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
MLS Positional Rankings: Franklin's strong finish earns nod at right back
by Ridge Mahoney, December 4th, 2012 1:57AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  los angeles galaxy, mls

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

Some fans and journalists, and a few coaches as well, lament the outside back who won’t or can’t get forward. Everybody else moans about those who can’t defend.

The outside back must be tough enough in the air to win balls lifted into his area, yet quick enough to mark the speedy flank players most teams deploy, and strong enough to win tackles. Those who can also contribute offensively by getting down the wing to center square balls or loft crosses add a valuable dimension, and teams such as San Jose, Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United fortunate enough to have such players spend a lot of time in training getting them into good spots.

San Jose, for example, will occasionally slide right back Steve Beitashour into the channel and send a teammate looping around him, rather than use the more traditional overlapping run. A few outside backs also take corner kicks and free kicks from certain areas of the field to complement the set-play possibilities, and they served enough good balls to rank among the team leaders in assists.

These rankings reflect only a player’s performance during the 2012 MLS season and are based on statistics and consistency as well as other factors, such as value for money. Not many outside backs command the big salaries, yet several provide some of the best bang for buck in MLS.

SA's Top 10 Right Backs
1. Sean Franklin (Los Angeles)
2. Steve Beitashour (San Jose)
3. Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake)
4. Andy Najar (D.C. United)
5. Jalil Anibaba (Chicago)
6. Chance Myers (Sporting KC)
7. Lee Young-Pyo (Vancouver)
8. Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia)
9. Zach Loyd (FC Dallas)
10. Kosuke Kimura (Portland)

Sean Franklin still relies a lot on his speed and struggled along with his teammates during the first half of the season. Since August, however, he’s been Shutdown Corner on the right side. He played every game, started all but one and picked up five assists while only being cautioned twice. One of those assists was a classic midfield delivery that Edson Buddle nailed into the net during a 2-2 tie with the Quakes.

Beitashour is a rugged tackler with a great cross and good pace; with a little more seasoning he’ll be a regular All-Star. Tony Beltran is a bit pricey for a domestic right back at $125,000 yet fits RSL’s formation and possession style snugly.

Andy Najar
brings guile and skill to the corner while learning the defensive demands of this position. Chance Myers quietly toils for SKC and is better on the ball than most right backs, as his seven assists attests.

Lee Young-Pyo displayed the same blazing speed and relentless energy he marshaled so well for South Korea but got a bit worn out down the stretch. Second-year pro Jalil Anibaba improved from his rookie year though he must be tougher one-v-one.

Sheanon Williams
played three or four positions for Philly in midfield along with the back line. Zach Loyd slipped a bit from the performances that had edged him into the national-team pool. Kosuke Kimura was among those players jettisoned by head coach Oscar Pareja during the Rapids makeover and found the going tough in Portland, which has just traded him to Siberia, a.k.a. the Red Bulls.



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Is Klinsmann worthy of a remarkably long tenure?    
Next month marks the fifth anniversary of Jurgen Klinsmann's tenure as USA head coach.
If the song remains the same, how can it be rewritten?    
Thumped by Argentina in a Copa America Centenario semifinal, the U.S. will nonetheless take positives from ...
Stepping on toes? That's not the solution to improving U.S. soccer    
Do you wonder what kind of advice Jurgen Klinsmann was giving his players during their loss ...
USA reaps benefits of South American opposition    
Reaching a Copa America Centenario semifinal against Argentina to be played on Tuesday is being hailed ...
USA has reason to celebrate but suspensions sure take edge off big win    
First, the good news from Thursday night in Seattle. The USA's 2-1 victory over Ecuador, which ...
Centenario group phase serves up plenty of spectacle, drama, and controversy    
When big teams like Brazil and Uruguay fell prone to lapses, other nations took advantage to ...
Guzan seizes chance for No. 1 shirt    
Seven straight games including all three at the Centenario have featured Brad Guzan in goal; he ...
Berliner John Brooks takes charge of USA's defense    
Just three years ago, John Brooks, born and raised in Berlin but the son of a ...
USA's 'musts' for Paraguay game if it isn't 'must-win'    
The Copa America Centenario results to date are mirror images of what occurred in March, when ...
May Clint Dempsey long play for the USA    
Hard to believe, but as recently as January there was speculation about whether Clint Dempsey would ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives