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Top 100 Prospects: The Forwards

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by voros, Jun 28, 2010.

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  1. voros

    voros Member

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    The main task for the forward in American Soccer is to score as few goals as possible and play lots of tough defense. Unfortunately we've had a lot of success in both areas.

    An important note: Danny Mwanga, Andy Najar (I know he's a midfielder, sort of) and others like the will not be on the list. I've been following our up and coming prospects for some time and the number of non-citizens playing in MLS who eventually play a significant role for our National Team number in the low single digits. Yes it has happened (Mastroeni is a good example), but it almost always takes longer than people think, and I can think of many more cases where the player never set foot on the field for us. So if they wind up playing for us, great. But I'd suggest not to hold your breath.

    1. Jozy Altidore, 25, Villareal
    2. Charlie Davies, 28, FC Sochaux
    3. Robbie Findley, 29, Real Salt Lake
    4. Eddie Johnson, 30, Fulham
    5. Brek Shea, 24, FC Dallas
    6. Herculez Gomez, 32, Pachuca
    7. Chris Rolfe, 31, Aalborg
    8. Edson Buddle, 33, Los Angeles Galaxy
    9. Tristan Bowen, 23, Los Angeles Galaxy
    10. Justin Braun, 27, Chivas USA
    11. Kenny Cooper, 30, 1860 Munich
    12. Chris Pontius, 27, DC United
    13. Conor Casey, 33, Colorado Rapids
    14. Jesus Padilla, 27, Chivas USA
    15. Marcus Tracy, 28, Aalborg
    16. Jack McInerney, 22, Philadelphia Union
    17. Mike Grella, 27, Leeds United
    18. Tony Taylor, 25, GD Estoril Praia
    19. Fabrice Picault, 23, Cagliari Calcio
    20. Francisco Navas Cobo, 23, Hosuton Dynamo
    21. Kellen Gulley, 20, Mississippi Chicago Fire Juniors
    22. Peri Marosevic, 25, FC Dallas

    Our support for Altidore in the World Cup will be aging into their 30s besides Findley, and the cubboard looks awfully bare until you get to about the 1990 birth year where things start to perk up a little (of course that may just be that those players are too young to have disappointed us yet).

    The good news is that at no other position can things change quite so quickly as they do at striker. If Mike Grella suddenly starts playing in the Championship next year and just as suddenly starts firing in goals. He could leap over everybody. Rolfe can definitely get back into the picture by firing in goals in Denmark. As a forward, when you score, the National Team chances start coming. Just ask Buddle and Herculez.

    That said, this looks not at all great. The best young prospects currently playing regularly are a guy who isn't actually playing much forward (Shea) and a guy who is about to find the bench because two guys who play his position were away at the World Cup (Bowen). Going younger than that there are guys in favorable club situations at the U-20 level, and we'll just have to see how that plays out. I listed Picault, but it just as easily could be Agudelo (NYRB), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich) or any of a number of kids playing in Mexico. The NCAA front looks less promising in terms of goal scorers, though the Davies case shows you can't count out a guy coming from there in a hurry.

    Obviously Charlie Davies' recovery needs to be very closely watched.
     


  2. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator Staff Member

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    What happened to Conor Chinn's national ranking?
     
  3. voros

    voros Member

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    If the folks at starkick send me the check, I'll be happy to add him. :)

    Seriously, he starts playing and starts scoring goals and obviously he moves onto the list. But again, that goes for lots of guys.

    Also here's a link to my attempt for 2010 in February of 2007:

    http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=489179&highlight=prospects

    Also here was my try all the way back to August of 2004:

    http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=127766&highlight=prospects

    The 2007 one had 19 out of the 23 players on it (missed Torres, Edu, Findley and Goodson but would have missed Davies too). The 2004 one had 11 out of 23 (but interestingly Davies was on that one as well as a player who did indeed make the 2010 World Cup, but not for us).
     
  4. aarond23

    aarond23 Member+

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    So why is Padilla listed when he wants to play for Mexico?
     


  5. voros

    voros Member

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    Because he's not going to get the chance, and he almost certainly will get one for us if and when he decides to do so.
     
  6. NGV

    NGV Member

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    Schilawski's five goals so far should probably earn him a place somewhere on that list.

    I agree that the cupboard looks pretty bare beyond the top few players (although Bowen could move up the list in a hurry). I imagine that Dempsey is more likely to make 2014 contributions at forward than in midfield.
     
  7. McGarnagle

    McGarnagle Member+

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    This is really a troubling list to look at. Goff was tweeting from Gulati's press conference earlier today:

     
  8. beamish

    beamish Member+

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    Also from that twitter feed:
    What?

    Edit: judging from the full writeup, what Capello really said was that he was interested in a job with USSF (after having managed Real Madrid) because he wanted a job with less pressure.
     
  9. beamish

    beamish Member+

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    Just to collate a bit, and taking 3 GKs, 8 Ds, 8 MFs, and 4 Fs, voros's projected 2014 team looks a lot like the 2010 team:


    1. Tim Howard, 35, Everton
    2. Brad Guzan, 30, Aston Villa
    3. Will Hesmer, 33, Columbus Crew
    4. Oguchi Onyewu, 32, AC Milan (volunteer)
    5. Jonathan Spector, 28, West Ham United
    6. Chad Marshall, 30, Columbus Crew
    7. Clarence Goodson, 32, IK Start
    8. Omar Gonzalez, 26, Los Angeles Galaxy
    9. Jonathan Bornstein, 30, Chivas USA
    10. Carlos Bocanegra, 35, Rennes
    11. Steve Cherundolo, 35, Hannover 96
    12. Landon Donovan, 32, Los Angeles Galaxy
    13. Michael Bradley, 27, Borussia Moenchengladbach
    14. Clint Dempsey, 31, Fulham
    15. Jose Torres, 27, Pachuca
    16. Maurice Edu, 28, Rangers
    17. Stuart Holden, 29, Bolton Wanderers
    18. Benny Feilhaber, 29, AGF Aarhus
    19. Freddy Adu, 25, Benfica
    20. Jozy Altidore, 25, Villareal
    21. Charlie Davies, 28, FC Sochaux
    22. Robbie Findley, 29, Real Salt Lake
    23. Eddie Johnson, 30, Fulham

    If that isn't fresh and exciting enough for you, we could take a Logan's Run approach, and eliminate everyone over 30.


    1. Andrew Dykstra, 28, Chicago Fire
    2. Bill Hamid, 24, DC United
    3. Chris Seitz, 27, Philadelphia Union
    4. Jonathan Spector, 28, West Ham United
    5. Omar Gonzalez, 26, Los Angeles Galaxy
    6. Edgar Castillo, 28, San Luis (on loan from Club America)
    7. Gale Agbossoumonde, 23, Sporting Braga
    8. Marvell Wynne, 28, Colorado Rapids
    9. Michael Orozco, 28, Philadelphia Union
    10. Brandon McDonald, 28, San Jose Earthquakes
    11. Kevin Alston, 26, New England Revolution
    12. Michael Bradley, 27, Borussia Moenchengladbach
    13. Jose Torres, 27, Pachuca
    14. Maurice Edu, 28, Rangers
    15. Stuart Holden, 29, Bolton Wanderers
    16. Benny Feilhaber, 29, AGF Aarhus
    17. Freddy Adu, 25, Benfica
    18. Alejandro Bedoya, 27, Orebro SK
    19. Geoff Cameron, 29, Houston Dynamo
    20. Jozy Altidore, 25, Villareal
    21. Charlie Davies, 28, FC Sochaux
    22. Robbie Findley, 29, Real Salt Lake
    23. Brek Shea, 24, FC Dallas
     
  10. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member

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    Congratulations Mr. Dempsey! You are a forward for this cycle.

    Damn, this pool is looking bleak.
     
  11. brandonplaysguitar

    brandonplaysguitar New Member

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    I was waiting for this thread Voros. Very good work as usual.
     
  12. flyerhawk

    flyerhawk Member

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    It is just sad that we can't produce a quality striker while countries a 1/20th our size can on a regular basis.
     
  13. brandonplaysguitar

    brandonplaysguitar New Member

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    Here's hoping someone comes out of nowhere totally under the radar. :D
     
  14. Dr Jay

    Dr Jay BigSoccer Supporter

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    This is not a hard prediction to make, but my guess is two of the strikers on the 2014 roster are not on any of the lists so far.

    1. Jozy
    2. Charlie
    3. one other from the list (doubt Finley or Buddle)
    4. X
    5. Y

    Remember Jozy is 20. Mexico's J. Hernanadez is 21.

    And its not like we have alot of talent aged 22-26 in the pipeline to fill X and Y.

    Look toward the Academy program at the 16- 18 year olds. That is where our new talent will emerge.
     
  15. sjjn

    sjjn Member

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    Not to start the fireworks but....Freddy Adu, 24? Probably best as a forward in this next cycle if we are gonna be in short supply, no?
     
  16. ElRoss425

    ElRoss425 Member

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    I believe Freddy was in the midfield thread.
     
  17. Matrim55

    Matrim55 Member+

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    Thanks to Voros for doing these lists - they're always fun to look at and bullsh*t about. But there's a big oversight on this one.

    Zach Schilawski is quietly having one of the most remarkable seasons of any striker in league history. Most haven't noticed it because his goal total (5) doesn't jump off the page, and even his goals-per-minute (1/147) ranks as "very, very good" rather than otherworldly.

    The thing about Schilawski, though, is that he's had only 11 shots on goal the entire season. Of those he's put 7 on frame - one of the highest percentages in MLS history. Of the 7 he's put on frame, 5 are goals.

    For context, let's compare Schilawski to Juan Pablo Angel in 2007 - his first in MLS, and a year which I think most consider to be one of the truly great performances by any forward in league history.

    Juan Pablo had 19 goals in 2125 minutes. Those 19 goals came on 97 shots - so he was scoring at a rate of once every five looks at net. Of those 97 shots, 53 were on frame.

    I'm not going to do the math, but I'm pretty sure that if Schilawski was getting the same number of chance that JPA got in 07, and kept scoring at his current rate, he projects to about 45 goals in regular season play.

    "Lies, damned lies and statistics," I know, but if we're all pining for a Luis Suarez, David Villa, "fox-in-the-box" type of striker to reveal himself, we may need to look no further than Foxborough (though he won't be there for long if he keeps up this kind of production).

    For the record, he'll be 27 at the next World Cup.

    Also, I just hope that someone, somewhere is expediting Danny Mwanga's citizenship process.
     
  18. Maitreya

    Maitreya Member

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    Good touch listing Kellen Gulley. He keeps scoring for the U-17s and seems to have a lot of potential.
     
  19. Brandinho

    Brandinho Member

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    Give it time, I don't recall myself being overly confident 4 years ago when we crashed out. We'll reload.
     
  20. DirtyJerzey

    DirtyJerzey Member

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    I think we're going to have to take solace with the fact that there will be strikers in the next pool that we have no idea about right now.

    Our top forward in this pool was 16 when we got bounced in the 2006 world cup.
     
  21. Scorpion26

    Scorpion26 Member

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    We got some forwards but which ones will step it up. Four years to improve a long time for them all to prove their worth and hopefully many will be playing a lot of games to help push their abilities to a higher level. I do think voros is right we got to wait and see how the injuries could affect Davies career. It was a devastating accident this dude was involved in. Plenty of forwards and four years for them to work through.
     
  22. CrazyF.C.

    CrazyF.C. New Member

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    What are the odds of Mwanga getting citizenship?
     
  23. dwsmith1972

    dwsmith1972 BigSoccer Supporter

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    I know you mention him, Voros, but I really believe that Agudelo will be high on that list within two years. I think he has size, speed and a really good feel for the game and more importantly, seems to be brought along in a smart, incremental way by NYRB.
     
  24. dwsmith1972

    dwsmith1972 BigSoccer Supporter

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    Chinn has been playing a bit more of late. He has 3 Open Cup goals and 1 each against Cruzeiro and Juventus in exhibitions. I know those aren't league games but nothing to shake a stick at either. Plus, he is nationally ranked.
     
  25. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member

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    Dude, that doesn't really help me...we were trying out forward spots as late as the send-off series this year! That would have been true even if Davies was healthy, too.
     
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