Monday, June 20, 2011

Quick football thoughts...

- MLS is heating up this season and I've selected my early season MVP favorites. Now, I already know neither of these two will win as I'm sure every MLS writer hacks will select Landon Donovan or the next obvious person. I've noticed over the years the voters tend to not dig to far to find the league's MVP. But my two picks thus far as FC Dallas' Brek Shea who has had a breakout season following his failed move to central defender and the injury to David Ferriera, and Portland's Jack Jewsbury.

Shea has six goals and one assist in 15 matches, and (maybe) half of those matches he was in defense. Since moving back to the wide position for FCD he has really broken out and been a vital part to the resurgence of FCD. Helping them climb to second in the west after a terrible start. I still this he would be an excellent target striker.

My second MLS MVP pick is Portland's Jack Jewsbury. Through 14-matches Jewsbury has scored four goals and assisted on four more. He has had his hand in eight of the teams 16-goals. Not a bad stat and he is an important reason the Timbers are fighting for a playoff spot. I still feel he was the wrong player for Sporting KC to trade, but a brilliant job of scouting by the Timbers.

Neither of these men will win the MVP, though Shea has a better shot than Jewsbury since he is on the cusp of the national team. These two are definately the most important players to their teams, and are the reason their teams are contending. Without them neither of these teams are the same.

- In non-MLS news, finally, it seems Udinese's Alexis Sanchez will sign for Barcelona for around $50 million. A fantastic young player, but I'm confused to where and how he will fit into the team. He plays a similar role to that of Lionel Messi, and I can see this being a similar move to what Barca did with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2009-2010. Barca has been looking for cover for their stars and Sanchez could be just that; but he seems like an expensive cover player. Barca already has Javier Mascherano, Ibrahim Affalley and Bojan who cannot get regular football. Is this an embarassment of riches or a team that is spending too much money on squad players?

- I've read a lot of reports about the USA doing well and having a fighting spirit, etc and so forth during the current Gold Cup. But excuse me, but this is the USA the second best (or first) team in CONCACAF. I expect this team to roll over anyone and everyone that is not Mexico in this group. I'm not sure why we're giving Bob Bradley and this squad a pass as they should be expected to be in the final against Mexico regardless of the team that is put in front of them. I'm in favor of replacing Bradley as well. Not because I dislike him,  but I don't feel one coach should get two World Cup cycles. It keeps the players fresh and brings in new ideas. I'm in favor of one Dominic Kinnear actually, but that's just me.

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