Tuesday, August 08, 2006

MLS Player Ratings for match vs Chelsea

Captain Jaime Moreno leads the victory celebration after the win over Chelsea.

From ESPN.com

A year ago a similar squad of the top players in MLS was ambushed 5-0 by Real Madrid. This year MLS defeated EPL champ Chelsea 1-0. This particular squad had less stars than the team that was humiliated last year but had far more role players willing to work together and hold their shape against a relentless Chelsea attack. The result was a historic shutout victory for the league.

Troy Perkins 6

Steady. Wasn't really tested.

Joe Cannon 8

Superb work including game saving save on Arjen Robben's late strike, and then John Terry's stoppage time effort.

Jimmy Conrad 6

Went toe to toe with Drogba early. Showed fire and determination. Conrad's physical play surprised Chelsea though as the first half wore on Drogba seemed to get the better of him.

Eddie Robinson 7

Saved the game with a last second clearance on Erpen's tackle. Good to see Robinson whose career has been hijacked by injuries playing at a high level again.

Joshua Gros 7

Another classy performace from a DC player. Gros pushed the ball early down the flanks while DeRossario and Chrisitian Gomez were having issues with their first touches in the middle of the field. Gros really gave Arjen Robben fits and did a decent job on Shaun Wright Phillips. Gros' crosses were lacking in quality but he more than made up for it with his other play.

Bobby Boswell 9 MAN OF THE MATCH

Great positioning and composure. Kept the MLS defense organized and never was out hustled. Boswell played an exceptional match against Chelsea for the second straight year. Clearly Boswell has a savvy lacking in so many American players and whomever the new national team coach is needs to give him a long hard look before qualifying for the 2010 World Cup begins. Boswell's first touch never let the team down and he is for my money the easy choice as man of the match.

Facundo Erepen 7

Bad pass back almost cost MLS a goal but otherwise was spectacular. Really shut down Robben and Shevchenko. The Argentine took the ball away from both of his better known opponents countless times including a very important 75th minute takeway from Robben when Chelsea had the run of play. Another one of DC United's great international finds.

Chris Albright 8

Peter Nowak's decision to play Albright, a US World Cup team defender in a withdrawn midfield role took Chelsea by surprise. Albright was outstanding and single handidly created 3 superb first half scoring chances for MLS.

Ricardo Clark 8

Clark's dangerous runs and good first touches helped to stimulate several counter attacking opportunities for MLS in the second half.

Dwayne DeRossario 7

Scored a spectacular goal and exhibited leadership. Nonetheless as the best player in MLS, I expected DeRossario to hold the ball more and attempt to dominate the midfield which he did not do. Sent very few quality balls forward.

Freddy Adu 5

Was dangerous at times but also showed a lack of seasoning and maturity. Often held the ball too long and was very selfish, and had several bad giveaways. In addition, he didn't seem to have any imagination in some of his runs. Nonetheless, after MLS took the lead, Adu was outstanding on the counter attack.

Richard Mulrooney 3

Seemed totally outclassed at this level. His FC Dallas teammate Ronnie O'Brien did much better in the 2nd half.

Ronnie O'Brien 7

O'Brien, who played in England earlier in his career was able to adopt to the pace of the game easily and settle the MLS midfield. An outstanding classy international player for the league to showcase.

Christian Gomez 4

Never really got going. As the perhaps the best attacking midfielder in MLS, Gomez has the pace and skill to keep up with the likes of Michael Essien and Frank Lampard. Alas, his first touch seemed to escape him and was lacking in quality balls forward as well.

Brian Ching 3

Made a mess of an early Albright cross and didn't seem to have the pace to play against a defense as fit as Chelsea's. Really got schooled by John Terry. Clearly Ching was a wasted World Cup selection by Bruce Arena.

Jaime Moreno 5

The MLS captain began the game at forward and was easily handled by Wayne Bridge but then pushed back into the midfield and created some nice attacking opportunities for the side.

Alecko Eskandarian 6

Never really settled into the attack but tracked back on defense nicely and held the ball well.

Nate Jaqua 7

Very impressive effort from the Chicago Fire Forward. Jaqua held the ball with his back to the goal a number of times which is something most American forwards just do not know how to do. In addition, Jaqua's hustle thwarted a late Chelsea's scoring chance


Hernandez said...

i agree. a great win. an excellent performance from albright and boswell.

