Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Beckerman edges Alonso as No. 1 holding mid
by Ridge Mahoney, December 12th, 2011 1:50AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

[BEST OF MLS 2011: Holding midfielders] A return to the national team is one offshoot of Kyle Beckerman's strong play for Real Salt Lake, which relies on him to play a deep-lying yet active role in its diamond midfield.

SA's Top 10 Holding Midfielders
1. Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)
2. Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle)
3. Adam Moffat (Houston)
4. Julio Cesar (Sporting Kansas City)
5. Brian Carroll (Philadelphia)
6. Logan Pause (Chicago)
7. Teemu Tainio (New York)
8. Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado)
9. Clyde Simms (D.C. United)
10. Simon Elliott (Chivas USA)

Screening the back line, plugging up gaps, winning tackles, sweeping up loose balls, and playing smart, accurate passes to unmarked teammates are vital aspects of successful play that often go unnoticed, or at least, unappreciated. Holding mids are not always so designated yet in most games it’s not hard to spot which players are filling that role.

Since Alonso came to MLS along with Seattle in 2009, he’s taken a place among the league’s best at this position. Beckerman is more adept at getting the attack going (nine assists) with his passing and both he and Alonso pack a powerful shot they occasionally unleash. They are tough, strong tacklers highly valued for their ability to win second balls and defuse dangerous situations with clearances. Beckerman doesn’t foul as much as Alonso, who can also be careless with the ball in his defensive third. Beckerman also took over some set-play duties in the absence of playmaker Javi Morales for a large part of the season.

By acquiring Moffat from Portland and pairing him with Luiz Camargo the Dynamo strengthened its spine for a strong finish that landed a spot in MLS Cup. The Scotsman brought a feistiness that had been sorely missed. Julio Cesar played a lot of centerback but once established in midfield he anchored SKC’s march to the Eastern Conference title, and provided a foundation for steady service to its three-man front line.

Carroll brought his eight years of experience and two titles with D.C. United and Columbus to strengthen a Union midfield that often changed its parts and relied on him for stability. The same was true for Pause as the Fire tinkered and tweaked its personnel before mounting a late-season charge that fell narrowly short of the playoffs. Hot-and-cold performances riddled the Red Bulls, for which Tainio provided an honest, heady effort in most of his 28 appearances.

Mastroeni notched four assists while often leaving the more active offensive role to teammate Jeff Larentowicz. He played 30 games before concussion aftereffects took him out of the lineup. Simms is the quintessential holding mid and United’s attacking struggles in the final month and a half laid a heavy workload on him. Elliott’s solid, steady play bolstered Chivas USA’s midfield before injuries and fatigue caught up with him late in the season.



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: Soccer meets 'Game of Thrones'     
Does Brek Shea look like Brienne of Tarth? Lionel Messi like Bran Stark? You can be ...
What They're Saying: Jozy Altidore    
"I want to apologize to our fans and my teammates. Emotion got the best of me ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"He used some verbal words. I asked the ref, obviously -- I told the players at ...
Injured Player? Take Safe Steps in the Return-To-Play Decision    
One of the toughest decisions in youth sports is determining when a player who has suffered ...
ESPN2's MLS viewership hits low with Fire game    
For the second straight week, the Chicago Fire drew the lowest viewership for an MLS game ...
Sounders 2 forward Jones named USL Player of the Week    
Seattle Sounders Homegrown signing Darwin Jones was named the USL Player of the Week for the ...
TV Report: MLS adds to international presence    
After deals with Sky Sports (Britain) and Eurosport (Europe), Major League Soccer has signed agreements with ...
USA-Switzerland Player Ratings     
The USA tied Switzerland, 1-1, in Zurich on Tuesday. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann's team took a 1-0 ...
U.S. U-23s fall to Denmark's U-23s    
The U.S. under-23 national team finished with a split of its two games on its European ...
MLS Trade Central: NYCFC adds young Norwegian keeper    
Norwegian goalkeeper Eirik Johansen, who spent time with New York City FC in preseason, has been ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives