Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An MLS preview. Sorta.

Go ahead, Wells. Date my nonexistent sister.
I was recently involved in a cool, sort of wonky roundtable MLS season preview over at The Shin Guardian. Along with a couple other knuckleheads, I chipped in with some opinions. Some ridiculous, some more ridiculous, some worth reading. You can read the whole thing, including everyone else's responses, over at TSG now (I think part two comes out today). I've picked out mine for your consumption. Might want to pop an antacid or two first.

Supporters Shield

Kansas City. I'll admit, the EPL knocked a few pegs from underneath a team I had pigeonholed as the league's best back in December. No Roger, no Kei. I still have faith in Peter Vermes and crew (whadda draft), enough so that I think they'll mow through a down Western Conference and then do enough in the East to hold off the dogs. Who else are you picking? NYRB? DC? I scoff. Scoff with an intensity that rumbles all the way to Landon Donovan's secret underground bunker. CJ Sapong is going to score all of the goals. In the entire league.

Runner-up: Houston (again!)

Most overrated player

Eddie Johnson. EJ has done more than a few good things in Seattle. But (and I suppose this is kind of what Seattle fans do) his contributions have been blown up to almost Herculean proportions merely because he was so bad for so long in England. Yeah, he's better now. And yeah, he still occasionally looks like that overconfident 10-year-old in your local pickup game who just (kinda) learned how to do step-overs. “Check out this raindrop guys!!!” *shot flies into a nearby pickup truck, EJ falls over*

Runner-up: Alan Gordon (you heard me)

Most improved player

Benny Feilhaber. Guys, Benny is going to be good this year. Really good. Allow me to do my best Ray Hudson for a minute: All silk and delicately pruned majesty, Benny cleaved through the forest of defenders with a temperate electricity and weaved in a pass that would make the Oneida people stop at their spinning jennys and WONDER IN A DEEP CLOYING STUPOR THAT MAKES EVEN MESSI LAY DOWN HIS LEGS AND QUIT THE GAME ENTIRELY. Or, you know, something in that vein.

Runner-up: Edson Buddle

Which player would you least like to see in high definition?
Steven Lenhart. All arms and legs and fro and that big moon face. Scares me. Scares his mother.

Runner-up: Thierry Henry (you turn to stone if you look in his eyes)

Coach of the year

Peter Vermes. Sporting Rock City.

Runner-up: Ben Olsen

Anti-coach of the year

Sigi Schmid. Mastered the art of incessant complaining and in-game scarf wearing. Doubleplus fail.

Runner-up: John Hackworth. Solely because his nickname is The Hack.

Most underrated player

Jeff Parke. So good in 2012 Seattle traded him to Philly. One of the league's best, most consistent defenders last year, and he gets little play.

Runner-up: Jeff Larentowicz

Shoulda been a goalie

Mike Magee. The mini mite!

Runner up: Connor Lade (mini mite the sequel!)

Best MLS player from Africa

Steve Zakuani. Don't dispute me. Even on one leg. I vote on potential and the assumption that Brian Mullan does not exist as a person. So there you go.

Runner up: Sanna Nyassi

Best American MLS player

Landon Donovan. This is like asking me to pick between a sugared beet and an elaborately prepared red velvet cake that's suddenly gone missing. I'LL STILL TAKE THE CAKE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Runner-up: Brad Davis

The most anti-American player

Boniek Garcia. Because he knows how to do cool things with a soccer ball at his feet. ZING.

Runner-up: Marvin Chavez

Golden Crowbar award

Oswaldo Minda. Somebody give this dude a hug. Consistently leads the league in dumb cards. Chelis?

Runner-up: Patrick Ianni

The player/coach with the hottest girlfriend or wife you wouldn't expect

Sigi Schmid. I bet Sigi is dating a 25-year-old model from Belarus. And he makes her wear an awful rave green scarf EVERYWHERE.

Runner-up: Dax McCarty

Best target forward by physical ability/appearance

Alan Gordon. Because he has legs like tree stalks and a face like Treebeard. “I bid thee come, for I shall score.” Or whatever Lord of the Rings quote applies to soccer.

Runner-up: Conor Casey

Best Canadian team not playing in Canada

New York Red Bulls. Because trophies are as foreign as the poutine, coaches rotate in and out like clockwork and nobody really wants to play there.

