- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On September 29, 2009
- 10 Comments
- Best XI 2009, Evening Links and Thoughts, MLS Vancouver
First of all, let me say sorry for the lack of updates this week. I’ve gone into full site design mode here for this place and for another couple project that I am working on for other folks.
And on that note I will also be heading out of town early this weekend for a long weekend in Austin for the Austin City Limits music festival. Fear not the weekend picks will still go on but expect nothing more on Friday. Monday will also be a light day for me too as I will probably be traveling back from Austin. If you plan on being in Austin and at the festival be sure to send me a message on Twitter.
Now back to today’s program. I wanted to discuss a couple items that caught my attention today while I was working on things. First of which comes out of Vancouver and has similar lines from yesterday’s links and thoughts about youth systems here around the country and in Canada.
Vancouver Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi talked with L.E. Eisenmenger about the Whitecaps youth development system. From the looks of things and how Lenarduzzi talked this system could end up being the best in MLS when the Whitecaps join the league in 2011.
For those who do not know the Whitecaps have a residency program that is unlike any others in the league right now. I know this is probably close to what every club in MLS is trying to get to and will more than likely be at soon enough.
The Whitecaps residency program was funded by owner Greg Kerfoot. It houses, trains, and educates 15, 16, and 17 year-old players from as far away as Jamaica and Eastern Canada. Unlike the MLS academies, the players in the residency program won’t be able to go to a NCAA program as it forfeits their amateur status. But on the flip side Eisenmenger says the club has already sold one of it’s youth players to a German side for a transfer fee.
From the sound of things Vancouver is already got a leg up on the rest of the teams in MLS when it comes to things like this.
Vancouver is already prepping for their move from USL-1 to MLS. The player end of things won’t really get any attention until towards the end of next year but look for them to be just like Seattle in bringing a few USL players along when they join MLS.
KC Stadium Site Update
Down the Byline posted earlier some photos of the new stadium site for the Kansas City Wizards. Right now it is tough to tell what the place really will look like with a soccer stadium and the site does look a little small in the photos.
Best XI Thoughts:
I saw this article earlier on ESPN about the league’s best XI so far this year. Ballots aren’t out for these things yet but they are worth talking about here. My initial thought about a best XI is this and you can post yours below too if you’d like:
Using the league’s usual 3-5-2 format (which is what they used last year for voting):
G: Zach Thornton (Chivas)
D: Geoff Cameron (Houston)
D: Wilman Conde (Chicago)
D: Frankie Hejduk (Columbus)
M: Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus)
M: Landon Donovan (LA)
M: Shalrie Joseph (New England)
M: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle)
M: Brad Davis (Houston)
F: Conor Casey (Colorado)
F: Jeff Cunningham (Dallas)
Okay, this just made me realize that voting for this won’t be easy at all this year. Defensively and keeper wise it wasn’t tough at all though you could make a case for someone like Jimmy Conrad. Midfield wise you could throw out Columbus’ Robbie Rogers, Toronto’s Dwayne De Rosario, Chicago’s Blanco, and RSL’s Kyle Beckerman. Up top it’s hard to leave out both Colorado’s Omar Cummings and Seattle’s Fredy Montero but Casey will certainly get the nod over his teammate based on his 15 goals (or however many goals he ends up with this year). The case for Montero over Casey or Cunningham is a tough one as well but a lot of folks will vote goals over anything else.