- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 21, 2008
- 4 Comments
Part two of four…or five…before leading up to the first team power rankings of the 2008 season.
This morning I will focus in on the defense for teams. Its the main collective bunch of defenders on the team, not including midfielders and forwards who play defense when they have to on the field. If that makes any sense what so ever.
I pretty much ranked the defense in terms of which club I would take over the next. Some are questionable, I know, but at the end it came down to who I would take over who in terms of defense if it came down to having to draft a set of defenders for a new club or something like that.
Feel free to open up the discussion on it as you all did yesterday. I got a few good emails on the keepers so keep it coming.
1. Houston: They aren’t the two-time champions for nothing here. Add in Bobby Boswell and this could be a very strong bunch for the upcoming season. In fact they could be better than last season’s bunch who lead the league in goals-against. Scary to think that really but with the lack of forwards right now the Orange need a strong defense.
2. New England: Even though last year was technically a down year in defense for Steve Nicol’s defense it was still better than most and they got to another MLS Cup. Michael Parkhurst is the best in the league in the middle and seeing them add Chris Albright and they should be fine again this year.
3. Chivas USA: Another solid bunch from last year that shouldn’t change a whole lot this season. Injuries could slow them down but with a leader like Claudio Suarez in the back, I think the Goats will be just as good as last year in the new season.
4. Colorado: The Rapids did get something right last year in some of the deals that they made and move forward to today and they are still making good steps in the back to make sure that Bouna Coundoul is safe. I love the trade for Jose Burciaga Jr. to go with Facundo Erpen, Mike Petke and Ugo Ihemelu; this club should be good again in defense…which means they will continue to play that lovely style of Fernando Clavijo soccer that we all love.
5. DC United: A very interesting bunch, I do like the additions of the two Gonzalo’s to go with a fairly stable core from last year.
6. Toronto: I really liked Toronto’s draft this year, getting Julian James was a huge pick for them, plus I think their defense was slightly underrated last year, it was their midfield that was terrible and their keeper situation. Things are looking up with a youthful but experienced defense in Toronto.
7. San Jose: The strength is in the back with the new Quakes, we all know that. Nick Garcia is going to be the leader of the bunch and getting Ramiro Corrales is a big plus I think going into an expansion season.
8. Chicago: Some will rate this club higher on defense but I still have doubts about them. They have good veterans in the back but the situation surrounding Wilham Conde concerns me about this bunch. Plus, they weren’t that great last season if you really think about it. I think we will see the Chicago defense that we saw between May and July here this year and not the one we saw from August to October.
9. FC Dallas: Davino is slow, we know that but he does add leadership. Dallas loses Gbandi and Goodson but I think that is a good thing for the Hoops. Drew Moor has to step up though this season, along with guys like Alex Yi and Aaron Pitchkolen. Dallas bulked up the midfield and got younger in terms of the future of the club this off season but I don’t think they did enough to correct their defense.
10. New York: I am curious to see how Juan Carlos Osorio handles another shaky bunch of defenders. If it is anything like what we saw late in the season with Chicago than I could rate this club higher, but I doubt that will happen. Conde would be a good addition but the Red Bulls did nothing this off season to really interest me.
11. Columbus: The Crew is either really young or getting too old. That isn’t a good thing either. They are still in line to sign a couple defenders, one from Brazil if I am not mistaken which could help. Still, some young guns need to step up in a big way this year.
12. Real Salt Lake: They did address their defensive depth this off season but will Ian Joy and Nat Borchers really be enough? Maybe, this is a club that could really be rated as high as six or seven right now if we only knew what they were capable of at the moment with the new players. For now they will be down here until we know more for sure about them. Its only fair.
13. LA Galaxy: A real toss up for me between the Galaxy and the Wizards for the worst defense in the league. LA has more veterans so they beat out a bunch of young guys in my book. I like the addition of Vanney to go with Abel Xavier and also the addition of Celestine Babayaro could help. Still they are old…all of them. That can’t be good. Don’t get a big head Galaxy fans, your defense didn’t beat KC out by much in my mind.
14. Kansas City: I know the KC readers out there will disagree with me on this but I recall a club last year that was terrible on defense. Please spare me the Toronto and LA was worse, the Reds had an excuse in being an expansion club and LA has Alexi Lalas to blame. What does the Wizards have to blame? Really nothing, they got younger and I understand that kind of a move but other than Conrad, I hardly trust any of the defenders out there for KC right now. Maybe those new kits will help them out…I dunno.