Two Quick(-ish) Thoughts: The Juan Carlos Osorio Experiment & MLS in EPL

A couple ideas came to me late last night.  These aren’t grand theses so much as the beginnings of a thought process on a couple themes familiar to any fan of MLS.

– First, seeing where the Chicago Fire are today has me thinking back a Halloween piece Ian Plenderleith posted on, the one where he talks about MLS teams’ limited options when it comes to replacing – how do you say? – sub-standard coaches.  My reaction at the time (which I’d rate at 50% knee-jerk) amounted to faith that some diamonds lurk in the college coaching rough.  Since posting that, however, Chicago’s Juan Carlos Osorio keeps cropping into my head as a kind of counter-argument.  The Fire doesn’t look anything like the team that started the season and, as much as people hang the laurels on Cuauhtemoc Blanco, he’s only half the equation.  What about the steady, smart organized feel with which Chicago approaches the game?  That’s not Blanco, or Chris Rolfe for that matter.  Think back to the shambling mess the defense was earlier in the year under Dave Sarachan; think of those back-to-back-to-almost-back games where Chicago gave up three goals.  The question is the extent to which Osorio gets credit for that.  Speaking for myself, I’d say he’s making the case that foreign coaches have something American coaches lack, whether it’s in organization, tactical adjustments, ego management, etc.  Maybe there is something to that foreign coach thing – even if the mini-parade of tried-and-failed foreign coaches for the MetroStars  act as counter-arguments.  Rather than buying into that “he knows the American player” spiel, maybe looking abroad is the answer.  Anyway, I plan to keep watching  this for as long as Osorio stays in MLS.

– Second, I got to thinking last night – while watching Bolton draw West Ham, as it happened – that most higher-end MLS players would do just fine in the English Premier League.  This is not to say even the majority of the league’s players are even the low-end of EPL caliber; even a fair number of the players I rated as “good” in my list of “All-Time ‘Good’ MLS Players” wouldn’t make the cut.  But here’s where I’m going: a solid MLS player – it was Shavar Thomas who got me thinking about this (and, yep, he’s on the list) – would probably do well enough on an EPL team to be anonymous – e.g. he would neither stink up the joint nor star.  Put another way, I peg the top third of MLS talent somewhere between a decent role-player and a credible contributor on an EPL team.  Any thoughts out there?

One Response

  1. […] and have the “special” players to win the game…then there’s that whole “Juan Carlos Osorio, Genius!” thing rattling in my head, something that should work well against what looks like an increasingly […]

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