the tanner ba'

Odds & Ends: He’s Not Going To Nguyen Edition

It's that man again...

It’s that man again…

  • The New England Revolution found themselves down 0-1 in Houston on Thursday only to win 2-1 thanks to two second half goals by…wait for it…Lee Nguyen.   Nguyen now has 17 goals this season.  The most by any midfielder in MLS.  The most by any American in MLS.  Eight of those goals have been match-winners.  Despite all of these things he will finish no higher than third in the MLS MVP race behind Robbie Keane and Obafemi Martins.  I say “no higher” than third because I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of voters who will find a reason to put him about fifth, behind Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry.  Or maybe even 7th, behind Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dom Dwyer.  I can’t argue (too much) about a few of these players finishing above Nguyen, but I can’t help but think that playing for (unfashionable) New England is going to drop him down a few notches on its own.  Oh well, we’re going to the playoffs no matter what.  I’ll take “Lee Nguyen, MLS Cup MVP” over, “Lee Nguyen, Regular Season MVP” any day.
  • Ross County F.C. were- predictably- pasted 5-0 by Celtic yesterday.  No point in getting upset about it.  Even if Ross County were having a dream season rather than a nightmare season you’d probably have penciled this one in as a loss when the schedules were announced this past summer.  Let’s just hope the loss wasn’t a momentum killer and that the club can get back on track against St. Mirren and at least move into a tie for last place.  Oh, and for what it’s worth, every other club in the lower half of the table save Dundee F.C. lost this weekend, so County didn’t actually lose any ground on the clubs it needs to catch in order to avoid relegation.
  • By the way, Ross County have signed former Motherwell captain Paul Quinn.  I’m not sure that’s going to solve anything, but apparently we beat out Championship side (hee hee!) Hibernian for his signature, so there’s that.
  • The pissing contest currently raging between USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann and MLS supremo Don Garber is entertaining if nothing else.  I have to say that I tend to agree with pretty much everything that Klinsmann has said so far.  It’s hard to side with Garber’s logic when- at least in my mind- it goes something like, “You can’t say Michael Bradley coming to MLS (and Toronto at that!) is a mistake- we paid him a lot of money!!”  Hey, Don, Leeds United once paid £4.5m for Tomas Brolin- what’s your point?
  • I don’t know if I was more stunned to learn that Sunderland were beaten 8-0 by Southampton or that Southampton are in third place?  Two own goals?  And this is the club where Jozy Altidore can’t get off the bench?  Really?  The club’s leading scorer through eight matches is Scotland’s Steven Fletcher with a total of….two goals.  See you in the Championship, Gus Poyet!
  • For the record:  When I was complaining about the never-ending Derek Jeter love-fest that was the ENTIRE Major League Baseball season I didn’t realize that Landon Donovan’s victory tour was going to dwarf it in relative terms.  Every time I see “LegenD” I want to scream.  Thank you for your contribution to the league and to the USMNT, Landon, but we’re done now.
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3 comments on “Odds & Ends: He’s Not Going To Nguyen Edition

  1. Martinovich
    October 22, 2014

    I also feel that Garber’s message has been “MLS! We’re getting better!” Which is fine, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that our top players would be better suited playing in the Top European leagues. Everybodies top national players would be better playing in the top Euro leagues. It hurts both the players and the USMNT to have Bradley playing in the MLS at this point in his career, in my honest opinion.

    It’s like how most of the boys who were the youngest in a family of top athletes, are the ones who make it to the pro level. They played against bigger, older, better players their entire lives. It makes sense that the adage “To be the best, you have to play the best” applies here. Also, as a huge LA Kings fan I’ve been through thin, and thin, and thin, so I am enjoying the thick right now, but it means far more to me that they had to get through a great Blackhawk’s team to eventually win the Stanley Cup then if they met an inferior opponent. I want to cheer on Bradley, Yedlin, Gonzo and the rest against the best, not against the Columbus Crew.

  2. Kevin
    October 23, 2014

    I am not sure what to make of the Klinsmann/Garber “feud”.
    I do have the following questions, which Herr Klinsmann seems to not answer:

    1. Which are “top” European leagues compared to MLS?
    2. Are Bundesliga B, Tippeligaen, or English Championship significantly better than MLS?
    3. If as a player, I am not getting regular playing time with a European team, is that really better for my development than regular playing time in MLS?

    • weefuse
      October 23, 2014

      Kevin, I think a case can be made for the Premiership, La Liga, Serie A, and the Bundesliga being better. The top leagues in Portugal, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands are a good idea IF you’re on a club that is likely to play in the Europa League or Champions League (though that hasn’t done much for Sasha K’s USMNT career, has it?). Beyond that I think the most that can be said of the Championship or the top Scandinavian leagues is that they are…different. If a couple of years starring for a top team in one of those leagues doesn’t get you an invitation to a bigger club in a bigger league, you’ve probably reached your ceiling and the USMNT is probably not in your future.

      Further, if you’re in any secondary league Championship, Bundesliga II, Serie A, etc.) you better be tearing it up and moving on/up or there’s just no point.

      All of that being said, apparently if you want to make it on to Jurgen’s radar all you have to do is play regularly for any club in Liga MX- a league that has never impressed me.

      Finally, to your last point. I’m fine with a young (under 23?) player staying at a big club even if he’s only playing in reserve matches, cup matches, etc., because he can still be learning how to train, how to eat, how to conduct himself as a professional, etc., any older than that and I’d rather have him playing the full 90 week in and week out for any club in MLS.

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