Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by Fitz, Feb 12, 2011.
Robbie Keane has now joined LA Galaxy on a two-year contract.
He said it's always been a dream to play in the MLS. When he was a child the MLS didn't exist, so again, Keanes made himself sound an ass.
No, he means it is a dream to be able to milk the twilight years of his career for all the $$$ that the US can throw at him.
I think Keane will be a good signing tbh. He's such a clever striker and i don't know whether defenders here will be able to handle his movement, even though he hasn't got the pace he used to possess.
As for my Dynamo, we beat Portland last night, 2-1 at Robertson Field. We actually played really well and should have been 4 up at HT. Moffat scored an absolute monster of a goal from about 35 yards out. When Ching plays, Houston plays. The management have added to the squad well. Carlo Costly has come in on loan. We needed a striker badly, especially as Bruin is out for a couple of months following knee surgery and Costly looks like he'll do a decent job. We also signed some Brazilian midfielder. He must be good if he's from Brazil. Might be able to make a late run for the play-offs with a couple more results!
I think Keane will score for fun over there, great signing for "The Galaxy" :sign15::sign15::sign15:
The East is so weak, that he may actually show some results before the season ends. I hope so. I really like the guy, he just looks like he has one foot in a retirement home and the other on a banana peel every time he comes out onto the field.
I corrected your post.
I saw the Dynamo game...it wasn't bad. Houston made The Timbers look like the crap team they are, unlike the Galaxy up in Portland. That was a seriously crappy game to watch live after traveling 1000 miles to get there. Anyway, that Moffat goal was unbelievable... Costly always looks great in the CONCACAF Gold Cups, but like so many other outstanding Gold Cup guys before him, I wonder if he will vanish here? The G's have picked up a few in the past and the only one that ever stuck was Mauricio Cienfuegos, and he retired in 2004 after winning the G's one MLS Cup.
As for Keane, the success of Luke Rogers before he got hurt is telling. A guy with a little guile and sense can really do well here. That said, the wear and tear of MLS also shows in Luke Rogers. It will be interesting to see if Keane feigns injury and acquires phantom yellow cards to avoid playing on artificial surfaces like Beckham does...
I think this could be either really great or really terrible, just like the Beckham signing.
It sounds like he is letting Beckham write his speeches. Poor choice...
Team total salaries BEFORE the Keane deal...
Quite a disparity there...
Robbie Keane's plane is landing at LAX about 8 miles from my house as I type...
Here is the prview of this week's 'clasico' against the Earthquakes, once the bitterest rivalry in MLS. The Galaxy will be out for blood in this game thanks to the last match...
A fantastic duo to have in that league. Two players who could easily play in the PrL still. Good for you mate... and now clean up that mess.
He always seemed taller to me...Donovan is considered a dwarf in 14 States.
The Galaxy have put together a strong side. We have an excellent back four, and a promising midfield with and without Beckham. The glaring hole was the forward spot...hopefully that is tackled now.
Tomorrow it looks like Keane will play and possibly start...this is the most anticipated match since Beckham limped in 4 years ago. I fully expect this to be far more rewarding.
"Give Keane the ball and he will score"
Houston went behind twice tonight and eventually came back to win 3-2 against RSL. Alex Dixon - a local lad - scored a brilliant curling effort with literally the final kick of the game. A great moment.
The referee tonight was truly atrocious. Some black fellow who literally seemed to make up decision as he went along, and often getting the way of play. I can think of 2 shots he blocked and at least 3 occasions where he tackled somebody on the ball. I've heard you complain plenty about the standard of ref before Fitz. Now i understand.
Yes, MLS refs are HORRRRIBLE.
We had an equally bad experience last night. The linesman was awful, and the head ref dimwitted beyond belief. I'd never seen him before...but I already want him to die a suffering death.
Check out Keane's goal and Mike Magee's strike.
This was great to see in person!
Great pass by Becks for the Keane goal!:biggrin:
i think the assist should go to the defender or the goalie
CONCACAF Champions league tonight...
Galaxy vs Alajuelense
LD Alajuelense won the Costa Rican league aperture and clausura this season. My money is on a Galaxy loss, but the bookies have the Galaxy as the favorite.
We'll see... 3 and a half hours to kickoff.
What is the MLS like in general guys?
Is it on par with the championship? Or better?
Is it improving?
Many youth prospects?
Galaxy win their CONCACAF Champions League tilt against the champs from Costa Rica 2-0.
The Mexican ref was horribly biased against the US team, giving out three weak yellows and a weak straight red, but 6'5" Omar got on a Bexks free kick for a header and lowly Barret poached one for his fifth of the season. This was the highlight of the night because one our buddies bet another that he couldn't score five in the season, with the payoff a keg of beer for the next game's tailgate...ha, excellent! Everybody loves free beer and victory!
Hurricane Irene has forced postponement of this Sunday's game at New York. This gives the Galaxy a week off in a very hectic part of the schedule, but also allows Luke tosse駅 Rogers a chance to heal from injury and come back to the Red Bulls in time for the rescheduled October rematch.
Quality improves every year. It is a league that has a premium on athleticism, with a sad lack of attacking creativity, so we end up importing creative attackers.
MLS is a different beast than Euro football, governed by an all explaining salary cap.
The best MLS teams are strong enough to challenge low prem teams and the worst are League one caliber.
It all has to do with the limits of how many dollars the teams can spend on obtaining players, and getting the best bang for your buck with those dollars.
Some of the most successful teams have done well with low payrolls, having no Designated Player exceptions aboard, yet winning the MLS Cup.
The salary cap prevents teams from spending themselves into non-existence and therefore preventing the self destruction of the league like the experience of the infamous 70's NASL (Cosmos, Aztecs, etc).
The American player development method is completely alien to that of England. We have the NCAA college soccer as a main feeder to the league. Kids don't graduate school until 22 meaning youth prospects have been rare. Think of Jay Demerit, attending four years at University of Illinois Chicago, then trying out for the Chicago Fire.
As the focus on soccer here bears fruit, kids are beginning to bypass the traditional college route and have been signing abroad with foreign teams. It's what Landon Donovan did, for example. Many other American kids are being signed by Mexican teams. You will note that MLS teams are NOT known for developing these kids.
The competition from college has been something that MLS and the US Soccer establishment has been unwilling to challenge. NCAA is very rich and very powerful...they make their dough from basketball and football but govern all other collegiate sports. They generate millions and millions and millions a year, comparable to the revenue of maybe the sum of every team in the German and English football leagues.
Confronting that has been a challenge US Soccer has not been willing to take until recently. It's too late to mold a professional player when you get them at 22... They knew they need to get them earlier. Now MLS teams have realized NCAA can't help nor hurt them and that the benefits of developing their own talent can't be beat.
Interesting post there Fitz. Especially the last little bit about competing with NCAA and not getting kids until they are 22.
I was thinking about this the other day actually and I wonder whether young players are put off joining pro clubs from high school etc due to missing out on college and graduating with a degree etc, a back up in case their soccer career doesn't happen?
If this is the case, is it unfeasible for clubs to go into partnerships with local colleges and create a system where the kids are part of the soccer club, but also attend classes etc if they wish? Or even start earlier with kids in high schools and clubs creating links with local schools so they can send their prospects there and have the opportunity to train them more often. Almost like a Harefield type deal.
I look at Houston, who play and train at University of Houston, a school which also happens to lack a male soccer team, so the opportunity is right on their doorstep. Plenty of college athletes manage to handle school and the demands of a basically professional sports career. Would it not help improve both the quality and numbers of young players at professional clubs if they could also achieve academic success alongside their soccer career?
Yeah, in the relatively recent past, there literally was no career path for a young soccer player. The advent of MLS changed that, but before, a young player only really thought of soccer as a way to get a scholarship and a free education, not as a vocational choice. Nobody made money playing soccer. Or at least so few, you would have a better chance playing the lottery than playing soccer professionally.
There are still hundreds of guys who go the college route. For example on the Galaxy, the entire backline of the league leading defense consisting of GK Josh Saunders, defenders Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, & AJ DeLaGarza, are all four year college kids. Michael Stephens, Brian Jordan, Frankie Hejduk, Chris Barret and Adam Cristman all see 1st team time and did at least 3 years of college then went pro. But the other guys are telling...Jovan Kirovski was once a promising young talent who went to Man United as a teen where his career effectively ended. Jack McBean, 16 year old who is a reservist but has been on the field a few times this season when not playing in the U17 World Cup for USA. Mike Magee came out of the Bradenton USA Project 2010 program and was among the first of his generation to bypass college and head right into pro style training. Many of the others are foreign born.
The NCAA which governs collegiate sports tries it's best to keep a level playing field between all the schools. Advantages must be shared. To have some schools cultivate partnerships with some teams would obviously provide a benefit that others can't get. The NCAA couldn't ever allow that to happen. Also, college athletes are required to be amateur, so the idea of having college teams work with pro teams violates the spirit of amateurism. (We all know that college football is virtually professional, basketball too, but that is a sign of the failure of the NCAA, not their ideal.)
So the prospects of a kid bassing college altogether is growing daily. It's still amazing that kids leave college at 22 and still have a decent development and career path rather than being stunted. The biggest loss is the creative type of instinct that players need to be good attackers.
It is not a coincidence that the Galaxy's wonderful back line are all American college standouts, and that none of the attacking players are.
R.E. the bit in bold: Would it be an issue with schools who don't have a soccer team? I was thinking along the lines of a partnership between the club and school, where the young guys get to study, but their studying is tailored around the needs of a professional soccer player, not where the guys actually represent the school in collegiate sports, so no problem with NCAA? The schools would offer classes to the young players that allow them time to train and travel, while still getting a decent education. Surely being exposed to professional soccer coaches from a younger age would improve the quality being churned out.
The NCAA couldn't give a flying squirrel about developing pro soccer athletes. All they care about is making money (which soccer shows little ability to deliver compared to basketball and football) and in maintaining their regulatory role in college sports (self preservation).
But let's say they did...take the Houston Dynamo. Which school would they align with? Rice? Univ. Of Houston? Baylor? Who gets UT? UT is a huge school, the plumb of Texas. Do the Austin Aztexs get first dibs? Would UT want to be tied to a lower division Non-MLS side by geography? Which school get the Galaxy? Which MLS team gets UCLA? Chivas or Galaxy? With only 20 or so MLS teams and 12 teams in the PAC-12 alone, it leaves a lot of schools out and with a potentially unfair advantage over the others.
All of this skirts the principal of amateurism, which working with a pro team is exactly the opposite of...the NCAA won't let a student athlete give a jersey to a relative or friend because of the possibility someone may be paying him for sports memorabilia. They get 2 homes and 2 sways, and no more for the year. If they do sell a shirt or anything else given to them as a result of being a student athlete, they can be suspended from play for the year or even disqualified for life. Typically no one finds out until years into their pro careers but it has happened. Reggie Bush's Heisman being retracted and USC's disqualification from bowl games and reduced number of scholarships is a good example of that.
Anyway, the soccer player development system is about to undergo a seismic shift in America, and much of that will center around the diminishment And not enhancement of NCAA soccer.
Look into the NCAA and how far it reaches into US sports, and where it succeeds and where it fails...as a new American (a Texan for god's sake!) and a sportsman, it is your solemn duty!
So NCAA would interfere even if the school had no men's soccer team and the players had no interest in attending the school beyond getting a degree alongside their soccer career? Sorry i'm trying to grasp how deep these guys go.
Alex Dixon joined the Houston Dynamo from high school, so while he's on their books, should he want to study, he'd be forbidden?
Good question and maybe I misunderstood your original point, sorry...
He is fine to be a pro and attend school if he wants. He just can't be an athlete for the school, receive an athletic scholarship, wear the school colors representing any sports team for the school and be a pro at the same time.
I'm frankly not sure how guys like the just out of high school Dixon or even the Galaxy and US U17's just 16 year old Jack McBean (still in high school) will play for their pro teams and continue their education. I'm guessing McBean's Scotch born dad told him, "We'll get you a tutor for high school, but just see the footy thing through, then you can go back to college later if it doesn't work out".
Hmmm. I guess the whole thing is slightly redundant if there would be no real benefit in terms of increased ability, but it makes sense that a player who is fresh from college at 22/23 would be somewhat limited in terms of how far they could improve by entering into a professional environment at that age.
The plan for clubs linking up with schools was really based on the idea of trying to encourage more players to sign with clubs from high school. With the number of players in this country who go on and earn good money from soccer being fairly limited, I can understand why a young guy would go and play college soccer, knowing his degree will be a good back-up should the soccer career fail to take off. Everybody is a winner this way, the kids get a good education still, the soccer club gets to work with them full-time from a younger age, which in turn would hopefully lead to a better standard of home-grown US players. Or even forge links with local high schools in a Harefield type enterprise, meaning the clubs get to work with the kids more from an even younger age.
The link between the school and club would be nothing more than the school offering classes to players that are worked around their soccer schedule and the fact they'll be training/traveling a bunch.
They do a very similar thing here in England, where young players who have just left school (16yrs old) and signed their first deal with the club, will train etc as normal, but also take classes to earn qualifications in various areas, to compensate for the fact that very few who join a club from school, will actually make a career out of it. The theory is that it stops kids being dropped at 18/19 when pro deals are given out and having no alternate path to go down.
Like you say, there are very few technically good players being produced in this country, and i'm sure part of this is down to the fact they don't receive professional coaching until far far later than in other soccer countries. With education rightly being so valued here, clubs need to find ways to get the chance to work with kids at a much younger age.
Just got back from the G's clinching a playoff spot by beating the champs...good times!
Anyway, another reason there are few technically great American players is that since other sports pay so much more, a gifted athlete will choose baseball or basketball or football over soccer since there is a career path. The advent of MLS will give some options to kids, but it is still a ways out for the effect to take root.
Sporting KC gave us a good beating last night. We need to put together a little run of wins now to hopefully sneak into the play-offs.
The Dynamo have joined a growing list of teams already mathematically eliminated from winning the Supporters Shield, aka "winning the league" in most Euro leagues. The playoffs gives teams a reason to keep on fighting.
PPG=Points Per Game
It's really all about LA, Dallas, Seattle and RSL from here on out.
Playoffs is another story though...
I was just about to say - didn't the G win it (the SS) last season and NOT become champions?
Will the 'Caps ever win away?
One up, NY down to ten and yet they still blow it.