From College to the Pros - The US soccer ladder

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Boomerang: Pat Noonan

Soccer By Ives is reporting that Pat Noonan is on his way back to MLS. Is this the quickest boomerang to date? I guess European soccer in Norway isn't all it is cracked up to be. I wonder if as the league expands, MLS will be able to use more stories like this one to highlight why young Americans should stay in MLS as opposed to trying out second and third tier European soccer? After all, there will be more playing time available as there are more roster spots to fill.

Noonan's destination is still unknown. With some fresh allocation money in their pockets can the Rapids make a run at him? Colorado needs a proven goal scorer like I want a Porsche.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Boomerang: Robbie Russell

Just saw on The Original Winger that we have another Boomerang. Robbie Russell is returning to the States after a successful career in Norway. Welcome home, Robbie.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rapids Win Bruno Guarda Lottery...

The weighted lottery comes Colorado's way...for once. It almost always looks like MLS favors the local team in these cases, add to that the fact that his college coach is now FC Dallas coach and in my eye's, Bruno was going to FC Dallas. But, things don't always work out the way you expect and the Rapids won the lottery. According to Director of Player Development, John Murphy, Guarda will be joining the Rapids.

We are very happy to have Bruno join us. He is a very skillful player and will join our team at an opportune time. We think very highly of him and expect him to have a bright future in our league.

I'm sure if FC Dallas really wanted Guarda, the Rapids will listen to offers. As a Rapids fan I'm excited to know they have another young, skillful midfielder in the ranks. They certainly are creating the best stable of midfielders with potential in MLS.


The Rapids have officially announced the signing and will not have to cut anyone as young goal keeper Justin Hughes has been put on the season ending injury list.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bruno Guarda Joining MLS...Late...

Bruno Guarda has decided to forgo his senior season at SMU and join MLS, in late July. He's been on my watch list since a solid freshman year earned him 2nd team All-Freshman honors in 2005. For the past two seasons he has been a semi-finalist for the Herman Trophy at the end of the fall seasons. He was on my short list for Generation Adidas.

Why all of a sudden has he decided to go pro when he could have signed a Generation Adidas contract back in January? Speculation here at FCTP is that former SMU coach and head man in Dallas, Schellas Hyndman, had something to do with it. However, MLS has said that Guarda will be put in a special weighted lottery to determine who will be able to sign him. If Hyndman did approach Guarda about signing with FC Dallas, I wonder, and if I were a full time journalist I would try to find out, if Coach Hyndman knew how MLS would allocate the player when he first made contact.

This is one of those arcane processes MLS still holds onto when they should probably just get rid of it. I know, I know...if MLS allowed teams to just sign players out of college the whole draft would be worthless. But isn't the draft going by the wayside as teams develop their own youth academy?

Climbing The Ladder has a nice look back at previous "special" weighted lottery draft allocation processes. Here is my question for readers...what do you think of this process. If Guarda was convinced to join MLS by Hyndman, should he be able to sign with FCD? On the other hand, do you think it is important to give other MLS teams a crack at signing the youngster?

Furthermore, Dallas recently traded for two additional international spots. There are lots of rumors about FCD signing two South American players, but could Guarda be one of them? He is of Brazilian birth. I'm not sure how MLS will classify him.

The weighted lottery is later today. Based on Climbing The Ladders work it looks like FCD is second in line to sign Guarda. Will they get their man? Is he joining MLS because of his former coach leaving SMU? Time will tell.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Olympics Bound...

Not too long ago the US Olympic team was made up of exclusively college players. 1996 was the first year of MLS and MLS players did make that team. Since 1996 the Olympics have been a goal of American MLS based players looking to move up to the first team if they haven't already made a spot for themselves. Last Thursday coach Nowak named his roster for the upcoming games. The roster is exclusively professional players and features some of the bigger names in American soccer. Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore lead the European contingent while Sacha Kljestan, Maurice Edu and Michael Parkhurst represent some of the bigger names in MLS.

The US will face Japan, The Netherlands and Nigeria in what could be called a group of death. The first match kicks off August 7th and by August 13th we'll know if the team has made it out of the group stage. Cross your fingers.

On paper this is probably the strongest team every taken to the Olympics by the US. Meanwhile other countries are having players retracted because clubs don't want to over play their best players and open them to possible injury. Put that together and we could be in for a pleasant surprise this summer. Last year Freddy Adu showed why he's been so hyped during the U-20 World Cup. This summer I hope to see him listed amongst the best players in the tournament.

Set your DVR folks, the Olympics are just a couple weeks away!

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