Rank and File
ASN 100 Redux: Jermaine, Run DMB, Freddy & Stu
Eight knowledgable soccer pundits contributed to the brand-new ASN 100. We cornered one of them, American Soccer Now contributing editor Jon Arnold, and asked him about his rankings.
BY John Godfrey PostedJOHN GODFREY: You ranked Jermaine Jones fourth on your September 2013 ASN 100 ballot—higher than anybody else. Several of your peers had him down in the teens. What do you see in him that others don't? Is yellow your favorite color? JON ARNOLD: Did I? Oh man, I did. Godfrey: I didn't mean to ambush you with your own Top 100.... Arnold: Look, I know Jones ventures forward too often. I know he's been voted "Most Likely to Get Booked" each year since he joined the national team. I called him out in a recent "Hot or Not." But a lot of those fouls are tactical ones that need to be made. There are matches when he tries to do too much offensively and force shots and passes, but there are also times when he sits back, finds his role, and is able to contribute to all phases of the game—with excellent defense and smooth passing. It's probably only a matter of time until Landon Donovan overtakes him at that fourth spot, but I know if I'm an opposing attacker walking out in the tunnel and I look over and see Jermaine Jones, I'm not looking forward to the next 90 minutes. Godfrey: DaMarcus Beasley is similarly polarizing. Half of our panelists rank him around 30; you and three others have him in the 10-12 range. Any thoughts on the disparity? Arnold: In one of your prolific rants, you touched on the fact that Jurgen Klinsmann seems to think Beasley will be his starting left back in Brazil. I understand and share your skepticism about that, but I don't think you can argue he's one of the most important players in the pool right now. He can play at left back, where I'm more likely to hold up his 2013 performances against Costa Rica and Mexico at the fullback spot than the 2009 one you referenced, but he can also play on the wing and occasionally even ends up essentially playing forward for Puebla. Combine that versatility with his experience, and I think he's the picture of a guy you want on your World Cup team. Godfrey: I also referenced the March 2013 Mexico match, where he was torched and I was drenched, but we'll let that go. When you gaze at the aggregated ASN 100, do any of the rankings make you wince? Arnold: Like anybody, there are definitely some guys I look at and say, "Really?!" First, my choice at right back for the September qualifiers, Michael Orozco, is all the way down in the 60s below Oguchi Onyewu, who Jurgen Klinsmann unceremoniously dropped during the Gold Cup and doesn't have a club. Graham Zusi sure seems a bit too high, doesn't he? But I looked and my ranking is just a spot or two below where he ended up, so I guess I can't complain. I like Terrence Boyd and Aron Johannsson, but I think they're both several spots too high just because of the fact that they're shiny, new forwards. Godfrey: Agreed on the new guys—we're all such floozies for the new talent. Who should be removed from ASN 100 consideration, now and forever? Arnold: It'd be really easy to say Freddy Adu, but I voted for Adu and he had a nice match with Bahia the other day from what I heard. I didn't vote for Corey Ashe, so that's something. Umm, Freddy Adu. Godfrey: Stuart Holden was the last player on your list, No. 100. Is that your way of saying you think he's done as far as the national team is concerned? Arnold: No, it's my silly way of saying, "Let's not forget about this guy, but let's not act as though he's going to contribute right now or any time soon." You forgot to add that I also put a little crying emoticon there as well. It's hard not to be devastated for a player who clearly has so much talent and passion for the sport—and for life. I enjoyed talking with Holden before and during the Gold Cup and hearing how excited he was to be back on the pitch. Hopefully he can get back in the national team picture, but for now he's my Mr. Irrelevant. Godfrey: Who just missed the cut for you, and why? Arnold: Sebastian Lletget. Every few months there are rumblings he's going to break in at West Ham. Hopefully this is the year, but I haven't seen enough of him to confidently rate him yet. Godfrey: The above video should help round out your Lletget research. Thanks, Jon! We appreciate the time, and we think all U.S. soccer fans would benefit from following you on Twitter. Thoughts on our thoughts? We'd love to hear. And if you've read this far and you haven't spent time on the new ASN 100, we think you should consult a mental health professional immediately.
September 03, 2013
September 03, 2013