- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 20, 2008
- 14 Comments
In a way there is little to talk about at the moment, I am working on a couple thing that may or may not go out today. I saw some unit rankings on Sideline Views and couldn’t help but to start my own. They are worth discussing and worth doing at the moment really as clubs continue to prepare for the upcoming season.
I will start in the back and work my way forward. Today will be the keepers, just the keepers not the 10 players in front of the keepers, not the defense that helps out the keepers…just the men between the pipes, that’s all.
1. Chivas USA: Having the Keeper of the Year for 2007 helps in this department. Brad Guzan is really above most of the keepers in this league on class alone and it doesn’t hurt that he may not be in a Chivas kit too much longer. If I had to start a MLS club today Guzan would be my first choice for keeper. Though when he does leave Chivas will more than likely drop all the way to the bottom of this list, so yes, that is how good Guzan is and what he means for the Goats.
2. Houston: He may be getting older but Pat Onstad still has some juice left in the tank. Two straight MLS Cup title sure says a lot about how good of a keeper he is, not to mention the ridiculous goals against average he put up last season.
3. San Jose: Yes, the Quakes are close to the to of this list on depth in the keeper spot alone. Joe Cannon and Preston Burpo are a great pair in the back but we all know it is Cannon’s job to lose, which will not happen anytime soon. San Jose didn’t add depth in other places but took care of the back of the line up first, which isn’t a horrible idea really.
4. New England: Matt Reis is probably the most dependable keeper in the league. Also you won’t see him called into action on the US National team front too much unlike Guzan and even Onstad with Canada. That’s not a plus for him but it is a plus for the Revs and the Revs fans out there.
5. Colorado: Bouna Coundoul came onto the scene last year and really took me by surprise, and a lot of other people too for that matter. After seeing action in this year’s African Nations Cup, you can believe that Bouna Time will be all the time this year for the Rapids. And honestly I can’t wait, Bouna is one of my favorite keepers in the league right now.
6. FC Dallas: Maybe its a homer move on my part but I really feel that Dallas has solid depth in the keeper area. Dario Sala is a good veteran and Ray Burse Jr., is coming along and will probably start more than Sala this season. They do have their moments of not-so-good-stuff but I think their brighter moments overshadow those bad ones. Plus I like the addition of Generation adidas player Josh Lambo.
7. DC United: Zack Wells has been waiting a while to prove himself in the MLS and I really think he will be able to do just that for DC this year. Jose Carvallo is a nice and promising backup for the time being. It will be interesting to see if Carvallo steps up and pushes Wells enough for that starting gig.
8. Real Salt Lake: Yes Nick Rimando isn’t the keeper of the future for this club (that nod goes to Chris Seitz), but he did come through enough last season late to really make me think he still has enough in the tank to put this club into the playoff fold this year. Crazy I know.
9. Columbus: A typical spot for the Crew in recent years, the always changing keeper left many, including myself, confused to which keeper would be starting the next game. Will Hesmer seemed to break away from that mold late last year and should be able to continue starting this season. With an aged defense I don’t know if that speaks well for him for not.
10. Kansas City: Kevin Hartman gave up a lot of goals last season, then again so did the entire KC team. But Hartman is still a pretty solid keeper even though he isn’t nearly the keeper that he was three or four years ago. I think the trade from LA was smart on the Galaxy because they knew he was aging and aging fast.
11. New York: Jon Conway stepped up once the ol’ Dutch went down last year and will pretty much be the number one this season. Thing is he still isn’t a number one type of keeper in my opinion.
12. Chicago: Jon Busch is the same as Jon Conway, they spell their name with no ‘H’ and they both are not quality enough to be a number one. Thing with the Fire is they really don’t have much behind him in terms of experience. Nick Noble isn’t really ready to start a MLS game and either is Dominic Cervi.
13. LA: Steve Cronin is one of those keepers that has been waiting for years to get his chance and he should be good enough to do it but there are still a lot of question marks surrounding him. I think the Galaxy will be better than this ranking in terms of how Cronin does this year but if he does down they have no one at all to fill the role between the pipes.
14. Toronto: Sadly the Reds fall here to the bottom of my list. Greg Sutton is a solid keeper but injuries kept him out a lot of last year and that worries me for this season. They draft Brian Edwards in the SuperDraft but I can bet he is nowhere near ready to start. But if they get Josh Wagenaar they could be fit to move well up this list…to maybe number 10!