Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The all-Two Door Cinema Club MLS team

That headline may confuse some people. And that's okay. It's kind of the point.

There is an unpublicized rule that a hipster indie kid isn't a hipster indie kid until he knows a band that nobody else has ever heard of. Of course it doesn't matter if this is true, it just needs to feel true. I can hear the strained, cracked voice bellowing over thinly distorted arpeggios in a dimly-lit San Francisco backwater dive bar now... "Dude, I saw Bon Iver live before he got back from his Wisconsin log cabin, where he wrote most of For Emma, Forever Ago. I was in the back of his car when he sang Skinny Love to himself for the first time. No joke." The knowing hipster indie kid friend will simply nod demurely in approval, sipping his PBR with a glazed look while scratching the ubiquitous itch created by the fit of his tattered red skinny jeans.

So who is Two Door Cinema Club? One of those bands that should blow the doors off the national scene but for one reason or another just hasn't taken off as a household name. They're poppy enough to murder the radio waves, they're sound enough musically to satiate the roiling masses of down-their-nose music snobs, and fun enough to be tunes for any occasion and any season. But they've still managed to hatch a loyal albeit small nucleus of fans from their infectious brand of music, creating a nice niche for those in the know. It's good to pay attention sometimes.

Which brings us to our MLS adventure today. As the MLS season draws ever so near (we are so damn close now, don't give up hope yet) here is my all-TDCC XI... MLS players that are about to (or just should) blow up big in 2012. For the practiced MLS fan, these names might not be all that foreign. But that's because you have good (musical) taste. But for the rest of the world, here are 11 names to remember. And I think I hit 11 different teams on this, too.

Crank up those radios America, ya' heard?

Goalkeeper 
Zac MacMath, Philadelphia Union

MacMath, the No. 5 overall pick in 2011, is poised for a big year in 2012. The departure of Faryd Mondragon opened the door for the Maryland product, who gets his chance to helm the space between the sticks going forward. The biggest bonus for MacMath? He's the recipient of a tremendously dependable back line out of the box. That can only help a young keeper gain his footing.

Left back
Seth Sinovic, Sporting KC

Sinovic is often considered the red-headed stepchild of the SKC back four. But it's only because his three mates at the back have been so strong. And because Sinovic came out of nowhere. The Revs cut him (yes, those Revs) at the beginning of the 2011 season, so he signed with hometown SKC at the league minimum, became a fan fave, was left unprotected in the expansion draft, was picked up by Montreal, was traded back to SKC for Davy Arnaud and then signed an extension with SKC shortly thereafter. Got all that?

Right back
Lee Young-Pyo, Vancouver Whitecaps

Lee isn't the typical "on the verge of stardom" pick because he's been there before. At 34 - he'll be 35 before the summer - he's already logged serious time in the Prem and presumably decided to end his club career in Vancouver because of its rich Asian scene. And money of course. But Lee probably won't be familiar to a number of MLS fans, and the fullback who plays like a winger very well could help Vancouver begin its climb toward decency. At the very least, its a shrewd marketing move. You'll certainly hear his name plenty in 2012.

Center back
Brandon McDonald, DC United

United fans know plenty about the sturdily-built McDonald, who started all 18 games he played for Ben Olsen after being traded from San Jose mid-season. But the rest of the league will get a chance to settle in and get to know a comfortable McDonald more this year, as he plans to partner with Emiliano Dudar to provide the backbone for what DC hopes is a run at the Eastern Conference title. He might have to scrap for PT with Dejan Jakovic, but then we all know who I think will win that battle, don't we?

Markus Holgersson, New York Red Bulls

New York picked a nice time to swoop in and poach the Swedish international from his Helsingborg home (Highly recommend The Man From Beijing. Excellent read). Six days after signing to play for Hans Backe in January, Holgersson received his first national team call-up, and he got his first start five days later in a 5-0 dusting of Qatar. At 6-3 and just 26, the center back is being tabbed to replace Tim Ream's aerial sense and provide that sense of stability for a team that lacked it for much of 2011.  

Midfield
Kelyn Rowe, New England Revolution

It seems now that Rowe will play wide right in Jay Heaps' new system, but he's versatile enough to slot in at a few places. Either way, one thing's for deadlock certain: Heaps is not afraid of giving a rookie major minutes. That will bode well for Rowe's fantasy owners and those hoping for a big year out of the youngster. He should be an early favorite to follow up CJ Sapong as rookie of the year.

Jaime Castrillon, Colorado Rapids

If Castrillon's offseason signing from Colombia's Medellin didn't single-handedly bring back a number of Rapids fans from the ledge, he certainly helped. He will slide into the creator role in the middle of Oscar Pareja's new 4-3-3, which is asking a lot of a new signing. But hey, he's already scored at Dick's Park. So no worries.

