Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America 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
Jewsbury leads strong crop of central mids
by Ridge Mahoney, December 12th, 2011 10:32PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[BEST OF MLS 2011: Central midfielders] The men who play in the middle of field often dictate the outcomes of games, and among those players absolutely essential to their teams, Portland's Jack Jewsbury gave the expansion Portland Timbers everything he had.

SA's Top 10 Central Midfielders

1. Jack Jewsbury (Portland)
2. Juninho (Los Angeles)
3. Shalrie Joseph (New England)
4. Will Johnson (Real Salt Lake)
5. Geoff Cameron (Houston)
6. Daniel Hernandez (FC Dallas)
7. Brad Evans (Seattle)
8. Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado)
9. Ben Zemanski (Chivas USA)
10. Khari Stephenson (San Jose)

This category is a smorgasbord of differing types, alike primarily by their dual responsibilities in attack and defense. Not all of them bear those burdens equally well and so their ranking in part is determined by their effectiveness in whatever system they play, and also their ability to adapt when the game situation requires a change in their roles. Players not included here may have been classified as attacking midfielders or holding mids.

While these players sometimes are attacking catalysts, they are also given a large share of defensive duties. They are the two-way players who fill vital roles in the spine of a team.

Jewsbury’s inspirational performances as the Timbers’ captain nearly carried them into the playoffs, and had he a more consistent lineup around him Portland’s first year in MLS would have included a postseason showing. He led the team with eight assists and finished second in scoring with seven goals.

Juninho served as a distributor in the Galaxy attack when he wasn’t taking a long-range crack at goal or bottling up the middle. His poise and maturity gave the champion valuable time in possession to either build an attack or play keep-away.

Joseph’s eight goals topped the Revs as they missed the playoffs for the second season in a row; they parted ways with Coach Steve Nicol but signed Joseph to a new contract as a Designated Player.

Johnson’s two-way play gives RSL a midfield stability few teams in MLS can match, and the team’s diamond midfield often requires him to cover a lot of ground. Before being moved into the back line for the final portion of the season, Cameron’s midfield work complemented playmaker Brad Davis. Hernandez anchored the FCD midfield and picked his spots to get into the attack in the absence of David Ferreira. Evans fought through injuries (20 games, 17 starts) to score five goals and register five assists working box-to-box.

The pairing of Larentowicz and Pablo Mastroeni didn’t mesh as smoothly as did during the championship season of 2011 and Larentowicz is probably as surprised as anyone to lead the team with seven goals. Zemanski took on more defensive duties in the second half of the season and proved his value sufficiently to start 23 of his 28 appearances. Stephenson (five goals, four assists) tormented teams on the ball as well as trying to win it, and gave the Quakes some steel in midfield.

(These rankings are based on what a player did for his team in league and playoff games in 2011; other competitions or past seasons are not considered.)



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
An excellent goal-line clearance     
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Cruzeiro managed to earn a 1-1 tie with Palmeiras thanks to ...
Woodwork can't hold down USA     
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] About the only thing that stood in the way of the U.S. women's ...
Fire goes out with late win over Houston    
[MLS: Friday] Frenchman Florent Sinama-Pongolle made sure Chicago did not finish the MLS season with another ...
James' skills highlight Real Madrid pre-clasico practice    
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] The Real Madrid-Barcelona clasico delivers entertainment even before kickoff. Here's a 40-second peek ...
What They're Saying: Luis Suarez    
"Everyone has different ways of defending themselves. In my case, the pressure and tension came out ...
Ft. Lauderdale is ready for challenge against red-hot Eddies    
[NASL: Week 16] Minnesota United FC and the 2013 champion New York Cosmos played to a ...
Finlay signs new deal with Columbus    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] For helping drive Columbus into the playoffs after a two-year absence, midfielder Ethan Finlay ...
Referee suspended after felony arrest on fraud charges    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Referee Jose Carlos Rivero, who has worked 17 MLS matches in 2014, has been ...
Wambach nominated for Women's Player of the Year    
[AWARDS] Abby Wambach, who leads the U.S. women with 10 goals but is no longer a ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Thursday] Seyi Adekoya teamed up with fellow freshman Chase Gasper to break a 1-1 tie ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives