View From The US
American Sports' writer, Sean Grybos, tells us about the affordable talent coming out of the MLS this season.
Major League Soccer concluded its third week of action on Sunday with Toronto F.C. dispensing of the Lost Angeles Galaxy by a score of 3-2. Former Newcastle United left winger Laurent Robert set up Toronto's game-winning goal as TFC stole a crucial three point from David Beckham and his Galaxy teammates in Los Angeles.
Along with the usual collegiate player highlights, MLS players who have the potential to make the jump to England will now begin to be profiled. Lastly, players who previously played in the English leagues will be mentioned when their play warrants.
Two teammates and a former Manchester United player are profiled this week.
MLS Club - Columbus Crew
Previous Club(s) - SC Heerenveen
Rogers played one season of collegiate soccer at the University of Maryland before signing with SC Heerenveen in 2006. He was one of the stars of the USA team that competed in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada seeing action in several matches including the historic match versus Alexandre Pato and his Brazilian teammates. The USA's 2-1 victory over Brazil ensured a spot in the round of 16.
Rogers plays on the left side and has made several crucial runs in his club's three matches. Only twenty years old, he has the pace, vision, and crossing ability to breakout this season in Major League Soccer. A glimpse of his immense talent was on display on Saturday as the Columbus Crew defeated Chivas USA behind Rogers' two goals. In goal for Chivas USA, was highly respected goalkeeper Brad Guzan. If you recall, Guzan was linked with moves to Celtic F.C. and Aston Villa this past January. It is not out of the realm of possibilities to imagine Rogers and Guzan squaring off next summer somewhere abroad.
MLS Club - Columbus Crew
Previous Club(s) - Elgin City F.C. and Cleveland City Stars
Scottish midfielder Adam Moffat was spotted by the Columbus Crew playing in the USL First Division which is the second division in the United States and Canada's professional soccer pyramid. The twenty-one year old scored in the first match of the season against Toronto F.C. More importantly, he cleared a penalty kick off the line after goalkeeper Will Hesmer saved Colin Samuel's initial shot. His work rate has been exceptional so far this season.
Moffat's two-way play has allowed creative players like Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto more freedom on the offensive end. If Moffat continues his run of form, a return to the U.K. is likely.
MLS Club - Colorado Rapids
Previous Club(s) - Manchester City, Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday, etc.
On opening night and on national television, Terry Cooke and the Colorado Rapids hosted David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Cooke outplayed his former Manchester United teammate ending with one goal and two assists as Colorado shutout the Galaxy 4-0. Cooke joined the Rapids in 2005 and while the team backed by Arsenal minority owner Stan Kroenke failed to live up to expectations in Cooke's first three seasons, 2008 may see a Rapids revival.
The team posted another impressive victory this weekend as the Rapids shutout the New England Revolution. Cooke ended with another solid match in midfield and now the Rapids find themselves top of the Western table.
Click here to watch highlights of the previewed players and make your own judgement.