DC United fan said...

I love your praise of Boswell, Erpen and Gros.

It is a shame Gomez had such a spotty match. This would have been an opportunity for him to impress a European scout or two.

You are way too hard on Freddy. He had some bad touches but he looked very lethal at times. chelsea really didn't have an answer for him.

Sams Army said...

This fine performance by our league once again proves that soccer in this nation is comprable with the European game. Yet, fans, media and critics alike all want us to emulate Europe. When we play our game we can win. Currently a strand of Euro fever exists within the USSF. We keep hearing about the need to hire a European coach, send our players to play Europe, and to adopt European training methods. Chelsea, the over hyped but over matched side had some of their legendary English training two adays in the lead up to Saturday's match, but it was the MLS players who showed the energy, and fitness of a champion. Much like our World Cup team who was more fit and disciplined with only 9 men against the eventual world champions, the mls all stars proved we do know how to train and to play here in america. Since Arena has left, it is important that we hire an american coach who knows mls as our coach. the backbone of our national team program and youth system is mls not some distant european league. Why do you think the Central American nations send all their players to MLS instead of Europe to develop? They have discovered our good thing, now it is time for us to re-discover it.

Sams Army said...

Moreno was not "easily handled by Wayne Bridge."

Actually it was Jaime doing the handling showing up the over rated Englishman with nice one touch passing to Albright and DeRossario.

Sams Army said...

Jaqua showed Saturday that he could be Brian McBride's heir as our striker.

Xavier said...

We missed you Sams. Nice to have your unique opinions back on the blog!

Xavier said...

I agree it was a great victory but let's not get carried away. Chelsea was going through the motions and some guys like Lampard and Bridge didn't even seem to be all there. Essien and Drogba were the most impressive Chelsea players. Boswell, Erepen, Albright and Robinson the best MLSers.

Sams Army said...

I agree on Robinson, and Ricardo Clark showed poise and skill and must be considered for future national team duty as well.

Torres said...

I truly appreaciate your optimisum Sams Army. MLS did prove a great deal with its win on Saturday. While the league still suffers from a lack of intensity at times and some outright poor quality at others, make no mistake that the USA is producing some good talent and a deeper player pool than ever. While the MLS is absent the big stars of the Euro leagues, guys who fit roles like Ricardo Clark and Bobby Boswell seem to be of the same high quality and skill that you find on many top european clubs. MLS has improved and the best is still yet to come for the league.

Hat Trick Peter Crouch said...

You continue to glorify your win in a meaningless friendly. Shows how desperate you are for some true success on the pitch.

Harvey said...

Peter Crouch, we aren't the ones who sell shirts on our websites bragging about a meaningless friendly win over a German B team 5 years ago! In fact we beat Germany 3-0 around the same time and we don't talk about it like it was the World Cup final.

Chelsea lost. Face the facts.

Harvey said...

I think you are being way too harsh to both Adu and Gomez. Both did some nice things even though both made mistakes. I agree with everyone on Jaqua. He was impressive as was Eskendarian. But it was the back line of the MLS team that was so critical and it was the backline of the US Team that let us down in Germany. Perhaps we need wholesale changes at the back with our new coach and guys like Boswell, Robinson and Clark need to be in the mix for 2010.

Federico said...

You seem to forget that Freddy is only 17. He's still a major stud for his age, to say the least!

Harvey said...

Yeah but after Freddy played so well last year versus Chelsea and last month vs Celtic we were all expecting very big things.

Tim L said...

What an impressive and unexpected win this was for MLS. A great shock, and a great victory.

Anonymous said...


The Three Lions said...

You did not face the best Chelsea effort but with the exception of Cech, you did face Chelsea's best team albeit in a worn out tired form. But Chelsea thank you fixture congestion needed this sort of test from a hungry set of American players.

I have never claimed the MLS is a pile of rubbish like some of my fellow English countrymen, but do believe what your league provides in skill and technical savvy it lacks in crowd passion and fan support, and thus it will always be a minor league in the true sense.

hugo perez said...

That is a fair assessment 3L.

MLS helps its own fan support with moves like the new stadium outside Chicago (where the allstar game was).

MLS hurt its own fan support when it moved the team (2X Champ Quakes)from Northern California. (And have no plan to return).

Jose's army said...

My great and mighty Chelsea was robbed by the satan you call MLS. Our goal was wrongly disallowed by your biased referee showing the game was fixed. If Drogba's goal stands my Blues would have crushed your cheaters 7 or 8 goals!

Your cheating may cost Chelsea the Champions League.

Harvey said...

Hugo Perez, I am going to call you out on the Quakes comment. San Jose's Spartan Stadium was a piece of cow manure to be diplomatic and the team never increased their fan base even when they were winning. They were basically capped at about 12,000 fans. With Stanford Stadium being renovated and taken completely out of the soccer market and no other suitable venue in the region, what was MLS to do?

Harvey said...

Jose's Army:

You F'n A-hole Brit. You think you and your boys would have won, no way! Just because you buy a team with a club with little positive history that has teetered on bankrupcy several times and has a smaller fan base than several of its biggest London rivals (Totenham and Arsenal)doesn't mean you are entitled to a free pass to the Champions League title. Chelsea will be out again this year before the finals. I promise it.

Oh and the Jose's army is cute. At least we have a multi-ethnic fan base and don't chant racial and anti-semitic slurs at our matches like you f'n wankers.

hugo perez said...


Despite the fact that Anshitz wasn't making enough money on parking and concessions, he constantly undermined any attempt at building that franchise. Alexi Lalas has exactly zero business experience and was the last in a long line of underqualified GM's (Lynn Meterperel (sp)).

The trades with other Anshitz owned teams was always one way with San Jose on the wrong end. That franchise is still waiting to be compensated for Eddie Lewis!

Despite that the AVERAGE attendance was one of the top in the league. That means they drew consistently. If you take away those double header figures like Chivas USA's game this weekend, you would see they inflate attendance statistics. San Jose (because of the stadium as you say) didn't have many of those.

So what do they have better in Houston? They play in a shitty college football stadium (sound familiar?) which they lease and have no local ownership group stepping forward to buy the team and build a stadium.

With Anshitz concentrating all his energy on LA, the term conflict of interest comes to mind.

Harvey said...

Hugo Perez, Don't you realize San Jose's attendance was inflated in both 1998 and 1999 when major doubleheader games took place at Stanford Stadium. In fact if you eliminate those games San Jose's attendence those years was about as bad as the now defunct Fort Lauderdale franchise and Kansas City soon to be Southern New Jersey.

MLS has corrected the mistakes of early franchise location by contracting the Florida franchises, bailing on a limited growth market in San Jose and soon dumping Kansas City.

Harvey said...

I don't think much of your comment that Ching was a wasted World Cup selection by Arena. Let me ask you a simple question kartik since it is obvious which camp you are in:

What exactly has Taylor Twellman proven at the next level?

I await your answer.

hugo perez said...

You may be right but that was 1998!

What did they do for over six years but let this franchise rot on the vine?

MLS has conned Lew Wolf into putting up millions for rights to a future franchise. Then Garber rattles off cities for expansion and doesn't mention Norcal - typical!

The fact that MLS can't succeed in great markets like Norcal and Sofla is indicitative of its overall failure.

Have you noticed that all the new investment in the league is foreign money - RedBull, Chivas? I thought MLS was for growing the American game. Oh yeah, I forgot, all the American money is being invested in European soccer clubs.

Harvey said...

MLS is right sizing their operation. Someday a return to the Bay Area could be in order but the facilities must improve and location must be better.

As far as South Florida, MLS would be a big hit in Miami, but of course do to the lack of facilities, no stadium was availible in Miami and the team played in Fort Lauderdale instead spelling its doom.

hugo perez said...

"Someday a return to the Bay Area could be in order..."

Yeah, well I hope it's in my lifetime.

San Jose was one of the original franchises - played in and won the first game.....so much for history.

hugo perez said...

A quick check of Kartik's MLS salary link illustrates my point:

Galaxy payroll $25M
Dynamo payroll $18M

The former Quakes have just as many MLS Cups.......

Kartik said...

Moreover the Quakes unlike the Galaxy have not benefited from the "single entity" system. LA and the Metros have been the chief recepients of MLS' allocation system, while San Jose, DC and Dallas have generally been screwed. (Although Dallas did get their hands on Ariel Graziani who they felt should have been allocated to them by making a deal with the Revs.)