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Morning Kickaround

*World Cup 2010 in South Africa has a mascot: Zakumi!

*Two Red Bulls are called up by Venezuela for World Cup qualifying next month.

*Reading Manager Steve Coppell suggests his club's controversial game with Watford could be replayed, though that seems highly unlikely.

*Chance Myers, the first overall draft pick by Kansas City, has mononucleosis, joining No. 2 selection Brek Shea of Dallas, out with a knee injury. How have first-round picks fared this year?

-- Myers 10 games, 7 starts, no goals or assists
-- Shea 2 games, 17 minutes
-- RSL D Tony Beltran 14 games, 7 starts, one assist
-- L.A. D Sean Franklin, 22/21, 1,935 minutes
-- Colorado MF Ciarin O'Brien 19 minutes
-- Columbus D Andy Iro 13/8, one goal
-- Chicago F Patrick Nyarko 7/2, one goal
-- Dallas GK Josh Lambo no appearances
-- Toronto D Julius James 12/10, one goal
-- Revs MF Pat Phelan 9/5 432 minutes
-- K.C. MF Roger Espinoza 18/11, 1 goal, 2 assists
-- GK Dom Cervi, did not sign with MLS (Chicago)
-- NE D Rob Valentino has not played
-- RSL D David Horst one start

Among later draft picks: New York MF Luke Sassano 16 games, 11 starts; Chicago MF Stephen King 16/6, two goals; Houston MF Geoff Cameron 18/6 one goal, two assists; Columbus F Steven Lenhart three goals.

From the supplemental draft: Revs F Kheli Dube 16/9, four goals, three assists, and New York MF Danleigh Borman 15/7, two goals.

*After having its Champions League opener postponed by Hurricane Ike's impact, the Houston Dynamo will play its first game in the inaugural tournament tonight on the road against Panamanian club San Francisco (8 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel).

*The third-ranked Maryland Terrapins aim for their fifth consecutive victory tonight against American at Ludwig Field, their final tuneup before Friday's home showdown against top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Wake Forest.

*Finally, you can catch me on Comcast SportsNet's "Washington Post Live" around 5:30 p.m. this evening.

By Steve Goff  |  September 23, 2008; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , College Soccer , MLS , World  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: No Moreno in Honduras
Next: Stadium? Did You Say 'Stadium'?


Big Ten network is close by FSC in the new FIOS line-up. Some soccer. Stumbled on Notre Dame v PSU women last night. ND women are very good. Technical, physical, fast.

Central defender #19 took a laser shot square in the face, which snapped her head back. She did not go down, flinch or even reach her hand up to her face to check for blood or loose teeth. Her head snapped back in place and she looked around for the ball, like the cyborg in Terminator 2. Quite intimidating.

ND women at Georgetown 10/10 at 3:00 pm. Dadryan does your daughter have a trailer seat?

Posted by: OWNTF | September 23, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Just out of curiosity - where is Cervi playing?

Posted by: BillyBob | September 23, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

the "super"draft is a joke.

here's an idea the USL should serve as a farm system to mls

these kids coming out of college would make more money in the usl anyways

Posted by: dcu in iraq | September 23, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

dcu in iraq makes a good point. I actually like what BYU's team does - they don't play in NCAA, but rather PDL. From their site:
"Paralleling their efforts to increase the level of competition , Brigham Young University Soccer has left the Collegiate Club division of soccer, and have purchased a Premier Development League franchise, where they will begin play in May of 2003. Part of the United Soccer Leagues, this league provides the year round competition necessary to develop individual and team skills that in hand will better prepare them for success in their international travels. We are the only University sponsored soccer program to ever purchase a franchise and that will compete at a level considered higher than NCAA soccer in the pyramid of US soccer development."

Posted by: downtown | September 23, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

the way things are going, the mls could be viewed as the farm system for the USL . . . .

Posted by: Mysterian | September 23, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I second BillyBob. Is Cervi just playing exclusively for the USMNT now?

Posted by: Randomher0723 | September 23, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Did someone say, "Chance?"

"If you change your mind
I'm the first in line
Honey I'm still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you've got no place to go, if you're feeling down
If you're all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I'm still free
Take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try..."

Posted by: Joe Doc | September 23, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

So, I'm still new to this league and still learning things. Why doesn't DCU have a first round draft pick in there?

Posted by: kristin | September 23, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse


DC trades its draft choices for allocation money. It views the SuperDraft as a crap shoot at best. They prefer to spend on Argentinean Lawn Gnomes and focus on winning the Injured Reserve League.

I'm bitter today.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 23, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

They prefer to spend on Argentinean Lawn Gnomes and focus on winning the Injured Reserve League.

I'm bitter today.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 23, 2008 9:22 AM

OUCH! (but sorta, depressingly true)

Posted by: downtown | September 23, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

the way things are going, the mls could be viewed as the farm system for the USL . . . .

Posted by: Mysterian | September 23, 2008 9:16 AM

Probably not!!! :) But it would be nice for the USL to become a bigger farm system for MLS.

Posted by: kris | September 23, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I think the draft will be gonesville eventually. There's really no point.

Posted by: Kev | September 23, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

VBB, did you forget to get out of Lehman in time?

I would argue the reserve games are a waste of time, money and effort. That's where the young players are supposed to cut their teeth the first season as they're slowly integrated into the first team over the course of their first MLS season.

