Superdraft (sub-) Spectacular

Full credit to the soccer media: they're getting me excited about Friday's Superdraft. Given how little I know about all the players involved, that's a hell of a row to hoe.

It's not so much Major League Soccer's (MLS) "complete coverage"; thorough as that is, it's only a bunch of names and background chatter - and it's's suffocating....gasp! Absent someone telling me something about the players, it remains just names, right? ( the way, paging Matchnight; think I'll spend the rest of the week over there...)

This is why I was so grateful at seeing Jen Chang's latest for ESPN's site. Finally, some judging, some finding wanting, just some general calling out. All in all, it's Chang's is a harsh take on the 2007 class, but negative analyses tend to strike me as more trustworthy; they spare me from disappointment at the very least.

The meat of Chang's assessment:

" was hard to dispel the notion that the senior crop of players on display would be lackluster, especially in comparison to previous years. After the first day of workouts, one coach commented that 'this year's [combine talent] is the worst I've seen in five years.'"

Thanks for the heads-up, sir; not holding my breath.

A Frank Giase piece in the New Jersey Star-Ledger offers a gentler take from Red Bull's coach Bruce Arena, of all people. Here's the Bruce:

"'The talent here is pretty good. I think there's a dozen players who can help teams in MLS right away,' Arena said yesterday, when he was evaluating talent at the MLS combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 'In our case, we're not blessed with a lot of picks, so you have to be smart. We won't get the best players here. Those draft picks were traded away for a variety of reasons, so we're a little hampered.'"

In case you're thinking Arena was simply in a giving mood, check out what he said about his team:

"'We don't have enough players of interest to other teams in the league, or draft picks, to make trades,' he said."

Nice, Bruce.

In any case, combining the above is better still: competing opinions trumps knee-jerk negativity. Not knowing till we see with our own eyes; that's what keeps us watching, right?


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