Friday, June 10, 2011

Goodie basket time

As you can see, this is your European breakfast edition.

I'm sure you've wondered why NSC got so quiet about goodies suddenly, but let me assure you the efforts continue through the "radio silence".

I've come to learn over the years that these things go in cycles. However, I still cannot say whether the down cycle is related to a lack of activity out there or everyone zipping lips once I find out a few things.

Either way, it always comes around again...
  • As always, let's start with AS Roma's adventures. Last time, I teased that there was another for the list. That player is L.A. Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez - but the reveal got held back once I learned that others teams in Europe had already been scouting him. At the least, there's one Bundesliga side and two Ligue 1 sides that have been checking him out longer.

    My sense of the situation? Gonzalez wants to enhance his USMNT allure, has two years left on his contract and the Galaxy could simply resign themselves to getting something in return for kindly helping him take the next step = Don't be surprised if he moves across the pond in January.
  • Ever since I revealed that a Belgian topper most likely to be Club Brugge was after Örebro midfield engine Alejandro Bedoya, it became more and more apparent by the day that my educated hunch was correct.

    I can now reveal that Club Brugge have started talking fee with ÖSK. It seems they do not want to wait until midseason to bring him aboard. And if they do make a proper offer, expect that the other suitors will be alerted to compete.
  • At the bottom of Travis Clark's latest excellent youth roundup: Kelyn Rowe looks set to return to UCLA after failing to compel an offer from auditioners Rennes and FC Cologne.

There's a lot more going on, so stay tuned to the Batchannel. Also, I have been served a royal decree from The Distracter to do a new entertainment world Top 5'er. I actually have one half done that got lost on my working Notepad file, so I'll drop that this weekend.



- Greg Seltzer

18 comments:

Matt said...

Wouldn't Omar be better served running out his contract with the Galaxy? Seems like the farthest thing from a foregone conclusion that going overseas is going to enhance his USMNT standing unless he plays every week.

Not saying he's not good enough, just saying he can grow plenty under Bruce's tutelage.

Greg Seltzer said...

I would assume that he and those around him feel he is good enough to take the next step. They may also find it necessary sooner rather than later.

Jamie said...

Awesome! Thanks!

Matt said...

Well, right, I assume he's probably good enough as well. But what do you mean by "necessary"? Do you mean from a career development standpoint? Or something else?

Greg Seltzer said...

Yes, necessary as in he's probably ready to graduate from MLS to a more challenging league where he can continue to develop at a good pace.

Matt said...

That does make sense, and I certainly want him to succeed abroad. Kind of an interesting implicit commentary on the state of MLS that our top players need to be out within two years or risk capping their potential.

Not altogether surprising, just interesting.

Greg Seltzer said...

Well, he is a unique case - not the average.

Plus, I wouldn't go so far as to say MLS "caps" his potential. But at some point there is a law of diminishing returns in effect, making tougher opposition necessary to maintain rate of growth.

Matt said...

I guess I didn't think of Omar as that much of a unique case. By that I mean, is he really that much better than a typical MLS top-10 super draft pick?

I actually don't know the answer to that question. (In my mind, he's a a player of similar potential as Chad Marshall.) If he really is a special talent than he should go abroad. Otherwise, it still feels like another 2 years in MLS wouldn't hurt him.

strago said...

I think hes better than Marshall IMO. He's 4 years younger and isnt injured nearly as much. He also had the chance to learn from one of the best in Berhalter.

Will said...

Omar is indeed unique. With his body type, potential on possession (for a defender) and ability to impact on corners, he's at the point in his career where appearances in MLS only get him so far.

Potential talk aside, Omar is flat out consistently a better defender than anyone in the league, save probably Tim Ream and maybe a guy like Rafa Marquez on a good day. Assuming he actually plays abroad, a move like this can only be considered a positive.

Matt said...

Interesting. I'll need to pay more attention the next time the Galaxy are on. I didn't realize he was so highly thought of. Again, I knew he was good, just not top-three in the league good.

Then I just hope we've sent enough Americans abroad for his agents to know a good league for him to start in (Germany, Holland, Belgium) so he doesn't spend an inordinate amount of time riding the proverbial pine.

Greg Seltzer said...

I agree with these guys that Omar is a unique case for the reasons they mention.

The last MLS defender this good at 22? Hmm. Let me think over that for a spell and come back with an answer.

Greg Seltzer said...

It would have to be Bocanegra 10 years ago, I think.

strago said...

Interesting Greg, I would also put Ryan Nelsen right up there even though hes not american

Greg Seltzer said...

I think Nelsen didn't arrive to MLS until he was 23.

Matt said...

So this begs the question: why is Ream playing in the Gold Cup and not Omar? Both similar age, both important to their respective teams. Is it just Omar is similar to Goodson and Gooch in terms of role and skill set?

Greg Seltzer said...

You'd need to ask Bob Bradley on that - but I'd guess your take of his perception isn't too far off.

Ream has also had more chances than Omar to date, and one of Omar's was Brazil. So, I don't find it the most level playing field, but it is how it is.

Bottom line by me? I personally would rate Omar now as a little bit better than 2010 Ream (when he was 22). Many other people would probably say the exact opposite. It's close.

Matt said...

Yea, Neymar was a bit of a terror in that game. Rough intro for Omar. This whole thread has been an eye opener to me. Good news for USMNT to have two legitimate top shelf prospects knocking on the door. Exciting.