From College to the Pros - The US soccer ladder

Monday, September 18, 2006

Top USL Rookie, Cam Weaver, to MLS and the Colorado Rapids...

On Friday the United Soccer League announced that rookie forward Cam Weaver is leaving the first division Seattle Sounders to join an MLS side prior to the MLS roster deadline day. When Weaver suited up for the Black and Blue Colorado Rapids in Saturday's reserve league match against the LA Galaxy, the tba team was unofficially announced. We're still waiting for an official announcement but I for one am already doing the happy, happy, happy, joy, joy, joy dance.

Weaver is the latest American college player to miss the attention of MLS scouts, sign with USL, then shine as a rookie. Every year we've seen players brought into the top division after success in the lower tier. Brian Ching is another current star of MLS who made the jump from USL to MLS. After a strong college career at Gonzaga University, Ching was drafted by MLS' LA Galaxy in 2001 but he struggled before signing with Seattle. He wasn't deterred and strong play for Seattle led him back to the higher league in 2003. Ching took that and turned it into a place on the 2006 US World Cup Squad. Ching's Houston teammate, Dwayne De Rosario, is another example of someone who had to prove themselves in a lower league before making it to MLS. So is Jimmy Conrad.

Cam Weaver is often going to find himself amongst the tallest players in MLS. At 6' - 4" there aren't too many taller. His size is going to make him a strong candidate for target man with the Rapids' closest forward being Melvin Tarley at 6' - 1".

Weaver has proven he can score goals at all levels and in this 2006 USL season he kept pace with Brazilian great Romario to lead the league with 18 goals. Hard work and good service is going to be the key to Weaver's success in MLS. I'm hopeful he'll be able to make an impact for the Rapids as we head into the MLS playoffs. Maybe this weekend we'll see a similar celebration to this one, this weekend in LA.


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