(Note: This piece completed last week.)
A few weeks ago The Shin Guardian brought you a piece comparing the ’06 Yanks to their 2010 counterpart.
Player-for-played which team is better?
Well, we decided to take the comparison in a different direction, a fun one. One of TSG’s readers, Ryan Rosenblatt, reached out and asked if he could participate. By all means Ryan.
Here’s what we did. With Ryan and myself as playground “captains,” we decided to hold a draft with the pool of players coming from the 2002 and the 2010 teams.
The main rule? That when a player was selected by one team the other team would be assigned get their opposite year counterpart.
For example, if I selected Brad Friedel ’02 then Ryan would get Tim Howard ’10. By selecting in this manner, it would, theoretically, force the captain not to necessarily choose the best player, but to choose the better of two counterpart that creates the biggest talent disparity.
With little to go on in terms of Bob Bradley’s 2010 line-up–and if Saturday proved anything either Coach Sweatpants is attempting a little misdirection with Fabio Capello or, yikes, still looking for combinations–I did as best I could to come up with comparable positions and players.
Here’s how our player pool looked once assembled:
RB: Howard vs. Friedel
B: Spector vs. Sanneh
CB: Onyewu/Goodson vs. Pope
CB: DeMerit vs. Berhalter
LB: Bocanegra vs. Hedjuk
CDM1: Bradley vs. O’Brien
CDM2: Edu or Clark (user choice) vs. Mastroeni
LCM: Donovan ’10 vs. Reyna
WM: Holden vs. Eddie Lewis/Mathis
FW: Dempsey vs. Landon ’02
STR: Altidore vs. McBride
2 off the bench (1 def, 1 attack):
BEN: Beasley, Agoos vs. Feilhaber, Bornstein
Going forward, TSG will be known as “TSG” and Ryan’s team will be known as “TWNN” (“Team With No Name”) since he never provided one.
TSG went first because we pay for the web hosting.
(And before we get started I must say that TSG erred in our number one overall selection–especially given the results of Saturday.)
1. With the 1st pick in the USMNT World Cup “supplemental” draft, TSG takes John O’Brien out of Los Angeles, California.
Selection #1: TSG: John’OBrien (2002)…this means that TWNN will receive (Michael Bradley 2010)
Defense: A tough first selection here and I honestly though long and hard about many other first picks. What won it for me is O’Brien breadth of skill. Able to hold in the midfield as well as possess as well as factor in the offense. He’s just a lot more dynamic in the midfield so the 1st nod of this draft goes to the 2002 team with O’Brien coming off the board first.
(On the clock)
2. With the 2nd pick in the USMNT World Cup supplemental draft, TWNN takes Tony Sanneh out of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Selection #2: TWNN (I’ll think up a team name soon): Tony Sanneh (2002)…this means that TSG will receive (Jonathan Spector 2010)
Defense: Because you took O’Brien number one,who I would have surely taken in the same spot, I go for a player that was at his peak in 2002 (Sanneh) versus a player struggling in 2010 (Spector). Having recently rewatched the ’02 Portugal, Mexico and Germany matches, the level that Sanneh played at is fresh in my mind and his ability to play outside, come in and cover inside, as well as run the flanks and deliver a good ball won me over.
He’s often the forgotten man on the ’02 team, but Sanneh’s play was extraordinary so the ’02 team has both of the two two picks.
To you, TSG…
Excellent, excellent selection…and one that TSG debated with the first pick in the draft, but we felt it would sort of be like taking a top tight end in the NFL draft with the first pick….doesn’t usually happen.
3. With the 3rd pick in the draft, TSG picks Jay DeMerit, pride of Wisconsin.
Selection #3: TSG selects Jay DeMerit 2010 meaning TWNN gets Gregg Berhalter 2002
Defense: Still reeling from the guy I thought I’d pick up with the 3rd pick, I’m starting to realize just how even these teams appear to be.
Maybe I was shaken a bit by your last pick, but TSG goes with competent Jay DeMerit vs. shaky Gregg Berhalter….yes that same Berhalter who could’ve had, should’ve had the most glorious goal in US history.
Berhalter has always been a very astute player, only his physical gifts haven’t equaled that astuteness. After not playing in the first few matches, he started for an extremely ineffective Jeff Agoos. Had the US had more pressure on them against Mexico and Germany especially, Berhalther may be looked at in a different light today.
For his part, Jay DeMerit has been world class against the World Class. While Hornet fans might lament his club form here and there, Jay DM has been near impeccable against top competition, beyond a single wonder move by Luis Fabiano.
Had Jay DeMerit had more of an Ivy League English football education earlier in his career, he may have rivaled some of the best in the Premiership during the mid-2000s.
Rather ironic as well that Berhalter as well as DeMerit, despite his impressive performances against Spain, Brazil and the Netherlands, were not automatic starter in the middle heading into their respective World Cup years.