06 February 2006

Getting the Full 90

Good morning all. It is February 6, and pointy-ball is officially off the radar here. Which means we're gearing up for April now. Speaking of gear...

CYBORG ESKANDARIAN TAKES PITCH Saturday, John Haydon gets a good article on Aleck Eskandarian. As Comcast has been showing in the Brunch With DC United series, Alecko was pure gold during the 2004 playoff run, so if putting him in protective headgear gets him on the pitch, then do it. In a good note, maybe the concussions caused amnesia of the way he was snakebitten during the playing time he did have in 2005. And while I am thrilled with the possibility that he might come back, I have to remind myself to temper my enthusiasm. It's probably going to take a few games at full speed for him to find his touch again. But at least he'll have the opportunity.

FREDDY ADU - "BRUCE WANTS ME TO BE A REGULAR STARTER" Is anyone other than me nervous about the entire Freddy Adu / Bruce Arena / Piotr Nowak situation that could be brewing? Grant Wahl at CNN/SI scores an interview with Freddy Adu. What worries me are passages like this:

Adu: I had a meeting with Coach [Bruce] Arena, and he gave me the choice of whether I wanted to stay with the national team or join D.C. United for the start of preseason in order to compete for a starting spot on the team. It's my third season, and he feels I should be playing more and that a player gets better by playing games. He wants me to be a 90-minute player, so he suggested that and gave me the choice. I decided to follow that advice. The best thing for me to do is join D.C. United from the start because I want to be a regular starter for the team.
Now, Freddy is still behind Christian Gomez on the depth charts. You can slide him over to the wing only if you think his defense is good enough to support it. Up-top, he's fighting for time with Moreno, Eskandarian, Walker, and Filomeno. I don't see a regular full ninety minutes in the cards for him at the start of the season. And if that doesn't happen, will he lash out again? Bruce has just complicated Piotr's life. It would have been better if Bruce had said "You know what Freddy? I don't see you going to Germany, but with some good effort for your club and a strong workrate in future camps, I can definately see you getting more caps in the upcoming Gold Cups." It is worrisome.

HOW TO BE IN THE FRONT OFFICE FOR DC UNITED, NOT USING WORLDWIDE SOCCER MANAGER 2006 Quick little article in the Post on how some people break into Sports Management. If you're interested. It sounds like while the jobs are more open than before, it is still a tough road to take.

Okay folks, more thoughts later, but that's the weekend news. Oh, and there is all this stuff here, for those of you who are interested and still occasionally put fries on top of your salads. Or your sandwiches. Or anything. With a fried egg.


At 06 February, 2006 13:49, Blogger Matt W said...

What BA said (if Adu is paraphrasing accurately) makes sense though. His concern is the US MNT, not DCU. What would be good for the US MNT is an experienced, toughened Adu fulfilling his promise on the national team within the next couple years. The short-term fortunes of DCU and the coaching predicaments for Nowak are of little concern to BA.

Another possibility is that Nowak and Arena have talked a lot about Freddy, are more or less in agreement on his development, and Freddy is talking out of his ass.

Still no MLS schedule. At least they're promising us "2006 Schedule Coming Soon." To which I say: define "soon."

At 06 February, 2006 17:03, Anonymous Joe said...

D, I see your point. The problem is not that Freddy wants to compete for a full 90, but that there is really no definite position for him to do that.

We have to rule out a-mid, barring an injury to Gomez. That leaves the wings and up top. Freddy's not a good defender, but he's not a bad one either. He could improve on the wing. Certainly he can cross the ball better than Gros (whose defense is solid). And Freddy's fast as hell. That counts for something.

Up front, I see Adu as No. 3 behind Moreno and Esky. Jamie is old, and Esky is a question mark. Filomeno is an unknown quantity, and Wheels Walker can't finish.

Bottom line: There will be opportunities for Freddy to start. When he starts, he has to play smart and he has to score. If he does, he'll play 90 a lot more often.

At 06 February, 2006 19:15, Anonymous Matt said...

Another way to look at the Adu thing...since the MLS regular season doesn't produce the champ...where's the harm in playing Adu more than he'd normally get in the hopes that he'll be great come end of the season.

He's got way more upside than any DC player. The regular season only qualifies teams for the playoffs...so just make sure that we aren't risking qualfying by playing him lots...and we increase our chance of winning in the playoffs because we've got a much more experienced and dangerous Adu.

What did we learn from last year's exit? Did we score much at the end? We needed a dangerous attacker and didn'e have one.

Play Adu...nothing to lose...1st vs 4th in conference...who cares.

At 06 February, 2006 20:55, Blogger scaryice said...

matt's right.


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