Saturday, December 23, 2017

Casting Call

Pardon my silence, been away on an early holiday battery re-charger in Tallinn (a little town with its charms and some really good food, check it out). Usually that annual December trip comes after the reveal of my Futbol de Primera Player of the Year ballot. This year, we flip it.

1 - Christian Pulisic
2 - Clint Dempsey
3 - Jordan Morris

The win vote goes, plain and simple, to the guy who played best in USMNT colors this year. At  times, Pulisic was a buzz-saw. I look forward to many years of this business.

Dempsey was the obvious second choice. Before it was somehow decided that he was solely a super-sub option, his production (five goals, four assists in 632 minutes = one tally participation every 70 minutes) rivaled Pulisic's (6g, 4a in 773m = one TP every 77 minutes). It says here that if Deuce starts the T&T game, we're all now weighing the challenges presented by our World Cup group. And if his bid for a rescue equalizer during that fatal contest tucks inside the post (you all know the one), it would be easy to argue he should win this award.

Morris pulls into the third slot for one reason: he made the most important plays of the team's biggest success this year. Gold Cup heroics amid this rough year is worth some bronze.

- Greg Seltzer


Dr.Jon said...

Greg, welcome back. Happy holidays.

UnitedDemon said...

I'm the one freak who think Zusi deserves to be on the list. I thought he put in admirable effort at RB despite hatred from fans and the most talented CONCACAF players we faced. And he got some vital major stats in the winning of the Gold Cup, showed tremendous grit, determination, and tenacity.

I know he'll always live in the shadow of the myth that Chandler is somehow a legend for the USMNT, and he certainly didn't make us forget Cherundolo, but at least he stopped the bleeding that was Yedlin's unfortunate injury.

So, Weirdo who will defend Graham Zusi's RWB career for USMNT, signing out. I will do my best not to respond to hate.

Paul Poenicke said...

Greg, it is good to have you back. Hope your holiday get-away was relaxing. Your counterfacual account of Clint sounds correct. Clint is a figure who would've given the US necessary drive and toughness to beat TNT. Unfortunately, there are so many counterfactuals that would've delivered qualififcation (Cameron starting instead of Gonzalez, quicker subs, etc.) that the question could easily be discussed into the next century. It is the fate of a black swan event: there are many changes that would've made the event not occur.

@United Demon: Can I call you SUPER freak? (Cue Rick James.) Zusi did looked decent in the Gold Cup, as many fans forget. I don't think he looked as good in more important games, and other options, including Chandler, would've fared better in said games. That said, props for the gutsy opinion. I'd throw my 3rd place vote for Altidore--large number of assists and goals in qualifying. No one really deserves the third place vote, to be honest.