I would also argue this strongly reflects on our college programs, which generally stink in terms of developing soccer players. I find it very difficult to watch a college game, given that it eventually turns into a poorly played rugby match.

Kids are flocking to Pete Carroll's USC football program because he's teaching the NFL game. USC reserve players have a better-than-average chance at playing in the NFL. Perhaps the coaches of our premier college soccer programs can learn something from this.

Posted by: Joe Doc | September 23, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Wow--that's an amazing list of first-round failure this year. What's especially amazing is that you've got some teams like NE, DCU, Houston that could have played as many as 50 competitive matches this year (depending upon Champions League and MLS playoffs). Which means even if you aren't that good as a first round pick, you'd expect to see opportunities.

Posted by: JoeW | September 23, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@Virginia Blue Blood

Thank you! I understand the bitterness! Everything you said sounds like something this team would do!

Posted by: kristin | September 23, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Off topic: I have now changed my position (flip-flopped, in the seasonal vernacular) based on the article below. Women's soccer is boring. Please stop discussing it. I'm going to ask for a raise now.

Study Ties Wage Disparities To Outlook on Gender Roles
Men with egalitarian attitudes about the role of women in society earn significantly less on average than men who hold more traditional views about women's place in the world, according to a study being reported today.


Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 23, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@Joe Doc,

Nah - no Lehman money here - but perhaps we should ask our co-owner, Mr. MacFarlane, about his heavy relationship with the defunct company.

No - I'm actually just generally embarassed to be an American most days anymore - especially because no one, not big business or the small silly family can't figure out their own finances on everything from structured product sales and executive pay packages to home mortgages and credit cards.

But I digress - Carling Cup today!

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 23, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

But I digress - Carling Cup today!

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 23, 2008 10:00 AM

:-) Welsh derby today on Setanta. Not a bad diversion on a Tuesday afternoon in the office.

Posted by: Kev | September 23, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

It's certainly looking like a weak draft class but it's always a bit early to judge after 1 season. Some guys are stuck behind veterans and have coaches who are more cautious than others.

starter: Franklin, James,
occasional starter: Myers, Beltran (was), Iro, Phelan (barely), Espinoza
future prospect: Shea, Lambo, Nyarko
unknown (but for whatever reason not deemed worth playing regularly): O'Brien, Valentino, Horst

O'Brien got a red card in his few minutes, Valentino got some minutes in non-league games. I must have missed Horst's game.

Of the later picks mentioned, Dube is the only one I really rate high. Lenhart has some potential. Cameron has improved but doesn't have tremendous upside.

Of guys not mentioned, Eric Avila is now a regular player (mostly sub) for Dallas. His creativity is pretty good giving him some potential to stand out in the league. Ely Allen, Jonathan Leathers, Brian Edwards, Brandon MacDonald, Kraig Chiles, Tino Nunez, and Kraig Chiles have played significant minutes.

Franklin has USMNT potential. James is a bit disappointing but still has upside. Espinoza has a nice game that can flourish under the right system. Nyarko's chance will come. Shea and Lambo are still top talents. No clear stars at the top of this draft but it was still useful to have a 1st rounder for those that scouted well. Not much different from 2007 but for no Mo Edu.

Posted by: undrafted | September 23, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Newcastle owner, Mike Ashely, received this bid via e-mail.

Nigerian consortium shows interest in Newcastle

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 23, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Nyarko started to look good as the Fire were waiting for McBride to come, but he suffered a knee injury.

The Watford replay had already been rejected yesterday.

Posted by: RK | September 23, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"According to reports in Africa, a Nigerian company has accrued £350million to launch a potential takeover and are bidding to secure the remaining funding which would improve their chances of a successful purchase."

Start looking in your in-boxes for offers from Nigerian government officials/princes/brothers of dead treasury secretaries for opportunities to purchase shares in Newcastle.

I'm in!

Posted by: Joe Doc | September 23, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

To: Mike Ashley (
From: Prince Akwari (
Subj: Greetings

Mr. Ashley,

I'm writing to you to tell you that I have recently come into a large sum of money that is yours. I have trouble getting it out of country but will get it to you. All you need do is send me the papers for Newcastle United, a small sum, and I will be able to wire the balance to you in your account.

Good day

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 23, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

While I admit that the Toulon U-23 team was an embarassing collection of average players, Valentino might have been one of the worst. He looked totally outmatched and I'm not surprised that he hasn't taken off in MLS.

Posted by: Belts | September 23, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

All this shows is that players are rarely ready, when they're first drafted, to star in the MLS. It also suggests that those who suggested the Fire had the best draft -- namely me -- were correct. The Fire didn't draft as if they had a secret or incredible insight. They drafted proven talents like Nyarko and King, both of whom should have been picked higher, if teams wanted players who were MLS-ready. The surprise would be Columbus' success.

As for the USL serving as a minor league -- "downtown" brings up BYU's program because they are playing in a USL league. Just wondering how that's working out. Are we seeing a bunch of BYU players popping up in MLS or foreign leagues? Any of them?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 23, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone make a convincing argument that Sean Franklin should not win rookie of the year. He is clearly the best rookie player.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | September 23, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Convey starting today in Readings Carling Cup match. Will be interested to see if other yanks get time.

Woman's collegiate soccer - how 'about JMU beating PSU on FSC last Thursday and then coming back and beating Tech. Lot's of NoVA talent there. UVA lost first match of year.

Posted by: Beckster | September 23, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

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