner, Gregg Berhalter, managed just 16 games. In another season Tim Ream could have won Rookie of the Year, so calm and poised were his performances. In just his second pro season John displayed excellent judgment (only three cautions) and ability.

Chad Marshall played sharply and cleanly much of the year but too often he and the Crew fell victim to the top teams. Jason Hernandez played outside back and in the center for a Quakes’ back line severely crimped by injuries. Jeff Parke stepped into a disassembled Sounders’ back line and steered them down the stretch. Ugo Ihemelu and Wynne were vital cogs for the two MLS Cup finalists and Conrad’s experience wasn’t enough for KC to recover from a poor run early in the season.

2010 Top Goalkeepers

2010 Top Right Backs



0 comments
  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: December 1, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.
    This is another time SA hasn't gotten it right.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Canada names team for October friendlies in Africa    
Canada named a 23-player squad that includes eight MLS players and three NASL players for upcoming ...
Under-17 Women's World Cup: Results & Schedule    
Spain's Lorena Navarro scored five goals to lead Spain to a 6-0 win over host Jordan ...
What They're Saying: Arsene Wenger    
"One day, if I'm free, why not?" -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Friday saying he ...
What They're Saying: Sam Allardyce    
"Well done! Our journey has begun with our first win together. Looking forward to seeing you ...
This week in men's college soccer    
Albert Ruiz broke a 43-year-old NCAA record for the fastest hat trick to start a game ...
USL Playoffs: Red Bulls II take best record into postseason    
Overall points leader Red Bulls II heads the USL's Eastern Conference playoff field for first-round, sinlge-elimination ...
USMNT: Seven uncapped players who might get call-ups    
Jurgen Klinsmann's only chance to look at new talent before the Hexagonal starts Nov. 11 is ...
USL Playoffs: Sac Republic FC seeks to reclaim crown    
Two Western Conference games kick off the USL playoffs on Friday in the single-elimination tournament that ...
MLS Countdown: Lots on the line for Rapids and Timbers    
The second meeting of the season between Colorado and Portland comes nearly three months after a ...
NWSL Playoffs: Thorns and Spirit open at home    
For the Portland Thorns and Washington Spirit, this weekend's semifinals will mark the first time they've ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives