Posts Tagged ‘Jay DeMerit’

Jay DeMerit: Soccer Rocks!

We’re all about Jay DeMerit “chasing his dreams,” but that doesn’t hold a candle to “Soccer Rocks.”

DeMerit, sort of like Pearl Jam…ya just can’t be the original debut.

Chasing The Dream: The Jay DeMerit Story

Jay DeMerit 2D.

It speaks for itself. Too bad he’s Canadian now.

Misplayed? DeMerit To Whitecaps In Offing

More than one source and numerous web sites say that Jay DeMerit to MLS’s new north-of-the-border franchise, the Vancouver Whitecaps, is a done deal with the signing to be announced tomorrow.

DeMerit, set to be announced by purveyors of BC Bud?

A puzzling outcome for DeMerit, who gambled on not re-upping his Watford deal last year and betting a strong World Cup (solid if not spectacular as it turned out) could be parlayed into a big contract at a strong European league.

In September, DeMerit made a few statements in a British radio interview, including:

I’m just being patient, but I want to get something sorted out…..I’m not trying to chase an opportunity….I’m in the luxury of being able to choose what I want to do


If nothing happens, I’ll look to go back to the States in January

Just last month, we started to get signs that it was MLS-or-bust for DeMerit: an appearance at the Mall of America in Minnesota and visiting with the USMNT that was in town in Chicago.

So what happened?

Well, first, this is no slight on Vancouver, but DeMerit made it clear he wanted to stay in Europe.

It clearly appears that DeMerit, 31 in a few weeks, battling injuries the past few years fell victim to lack of leverage and home grown rules (Italy and England) being instituted across Europe.

Why offer a multi-year deal to an aging American central defender? Surely the next year, another foreigner will be available who is perhaps younger and maybe meets your native quota.

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Jay DeMerit Audio: MLS An Option…In Winter If..

Had not seen the site before, but just got introduced to it through a guest they just had, one Jay Demerit. Great piece and good questions.

DeMerit, listening to Bradley here and listening to offers...

You can hear the audio here.

Some comments from DeMerit:

On a contract:

I’m just being patient, but I want to get something sorted out…..I’m not trying to chase an opportunity….I’m in the luxury of being able to choose what I want to do.

On South Africa:

Playing in the World Cup was the ultimate challenge; the main goal.

On South Africa:

I’m open to most places and I’m….to be honest…open to going back to the States.

On timing:

I’m prepared to wait however long I have to. I don’t want to sacrifice my own integrity to get a job.

I’m in no rush to push it. I’m looking forward to making the right decision.

On timing:

In all reality you’d like to be at a team in the beginning of September, middle of September.

The idea of going back to the States would start up in the winter.

(*If you listen to the interview, it sounds like MLS would be more resignation or last resort for DeMerit)

On what he’s doing:

I went to Vickers Road and watch Coventry vs. Watford.


A decent listen…TSG did an interview with Jay after the Turkey game. Unfortunately our recorder ate the interview, but DeMerit was engaging and stayed around to answer all of our questions.

One which included–and I’ll paraphrase:

Matthew, TSG: Jay, you’re a phenomenal on-ball defender. For the kids that read our publication, what does it take to play solid stand-up defending.

Jay: (paraphased)

On ball defending is about two things. Desire and effort in that the attacker coming at you is not getting by and second about the responsibility to your teammates not to let that player get by you and put them under pressure.

(Really wish I had the whole interview)

World’s Best 20?

Not even good enough to be considered a bridesmaid

So I was putzing around ESPN’s main site and came about this little fun widget thingy.

First, the fact that this was accessible from ESPN’s homepage shows how far soccer has come. It’s often mentioned on Sportscenter and there is usually a highlight or two in every show…and somewhat frequently a great goal or play from the champions league, premiership and or MLS is shown in the top ten.

There was nothing remotely close to this 4 years ago (yes, Soccernet was popular but was treated more like the red haired bastard step child of the Worldwide leader…the Roger Clinton to Bill Clinton as it were). I excitedly filled out my rankings, ignoring the fact that Ballack and Henry were mentioned in the world’s top 20, and where as my bottom 3 and top 3 were fairly consistent with the ESPN sports nation poll, the middle varied drastically. For example, I had both Xavi and Iniesta ranked very high as I believe what they do is bed-wettingly-exciting and Eto’o ranked close to last which seemed the opposite of most people. I personally think the Barcelona creative engine are in the top 6.

Now…2 questions for all of you…First: Who is noticeably absent from this list? I would suggest that Ballack, Henry, Eto’o have no business being there (4 years ago. yes) but I see why they are, as they are who the general public might recognize.

There is also no goalkeeper or defender on this list (Maicon is a defender like Roberto Carlos or Dani Alves are defenders!) which I guess means they cannot be considered an MVP (Cannavaro anyone?). Iker Cassilas deserves to be on this list, if not for the fact that he has been one of the top 3 goalkeepers for over a decade but for this incredible save. Others that should certainly be on this list are Ibra and Aguero amongst others but who else? Your thoughts?

Second…does your ranking list compare to Sportsnations’…aside from Messi, Ronaldo and Kaka in the top three, the only other one I got compared to others was Stevie G at 9.

So have fun with it…remember that ESPN are probably catering to the new somewhat informed fan not the hardcore one, but it does bring up an interesting argument about what is considered an MVP in soccer.

Time and time again, Claude Makelele was considered the MVP by his teammates of every team he played for, but he was about as exciting as…as…as…a very boring thing. He never scored goals, he rarely passed the decisive pass BUT no team won without him. For country he was equally important. He made everyone around him better, did all the dirty things such as make hard tackles, hold up play for the forwards to get there, make the pass that set up the attacking play etc…but never even cracked the ten for FIFA footballer of the year (guess here).

Is a January move to the Premiership in the cards?

And while we’re on the subject of winning players….the same goes for Jay DeMerit at Watford. He was often in the top three voting for  player of the year for Watford and his no nonsense, tough, smart defending was instrumental in Watford getting promoted (he scored the first goal in the playoff final too) and if it wasn’t for their lack of goals they would have stayed up in the EPL.

I hope he gets another chance this transfer window to play in the Premiership. I see him as a poor man’s Jamie Carragher (I say poor man’s only because he hasn’t proved himself at the very top like Carra) and he is what many teams like Everton, Man City, Hull etc. need right now. I would love to have him at Liverpool except that Benitez would never play him even though he is the type of player that Benitez covets.

His only downside is that he’s slow but many great defenders are not blessed with any speed..Terry, Maldini, Blanc to name a few statues. Personally, I think he’s better than Gooch as he doesn’t make many mistakes (I think Carragher vesus Rio Ferdinand is a good comparison between DeMerit and Oneywu) and will be key to the US’s progress in the WC.

So thank you ESPN for trying. You’re getting there. Everyone loves the MVP talk but like in all sports, the real MVPs often get unnoticed.

Could The USMNT Injury Tide Be Turning?

A mere two weeks ago following news of a severe knee injury to striker Kenny Cooper, TSG started to wonder if Bob Bradley had opened an umbrella inside while walking under a ladder holding a black cat.

Cooper seemed to be another in a long line of Fall ’09 injuries for U.S. Soccer that included Jay Demerit (eye), Chad Marshall (knee), Charlie Davies (multiple), Clint Dempsey (shoulder), Tim Howard (foot), and Oguchi Onyewu (knee).

With rumors of a shredded ACL circulating the media, word came that Cooper only suffered a sprain and would be out for only three weeks. This led Matthew to update TSG’s Kenny Cooper injury piece with the following:

Our luck is turning! Coops out only 3 weeks. Can you feel it turning?

Well, Matthew must feel luck turning a bit faster than the average guy as USMNT fans have been treated to some great news on the injury front the past two days.

Jay Demerit is looking to return to the pitch soon.

First, Jeremy Schaap reported that Charlie Davies is “recovering quickly” and expects to play this summer. Regardless of where you pin the odds of CD9 suiting up in South Africa or how effective he could be, this is great news.

Then today, BBC Sport is reporting Jay Demerit, “looks on course to make a quicker than expected return following eye surgery.” The USMNT and Watford defender has been sidelined since late September after a scratching his cornea.

That’s three pieces of good news in the last two weeks on the injury front for the USMNT.

Who’s next?

(Mo Edu…I’m looking at you!)


UPDATE: Commenter Brad alerted TSG to the fact that Maurice Edu resumed training with Rangers. Mo’s tweet from Friday:

Now, who’s next? Jermaine Jones? (yes, please.)

Questions Up The Center For The USMNT

After Charlie Davies injury another possibility no one wants to consider is that the USMNT could be without defensive stalwart Oguchi Onyewu when the World Cup kicks-off next June. In fact, the US is facing question marks all the way up the middle with the exception of Timmy Howard between the sticks.

Might this be Gooch's "uniform" come June?

Might this be Gooch's "uniform" come June?

ESPN had a story today entitled “Onyewu plans a speedy recovery from knee injury” in which Gooch stated,

I know my body and I know how hard I work to recover and how my body heals. I think I can be back in four months, realistically.

Well, USMNT doesn’t need Gooch back, the team needs him better. With the official recovery time-line at 6 months, that seems out almost out of the question. So the best case scenario is Gooch at the WC in summer of 2008 form which is good, but not great. And let’s not forget that the recent knee injuries in the USMNT player pool (Jones and Edu), though different, haven’t resulted in textbook recoveries.

Moving up the pitch, Jay DeMerit continues to be out with an eye injury. His recovery time is slated for a much shorter duration, but we are talking about an eye here. It’d be very surprising if he didn’t make it to South Africa, but he is most likely in the midst of about a six month layoff right now.

In the central mid-field the US could be perceived as down its two most able holding mid-fielders in Twitter-fiend Maurice Edu and International Man of Mystery Jermaine Jones. And third on depth chart, Rico Clark (with a minor knock of his own), has been nothing more than serviceable as a starter in the WC qualifiers.

Can Jozy earn the #1 Striker moniker he's been given before he flies to SA?

Junior seems cemented in whatever position he is supposed to be playing at the other midfield spot, but has struggled to develop any consistency with a mid-field mate and disappears for large stretches to the point that the defense just starts bypassing him.

Perhaps the biggest (and most obvious) hole sits at striker with CD9 being out, however, TSG discussed that already. But what about Altidore?

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