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
NWSL Weekend: Press out-duels Solo in Red Stars' win    
Christen Press scored two goals, including the stoppage-time golazo that was the winner, and added an ...
MLS Saturday: FC Dallas-Toronto FC, a game of two days    
Some games are a tale of two halves. FC Dallas-Toronto FC was a tale of two ...
NASL Weekend: Cosmos draw sellout for shutout win    
The New York Cosmos a drew their largest home crowd since returning to the NASL in ...
USL Friday: Switchbacks romp in snow storm    
An April snow storm socked the Rockies on Friday night, but it couldn't stop the Colorado ...
MLS Friday: Red Bulls set standard high    
The New York Red Bulls remained unbeaten with a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes ...
What They're Saying: Dominic Kinnear    
"Us passing to them didn't help." -- San Jose coach Dominic Kinnear on what made the ...
USA-Mexico watched by almost 4.5 million fans    
Wednesday's USA-Mexico game averaged almost 4.5 million viewers on Spanish-language networks UniMas and UDN and Fox ...
NWSL Weekend: Sky Blue FC aims to extend streak    
It's a big weekend for pro soccer in the New York metropolitan area. New York City ...
NASL Weekend: Cosmos greats return for Raul home debut    
The New York Cosmos open their third season at home on Saturday, and they'll have special ...
USL Thursday: Sounders 2 fall, Rhinos impress on road    
Sounders FC 2, one of three unbeaten and untied teams in the USL, dropped its first ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives