- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 6, 2008
- 4 Comments
- Andy Iro, Brek Shea, Chance Myers, Geoff Cameron, Juluis James, Justin Bruan, Major League Soccer, Rookie Watch, Sean Franklin, Shea Salines
It has been a couple weeks since I posted anything on Major League Soccer’s rookie class for 2008. I decided to go away from the week-by-week account of the rookies and do this once or twice a month because this season, unlike many in previous years, is harder to judge the rookie talent due to the influx of foreign talent in the league.
The amount of young talent in the league right now is probably at an all-time high. But in terms of rookie play, it is probably near the low levels that it has ever been at in the league’s history. But rest assured the home grown talent is still in the league thanks to the rookie class. We are just having to wait a little longer this year for rookies to step up and emerge as top players in this league.
I saw this because right now only one rookie has scored a goal here this season. Houston’s Geoff Cameron scored in week two against FC Dallas for the rookie class’s lone goal of the year. Yup, this time last year we had a couple rookies in the score books. Kansas City’s Michael Harrington scored just three minutes into his debut, and by month’s end, then-Los Angeles forward Robbie Findley also tallied a goal.
EDIT: Completely forgot about Chicago’s rookie Stephen King’s goal this past week…so there has been two rookies with goals.
The rookie play early last season was talked about more to keep people interested while they were waiting on the likes of David Beckham and Blanco to join the league.
But as tough as things have been, six weeks into the year there are a few guys that are breaking through the cracks in my eyes. Injuries may have played a part and still are for some guys here this season but I think before long some of those top picks will break out and really justify their pick in the draft.
Keep in mind this list is in NO particular order. Give me a few more weeks and I will have a true top five here for the rookie of the year watch list.
- Justin Braun (Chivas USA) – Due to injuries this kid has seen some solid play already this season at the striker spot with Maykel Galindo and on the wings. He’s big, raw and has plenty of potential here. If he can get his shots more on target we could see another stellar Chivas rookie on our hands.
- Geoff Cameron (Houston) – Has the one goal so he has to get mentioned as still in the running here in the early going. He saw time early due to injuries and suspensions but lately hasn’t since some key players have returned. But you have to believe that Dominic Kinnear knows he scored a big time late goal against Dallas. Coaches don’t forget things like that.
- Chance Myers (KC) – This kid is showing us he was well worth the top pick for KC. He has some of the best pace for a defender in the league right now but too bad his decent play has been overshadowed by a couple losses in recent weeks by his club.
- Sean Franklin (LA) (above left)- Right now he may be the top rookie playing. With the lack of quality play in defense for LA, Franklin may be the one consistent part that is playing well for the Galaxy. His speed and passing has helped out but like Myers the defense around him over shadows his actual play on the field.
- Danleigh Boreman (NY) – Possibly a poor man’s Dane Richards is Boreman. Plenty of speed on the wing in place of Richards, while he was recovering from injury. I love the pace this kid has but a couple things he has to work on his is crosses, his defense and his striking. I saw him against Dallas and he had a number of chances that he missed badly over the bar or wide of the goal.
Guys that still have some time to break into the list:
- Stephen King (Chicago) – Scored against New England, I believe he will easily start to get some serious consideration here in the coming weeks.
- Patrick Nyarko (Chicago) – Same goes for Nyarko, who just joined the Fire’s senior squad this past week. He will eventually break into the starting line up before long here.
- Andy Iro (Columbus) – He has seen some action already for the Crew but not enough to make any real judgments about here. I think he will continue to get solid playing time this summer. The Crew may need it too if anyone goes down.
- Brek Shea (Dallas) – Loads of potential here. Once he gets more time this summer we will see why the Hoops were so high on this kid.
- Dan Stratford (DC) – With the way things have gone in DC this year, one has to believe that Stratford will continue to get his time on the field. He didn’t have a great showing in Salt Lake City but he does have the talent to get back in the lineup.
- Roger Espinoza (Kansas City) – Some people are high on this kid but I’m not really one of them. He does have the ability to make the Wizards a better club but some clumsy fouls have caused just the opposite in recent weeks.
- Shea Salines (San Jose) – Salines has the pace and the potential but really has to work on his striking and ball control in order to move into serious discussion here for Rookie of the Year. Yeah that missed goal against Chicago still stings and has left a bad taste in my mouth.
- Julius James (Toronto) – He is finally healthy here so I have to believe the it is only a matter of time that we will see him as a starter in the Toronto lineup. I’ve seen enough of this kid over the past couple of years to understand that he has plenty of talent and ability to make Toronto’s defense much better.