Runner-up: DC United

More annoying owner: Portland's Merritt Paulson or SKC's Robb Heineman?

Merritt Paulson. Because Robb Heineman was on a desk/treadmill for the SKC Christmas video message, and that's just ridiculous rich guy ingenuity used for a really menial normal-guy stuff, which is awesome. Paulson goes heli-skiing in Nepal and dives the Titanic wreck with James Cameron and Alec Baldwin. Screw that guy.

MLS Cup winner

New York Red Bulls. Because I live for the lulz, guys. (I'm really going to go with the Red Bulls, though. I'll look like a genius if they win. If they don't? I'm already considered clinically insane, so I lose no ground here).

Runner-up: San Jose

2013 Shoulda been a DP award

Jaime Castrillon. The bang for your buck he provided off his relatively low salary was in the league's top six in 2012. Also, he's a really good attacking mid. So there's that.

Runner-up: Juninho (Galaxy)
2013 Rookie of the Year

Mikey Lopez. With Roger gone to England, he has a legitimate shot at some early minutes. And he's surrounded by a really good supporting cast. And his name is Mikey.

Runner-up: Andrew Farrell

2013 Dema Kovalenko award

Steven Lenhart. Of course it's Lenhart. This means I've tabbed Lenhart as both the most annoying and the least TV-genic in these rankings. You're welcome, Mrs. Lenhart! Good job, good effort.

Runner-up: Robbie Keane

Player you'd choose to save a penalty kick without using his hands

Thierry Henry. He will literally stare the shot into nonexistence.

Runner-up: Mike Magee

Will Johnson award for the player with the best motor

Dax McCarty. The Red Ball of Work, as I called him just now, is one of the league's best. And NY just locked him up with a new contract. Balling. Red Balling.

Runner-up: Osvaldo Alonso

Player I'm most OK with dating my sister

Wells Thompson. John 3:16.

Runner-up: Thierry Henry (because $$$)

2013 Goalkeeper of the Year

Andy Gruenebaum. He will rise from the giant well of yellow apathy in our country's paunchy midsection to capture our votes. And our hearts, guys. Our hearts.

Runner-up: Matt Pickens

2013 outrageous prediction

Landon Donovan will ride David Beckham out for the Galaxy's opener. Like, ride him. On his back. Donovan will not play in the game.

Runner-up: The Red Bulls resign Marquez, lure him to upstate New York and trick him into a pit lined with video screens showing Donovan's Algeria goal on continuous loop. He is kept there for the rest of his life.

Biggest profile bomb

Whatever New York Juninho does. Do his legs work?

Runner-up: Robbie Keane. Paired with his runner-up Dema award, it's obvious Keano punched my mom in the face once.

If you could take one player and drop him on another team...

Has to be DeRo on TFC just for the lulz. Close second is Julian De Guzman on TFC. Come to think of it, anybody on TFC.

Runner-up: I can't come up with anything better than that. Defense rests.

- Will Parchman


dikranovich said...

kiddies with a game that counts. USAu20 v canada now on fox soccer. will, your only pick that counts for me is that montreal one. then we can see whats what.

Jay said...

Goddamnit, dik, stay on topic. This article is about Will's ridiculous drunk blogging habit, not your incessant need to be driving the topic of conversation. That's what your blog is for, yes?

How much whiskey did you consume from start to finish on this post, Will?

dikranovich said...

ahhh, now i understand why he thinks shea started and stoke city won this past weekend. thank you aunt esther.

and i like how you tied an old conversation about alessandro nesta to this new montreal discussion.

oh, and the last comments you made in the old discussion. priceless!!!

Will Parchman said...

To be fair, Jay, it was Texas blue corn whiskey. Expensive blue corn whiskey.

over there said...

Houston wins the Cup. Just too stacked and well-coached not to.

Farrell is ROTY. He'll play 90 mins/game, every game. Lopez won't see the field enough to earn it.

Jay said...

Actually, I don't even see Lopez staying on the squad this year -- I think he gets shipped to Orlando for playing time. Call me crazy but I see Kyle Bekker getting opportunities with TFC and being in the ROTY conversation near the end of the season.