MLS Draft Review

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Let it rip. Especially you John. On Soopa Doopa and everyone else…

Eastbound and down....

34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Freegle on 2012/01/12 at 12:16 PM

    Good Draft for the Revs. Young talent and no hit to the salary cap at all.


    • Posted by Drizzl on 2012/01/12 at 2:13 PM

      Yeah, and Polak could fill the left back spot that’s basically been vacant since Heaps was playing.

      All on a *ahem* revolution-style budget.


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2012/01/12 at 12:18 PM

    Agreed Kelyn Rowe will be the player people remember from this one.

    Sam Garza — way too early — but he’s Gen Adidas, you know?

    Will Nick DeLeon have to cut his hair if a republican takes office?


    • Posted by dth on 2012/01/12 at 1:01 PM

      Kelyn Rowe is good, I’m just not sure how he fits into New England, which has become a stale organization, with a coach in Jay Heaps that’s kind of iffy. When have you ever said, “You know, Jay Heaps would make a really good coach someday?” More importantly: when would Jay Heaps have picked up anything about coaching attacking midfielders? I just think it’s a bad fit. If Rowe goes one spot higher or one spot lower I’d be much more bullish about his future.


      • Posted by Eric on 2012/01/12 at 1:19 PM

        I’m going to agree with dth here. I think Rowe would have been much better even just falling to Toronto. I trust Aron Winter’s ability to develop a player more than Jay Heaps right now.

        I’ll say this though, I hope I’m wrong. I want Kelyn Rowe to turn out to be a great player.


      • Posted by vik on 2012/01/12 at 8:02 PM

        Feilhaber could be a great mentor for Rowe and is at a good point in his career to lend some perspective.


        • Posted by Martin on 2012/01/12 at 11:12 PM

          Benny has enough trouble keeping his own career on the rails. He’s paid to play not coach or “mentor”.



    Departure: Kenny Cooper to NYRB for 2013 Draft pick and allocation money (if he stays with the club after 2012).

    Arrival: Jean-Baptiste and Brendan King

    My Opinion…

    The Cooper deal I like personally. While Kenny is a great guy, really does try hard, fits in the community and personable that doesn’t help with the fact that he is slower than Frozen Molasses.

    The Timbers are building around speed, youth and an exciting attack. None of which Kenny is about. Also, Kenny tended to be a square peg in a round hole in regards to fitting in with the rest of the team. It made decisions difficult to put him up top and then have someone like Nagbe off of him or Perlaza and ended up just dragging the attack down. Let us not forget that he was offside more than the Germans on the Maginot line.

    Also the Timbers have picked up “trencito” Valencia to complement their striker/attacking midfielder roles.

    Defensively the Timbers needed help. Horst is out for surgery for a bunch of months and the cover at CB last year was an issue. Rumors persist of a Non-USA defensive signing so I think the Baptiste pick up is a “looking at the future” pick. He is a big kid, Generation Adidas and only 19. Certainly has quite a bit of time to get into the fold.

    The Brendan King pick gets another youngster to supplement the moving around of players this year.

    Let’s not forget that the forward core (in light of all this) is now….

    Nagbe, Perlaza, Johnson, King, Valencia, Richards, Dike.

    The oldest of that group is Perlaza. Fantastic for the future.

    While some are bashing the Baptiste pick as a person who can’t contribute right now, I would say that the MLS draft isn’t necessarily the place to pick up players (at least this year on defense) that are going to be in your starting 11.


  4. Posted by EFG on 2012/01/12 at 12:49 PM

    I’m a little surprised that Hunter Jumper when before Brian Ownby (who as of writing this hasn’t been taken) between the two University of Virginia products.

    I’ll show myself, and my allegience to my alma mater, out now.


  5. Incidentally, if I look at this as a neutral…

    I have absolutely no idea what NYRB are thinking with picking up Cooper. He is gangly, dives frequently, losses possession by trying to do too much and ends up playing out wide/outside the box when you need him inside the box.

    Cooper isn’t a replacement for Agudelo or Henry. He isn’t necessarily a “spark” guy off the bench. He can place a ball striking, but he isn’t necessarily a header guy, he needs service before the box, give and goes, and the ability to run onto through balls/strike. Very very frustrating player to watch.

    For all I know he may have a gangbusters year next year, but that remains to be seen. Clearly he isn’t “washed up” as a player. He still scored 7 goals for the timbers despite an absolutely abysmal summer.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/01/12 at 1:02 PM

      NYRB has turned into a parody of NY sports front offices in general.


      • More than anything, I am just glad that I don’t have to launch obscenities at the TV/field anymore about offside runs and falling down.


    • Posted by Eric on 2012/01/12 at 1:22 PM

      NY hasn’t turned into a parody of NY sports front offices, they’ve turned into the Redskins of the MLS. Think about it:
      – Trade away draft picks for mediocre to overrated players
      – rely on expensive free agent signings to serve as the backbone of your team without surrouding them with enough talent
      – always try to higher a bigger name coach regardless of whether or not they’re worth the money
      – fail to make the playoffs or crash out in the first round
      – rinse. repeat.

      I don’t understand their aversion to young players or the draft in general.


    • Posted by Martin on 2012/01/12 at 5:28 PM


      Everything you said about Cooper may or may not be true but it does not matter. He is paid to do one thing, score goals by whatever means necessary. Whether that is penalties, deflections off the back of the keeper’s head, taps in from half an inch away,they all count. Hopefully he will be fully recovered from his injuries and heading back to his old form.

      As for how he fits in, I guess you’ll just have to wait and see who else NYRB bring in this offseason.


      • Martin,

        “Everything you said about Cooper may or may not be true but it does not matter. He is paid to do one thing, score goals by whatever means necessary. ”

        Actually it DOES matter, because it matters to me. I DO care whether my forward is falling down all the time, keeps running offside, disappears in the middle of the season, has a public falling out with his coach, keeps diving to draw penalties (a technique that didn’t work for him), and keeps hitting his free-kicks so obviously low and with power that the wall just stands there all season long waiting for him to do it again.

        Cooper scored 8 goals this season and yet Portland fans aren’t rending their clothes in the street or putting ashes on their head.

        Scoring goals is one thing, playing well is another.


        • Posted by Martin on 2012/01/13 at 4:43 PM


          Okay, so you are saying you are more into style than substance. Because 8 goals puts Cooper at one less goal than Luke Rodgers, which is not bad. And it is reasonable to assume Cooper should be one season more recovered from his injury plagued bad time in Europe. And prior to his German adventure, Cooper scored goals at a ridiculous rate.

          I see you think Cooper is something of a clown. But 8 goals is 8 goals, regardless.

          If I’m Soler I’m more concerned with substance.

          But I certainly understand the love of style. I’ve loved everything about Frankie Hedjuk for years even though he stopped being any kind of consistently impactful player
          many, many years ago. And I can’t stand Charlie Davies even though he had a quite productive season. To me he seemed to sleepwalk through the second half of the year and besides he comes off as an entitled, self involved flaccid male reproductive organ.


          • Should be said that I don’t consider Cooper a clown. I tend to think of him as a frustrating player to watch (for a fan) who plays the game as a 5 foot 8 guy in a 6 foot 3 body.

            He seems like a really nice guy, and I will always remember the build-up and celebration in the away stands in Colorado as he fired in the first goal in MLS for Portland.

            Still though, think this is a much better deal for Portland. Even if he explodes for New York next year, that doesn’t mean he would have for Portland…. the teams just aren’t built the same way.


            • Posted by Martin on 2012/01/13 at 10:21 PM

              You sure do love being orthodox. Whatever happened to different strokes for different folks?

              Being 6’3″ and solidly built doesn’t mean you have to be an aerial monster. Nor does it mean you have to be a physical target forward type.

              Before his German misadventure Cooper scored 43 goals in 97 appearances over a five year pro career. That’s a goal every 2.25 games, an excellent rate. Whatever he was doing it worked for him.

              Phillip Rivers has a basically terrible throwing motion yet somehow manages to be one of the best QB’s in the NFL. For that matter, Bret Favre, another pretty fair QB was often completely unorthodox in how he threw the ball. But they both prove you don’t have to go by the book to be successful.

              You can dissect that any way you want. The man may not go by your book and use his physical assets in the way you think he should but he was doing a very good job scoring goals.

              Cooper reminds me of Giorgio Chinaglia who at 6’1″ was a big man in his time. A great goal scorer but basically useless in the air.

              Heading the ball is a skill based on timing, vision, athleticism, and courage. Height is somewhere down the list in terms of requirements. Peter Crouch is about 6’7″ and is not exactly an aerial terror. Rooney and Michael Owen, not exactly giants, are very good in the air and there are many other examples. Two former Man U legends, George Best and Denis Law, both of whom were all of 5’9″, were as good in the air as just about anyone who ever played.

            • Posted by dth on 2012/01/13 at 11:58 PM

              Staying rigidly orthodox is one thing, but becoming reflexively unorthodox can be just as bad.

              Cooper had a nice strike rate at one point, but he never gave a team more than scoring. And if you only give a team scoring, you’d better be scoring in a majority of your appearances (adjusted for minutes played) if you’re going to be an important contributor to a great team.

              The observation that Cooper thinks he’s 5’8″ has a grain of truth to it: Cooper wants to prove he’s a player he’s not and that injures his team. He’s too clumsy and slow to contribute in the unorthodox way he wants to contribute in. So he’s not particularly useful, which is why he’s bounced around so much recently.

              And it’s why acquiring him is such a NYRB move. Did they need another top-of-the-line forward, even if they sell Agudelo? No, not really. But they went and did it anyway, presumably because he was available.

            • Posted by Martin on 2012/01/14 at 11:24 AM

              Cooper falls into that category of players called “poachers”.

              Normally that applies to eggs or people who kill animals illegally but in this instance it describes a class of player that typically drives managers and fans crazy. If you get one for your team you should not do it unless you understand their pluses and minuses.

              Goals are the hardest thing to come by in this game but unless you are a reliably top flight poacher, like Eto, R Van Nistelrooy, Klose , Chicharito and so on, the streakiness that is inherent in the type is hard to take. The top flight guys usually play for top flight teams so there is usually enough talent around to take up the slack, but even they live on a narrow margin. For most of them, if they aren’t scoring, they generally aren’t contributing much else to the team (see Jeff Cunnigham).

              It is the offseason and there is still time to make other acquisitions but Cooper is as close to a specialist player as there is in this game. I’m assuming NYRB have other moves in mind to accommodate Cooper’s presence.

            • Posted by dth on 2012/01/14 at 11:36 AM

              Eto’o and Klose aren’t really pure poachers. Eto’o can occasionally make the killer pass and Klose puts in a lot of work for his team when he doesn’t have the ball.

              Chicharito has had a fantastic start to his United career, but then again I was saying early this season that United looked better when Welbeck was playing with Rooney, and I think there’s still a grain of truth to it. van Nistelrooy was rather famously sold because scoring goals isn’t everything…if you’re interested in having an elite team.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/01/14 at 1:52 PM

              If you’re talking poachers, then Lineker and Rummenigge have to be up there. Would like to know what % of their goals were inside the 6 yard box…

            • Posted by Gregorio on 2012/01/14 at 5:17 PM

              How come no mentions one of the all-time great poachers of the US era, Gino Savarese?

  6. For what it is worth, I think RSL (given the placement of their pick) got a steal with Enzo.


    • Posted by Eric on 2012/01/12 at 1:29 PM

      I think that’s the general consensus. He seems to be perfect for his system. Between him and Gil, RSL can have one of the most creative and dangerous young midfields and the league. This is especially true with Kreis coaching and a healthy Morales.


      • Posted by Alex on 2012/01/12 at 1:48 PM

        Easily makes up for Andy Williams retirement and Collen Warner leaving. RSL were rather lucky that Martinez fell that far to them


  7. Posted by Matt Mathai on 2012/01/12 at 3:27 PM

    I’m baffled by the NYRB move. The acquisition of a striker makes sense because Agudelo could get called away a lot and Rogers apparently might have some visa issues. If so, all they have up top is Henry. So I get the purpose.

    My feeling is that they grossly overpaid for Cooper. Seriously, a first-round pick and allocation money?

    If, some time in August, he’s scored 10 goals for them, I’ll take this all back and declare Soler/Backe to be geniuses.


    • Posted by thedude on 2012/01/12 at 4:16 PM

      From what I understand the Allocation money is given only if he is on the roster next season. So seems like a low risk high reward type move.


      • Posted by Matt Mathai on 2012/01/13 at 9:55 AM

        That certainly makes more sense. I’m still not sure I see any kind of move for Cooper as a high reward move, but maybe that’s just me betraying my dislike for his game. 🙂


      • Posted by Eric on 2012/01/13 at 10:04 AM

        I still disagree with it. Even if they don’t keep him past this year, you still gave up a first round draft pick for a player (since you didn’t keep him) was only on loan essentially and clearly didn’t play up to the standards you expected.


        • Incidentally, from what I understand, the whole “Portland doesn’t get the money if he doesn’t stay on in 2013” news was reported by Ives, and not even guaranteed by him.

          When asked by a Timbers fan…

          “NYRB fans are saying if Cooper isn’t in NY in 2013 they get to keep the allocation money. What?”

          Merritt Paulson responded with….

          there you guys go again w rumors. Press release couldn’t be more clear. Its false and I am going to quit


  8. Posted by Union on 2012/01/13 at 12:23 PM

    Off topic, but w/ the U-23 vs USMT scrimmage coming up, do we know if Boyd is still with the U-23’s? Or did he head back to Germany?


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