Marvin Chavez, San Jose Earthquakes

We already know Chavez is a burner, but can he consistently produce service? That was his MO in Dallas, where he routinely got into good positions but occasionally lacked polish on his final touches. All the early returns from San Jose, where he landed in the offseason, are positive so far. Joining forces with Wondo isn't the worst thing to happen to a midfielder, either.

Marco Pappa, Chicago Fire

What, eight goals isn't a ceiling season? Nope, not when he ravages that total this year, and it certainly didn't get him the attention he deserved. Pappa showed glimpses of being an MLS star last year, but I think he breaks into rarified air this season as a household name even among the league's casual fans. He can be a freak on the left side, and as Chicago only seems to be better this year, that should help take some of the pressure off.

Forward
Darlington Nagbe, Portland Timbers

Before his rookie year, Nagbe came into training camp injured, which is a horrible way to start your professional career. He had a decent year - two goals and three assists - but 2012 could very well be his breakout season. He will spend plenty of time paired up top with Kris Boyd, which should be a boon for a player with a goal of the year trophy in his pocket already. The technical whiz kid (he's only 21) is clear of injuries, has the rookie wall behind him and can do things like this. Helloooo nurse.

Will Bruin, Houston Dynamo

Bruin enters his second year in MLS with something to prove. Even though the Dynamo reacquired Brian Ching, he's at the end of his rope professionally, and Bruin is the heir apparent to his throne up top. Bruin put in an early hat trick last year before an injury derailed his ROY campaign, and the physical striker will be looking to give Dom Kinnear reason for hope in the future. But change the goal celebration, dude. It's horrible. Really, really horrible.

- Will Parchman

13 comments:

Alex Larsen said...

marco pappa is a bad bad man. I'm surprised he doesn't get more press. And I'm down with the dancing bear. It makes me laugh when I see it.

JohnC said...

Danny Mwanga will have a bigger breakout season compared to Bruin and Nagbe, also, if his impending US citizenship occurs this year then maybe we start hearing his name for USMNT. Though I did buy the Two Door Cinema Club album off Amazon based on your suggestion.

Matt said...

Bon Iver - color me unimpressed, check out the Heartless Bastards.

What IS up with the whole PBR thing?

. said...

I like TDCC and Tourist History, but I can understand why more people don't like them. The hooks are definitely there, but it is a bit repetitive at times.

Rowe has looked like an absolute stud in NE's preseason games. As for Sinovec, there were very few Rev fans that were upset when he was let go - he just hadn't shown that much. For all the terrible moves that the Revs have made the last five years, I don't think this is one they should be killed about.

Unknown said...

Glad to see another TDCC fan! I agree with Matt; Bon Iver has been pretty "meh" with me. Almost seems like one of those acts that is seen as "cool to like".

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Nice to see some love for TDCC! Its funny but i first heard of them on the FIFA soundtrack, so i find the MLS analogy quite accurate.

Zach said...

What about Shuler from RSL? Kreis certainly thinks he is ready, saw where he said he isn't far from USMNT...

Will Parchman said...

I love Bon Iver but won't begrudge others for not getting his style. The falsetto isn't for everybody, and his cache with the trend-setters can put some people off him. That doesn't bother me as much.

As for TDCC's repetitiveness... yeah, it's there, but have you heard popular radio lately? I find it hard to believe that's the reason it's being held back. It's just not dressed up in full auto-tune and dripping with clumsy sexual innuendo.

Will Parchman said...

Chris Schuler has a high upside, but he's a victim of RSL's strength at CB. Unless Nat Borchers' injury becomes a lengthy ordeal or Olave gets injured, Schuler will struggle for PT. And that's not his fault, but he happens to have two MLS Defender of the Year finalists in front of him.

Jacob Frazer said...

Mr. Parchman, it would be very unhipster of you to have discovered Two Door Cinema Club from Fifa '11, like I did.

UnitedDemon said...

Splitting hairs, I do think McDonald will impress, but just for the sake of argument:

Boskovic. Sure, he's a DP, but even so, he's been riddled with injuries since arriving late in 2010. If he has the kind of year DC needs from him, he'll have have plenty of fans asking "where'd this guy come from?"

Except maybe New York, who ended his 2011 season because he had the temerity to score a brace in Open Cup play.

Will Parchman said...

Jacob, I'd be lying if I said FIFA '11 didn't introduce me to TDCC. I'd also be lying if I said I had any interest in being labeled a hipster. Or anything close. Plus, I found Ceu through a FIFA game (can't remember which, '07 or '08 I think), and she's become arguably my favorite artist. So they've clearly got their act together when it comes to musical acts. Even if some of the groups in '12 need to be put to pasture.

I'd thought about Bosko, Demon. Looking at United's lineup, he's arguably the one most poised to break out and destroy everybody. As long as he gets past the injury bug, of course.