Lucky 8

Interestingish article here on the Portland Timbers website. (yes, this is Rich, but I like American things, too).

So while recent history suggests the Number 8 [pick in the MLS draft] has produced some promising young players, perhaps the most famous MLS Number 8’s of all time was the New England Revolution’s Number 8 selection in 2004: Clint Dempsey.

Dempsey won Rookie of the Year in 2004, played in back-to-back MLS Cup Finals in 2005 and 2006, and then proceeded to Fulham of the English Premier League where he has become a Craven Cottage legend with 39 goals and counting in 167 matches. The US international and World Cup veteran is considered one of the finest American soccer players in the world.

Here’s that first round:

Ah, Freddy Adu…

Anyway, there we are.  Clint was the eigth selection.

(also, 2004? Yikes.  How quickly things change, eh?)

3 thoughts on “Lucky 8

  1. That’s not a bad round. Goodson has had himself a nice career in Scandinavia after a few years in Dallas, is the captain of Brondby, and is currently probably one of the top 4 guys in the center back picture for the US National Team. Marshall has stayed with Columbus and been named the best defender in MLS twice; though I may be mistaken, I think injuries have kept him from making more of an impact for the national team. Nunez now plays for Leeds and is a staple on the Honduran national team. Adu has spent a lot of time being labeled a “bust” because so much attention was paid to him at such a young age, but it’s important to remember that he’s still only 22 years old (the other guys on that list were all former college players who are now 28 or 29), and, while his growth was probably slowed by signing for Benfica at a young age and then going out on a bunch of loans, he’s in a stable situation now and has started to be a part of the national team picture again, this time based on merit rather than on hype. And of course we know all about Dempsey.

    (Everyone kind of missed on Michael Bradley, taken in the fourth round of that same draft, but he was almost as young as Adu.)

  2. Matt Taylor’s an interesting case. Flamed out in MLS and even in the USL (American second division), but found life in the German second and third divisions. He currently plays for Paderborn in the 2. Bundesliga.

    Before trickling over to Germany, he was essentially playing part-time ball over here.

  3. Yesterday Goff posted a great article on the draft over the past ten years:

    Yesterday he also tweeted something about how we’re going to see fewer and fewer top players (like Dempsey) coming out of the draft because U.S. Soccer has gotten really good in recent years at starting to funnel talented youth into MLS team academies. These players are essentially signed for a Club at an early age and don’t play in College.

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