Rookies Playing Well Early

Rookies Playing Well Early

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 8, 2009
  • 4 Comments
  • Chris Pontius, Darrius Barnes, Graham Zusi, Kevin Alston, Omar Gonzalez, Rookie Watch, Sam Cronin, Stefan Frei, Steve Zakuani

I will be honest, this rookie class is already far and away better than it’s older brother from a season ago. Instead of digging deep to get a rookie of the year like we did last year it seems like we will have a true race once again this season between maybe four or five guys.

Its early so far but its worth going in to see who has the best shot after the first couple weeks.

So far this won’t be in any particular order but if you have an order to who you think is leading the rookie pack this early feel free to post below. If you think a rookie needs to be on this list, just post below.

Steve Zakuani, Seattle Sounders FC – I think we are all seeing why this kid was picked first by Seattle back in January. And to think we had some questions about Seattle not picking him and trading away that top pick. Right now I think it is safe to say that the number one pick could be the leader in the clubhouse after three games. His one goal and one assist have helped lead the Sounders to their perfect record thus far.

Stefan Frei, Toronto FC – The record may not show and now that he is back on the bench will possibly hurt his chances but Frei definitely showed he was the best keeper in this rookie class. The three goals scored on him were more defensive problems than poor positioning on his part. Not many keepers would save those two goals by Davy Arnuad in week one.

Graham Zusi, Kansas City Wizards – While Zusi hasn’t done anything real special so far for KC he did carry a starting position for the first couple of games. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up.

Kevin Alston, New England Revolution – Alston is one of two New England rookies to watch. He didn’t play this past week against Dallas but I look for him to be a mainstay (when healthy) for New England this year on their backline. I just thought in week one he did a great job of holding guys like Darren Huckerby and Arturo Alvarez to no goals.

Darrius Barnes, New England Revolution – Barnes is the other rookie for Steve Nicol. I think Barnes has been possibly the more impressive defender rookie so far this season in the entire league. Think about it, the Revs have only given up two goals in three games with rookies in their backline. It could be part poor offense on the other clubs but I would argue its a bit good defense on the parts of guys like Barnes.

Omar Gonzalez, LA Galaxy – The kid from Maryland has one impressive goal but that is about it really. He looked decent in the first game against DC but was absolutely smoked by Conor Casey and Colorado last week. I still think he will be one of the top rookies this year though.

Sam Cronin, Toronto FC – He hasn’t been a main starter just yet for TFC but he is getting plenty of minutes so far this season. I think he has the chance to be a real difference maker for this club this season. We just need to see more out of him here, that’s all.

Chris Pontius, DC United – Some hated this draft pick back in January, I think it is safe to say now that those who hated it aren’t quite as angry at it now. Pontius has been a steady addition to DC this season.

  • djking2

    I really haven't seen enough of NER to comment but what I saw of Zusi in that first game makes me wonder about his inclusion here. If Cronin's impact on the field hasn't won him a place in the starting XI Carver should be replaced. Do you think with both Montero and Ljungberg available Zakuani starts? He sure looks like the real deal.

  • djking2

    I really haven’t seen enough of NER to comment but what I saw of Zusi in that first game makes me wonder about his inclusion here. If Cronin’s impact on the field hasn’t won him a place in the starting XI Carver should be replaced. Do you think with both Montero and Ljungberg available Zakuani starts? He sure looks like the real deal.

  • joel es latest socce

    In your WVH Hot list under the Rookie of the year watch you should add Zakuani. The list idea is great btw.

  • In your WVH Hot list under the Rookie of the year watch you should add Zakuani. The list idea is great btw.