Newcomers Making Headlines In 2009

Newcomers Making Headlines In 2009

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 15, 2009
  • Bojan Stepanovic, Cam Weaver, David Ferreira, Eduardo Lillingston, Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero, Gerson Mayen, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Kasey Keller, MLS Newcomers, Osvaldo Alonso, Pablo Vitti, Santiago Hirsig, Sebastian Le Toux
Freddie Ljungberg and Osvaldo Alonso have been huge additions to Seattle and to MLS this year. (Getty Images)

Freddie Ljungberg and Osvaldo Alonso have been huge additions to Seattle and to MLS this year. (Getty Images)

While rookies have been doing well this year so far, so have the list of newcomers to the league that aren’t rookies. It seems like last year we talked at length about the lack of positive newcomers until the summer months when guys like Darren Huckerby came into town for the San Jose Earthquakes.

This season is far in a way different as plenty of newbies are making a positive impact on the league. Most of the list below does contain a lot of Seattle Sounder players, but there are a few others that have made similar headlines this year that aren’t in Sounder green.

The list below is really no particular order here. After a while though I will still track the newcomers to the league this season as we gear towards the end of season awards. If you see a newcomer that I failed to remember, be sure to post his name below. Again, no rookies please, they have their own watch list that will probably be updated again next week.

Freddie Ljungberg (Seattle) – As some of you know, I am part Swedish so I am a little biased on this one when I see a Swede in the league and one doing well. So far Ljungberg is playing just the way Seattle needs him to be, a strong part of the midfield and one that hits the back of the net when called to do so. Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle) – He may not light up the scoreboard this year but he could actually be the best new addition to the league. How all the clubs failed to see this guy a year ago while he was in the USL-1 with Charleston is beyond me. Funny part is several clubs passed on this Cuban after he defected to the US. He already has three assists on the year and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him tally plenty more.

Fredy Montero (Seattle) – There really isn’t much to say other than what we’ve already said about this kid. He is more than a handful and as clubs are already seeing, they need to continue to find good young talent like this kid to help grow the league.

Eduardo Lillingston (Chivas USA) – For a while now Chivas has been looking for a go-to Mexican striker and maybe they have finally found it with Lillingston. He isn’t a big name draw for those Mexican soccer fans but that may just be what this club really needed.

Gerson Mayen (Chivas USA) – When I first saw him a couple weeks ago in Dallas I was like “who the hell is this guy?” But after seeing him play in person I realized the kid has some talent behind him. He’s been a handful for other clubs on the wings and could be a big part of this Chivas club this season if they continue to play well. Hard to believe he signed with the club a year ago and we are just now seeing him play.

Kasey Keller (Seattle) – Okay red card against KC aside, Keller has been far in away one of the best pickups by any club this year. He’s proving to everyone that he still has it at his present age and that his experience is still good enough to lead a young expansion club like Seattle.

David Ferreira (Dallas) – Schellas Hyndman is slowly starting to get what he needs and wants out of his number 10. While he hasn’t done anything wonderful yet for the club you are starting to see him get use to the MLS style of play here. I would be willing to bet by the middle of the summer he will have racked up his fair share of assists to Kenny Cooper and company.

Sebastian Le Toux (Seattle) – Another USL to MLS guy that is probably making some general managers wonder why they didn’t sign before this last year. Le Toux is quickly becoming one of my favorite Sounders.

Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Seattle) – Another Sounder on the list, this one is a defender that is showing his worth so far in the league. He hasn’t done anything too flashy but for the most part he has done enough to help his club only give up one goal on the year after four games.

Santiago Hirsig (Kansas City) – Still waiting to truly see if this guy helps this club out or not this season. I am holding out belief that he will keep their offense in tact and maybe even help relieve some pressure of their defense. If that is the case we could see a playoff club in the midwest.

Pablo Vitti (Toronto) – For the most part I think Toronto would be better off if they’d get this guy more playing time. While he may not be the full answer to the Reds offensive issues, I do believe he is better than some of the forwards John Carver currently employs on the field.

Cam Weaver (San Jose) – Another player I am pretty high on here but am still waiting to really shine this season. Weaver has a goal to his name this year and I really still believe he will be a huge part of this club’s offense in 2009. Once Darren Huckerby and Arturo Alvarez figure out how tall he is Weaver should be able to get more headers in the box, and more looks in the box overall. That can only make things better for the Quakes.

Bojan Stepanovic (Chivas USA) – Not a bad debut a couple weeks ago against Dallas. First touch lead to his first shot on goal, which ended up being his first MLS goal. Yeah, not a bad start.

I know there are plenty more on the way here this season. Off the top of my head I know of a few with New England that have yet to debut (their new African players for those who wonder), Gregory Richardson in Colorado has played a little bit for Colorado, Ade Akinbiyi in Houston, the few in New York that have been talked about for months now, and probably a few others that I am failing to remember.