Clint Dempsey’s done it again. Two more league goals in Fulham’s 3-0 romp of Bolton. That brings Dempsey’s Premier League goal tally to 15 this year, 21 across all competitions. He has set the single season record for an American already this year and now has scored more goals for Fulham in a single season then anyone else has. Lets see if he can manage 5 more over the home stretch of the season and break 20!
Last season Eric Lichaj had a world class performance at right back marking one of the Premier League’s greatest, fastest, and strongest players in Gareth Bale. He had a strong 2011 Gold Cup for the United States as well and looked to find his place in Villa’s starting 11 until a hip injury put him out until recently. He then played this past weekend against a rising Chelsea and again put in a memorable 90 minutes. He scored his first Premier League goal making the game 2-2 with less then 20 minutes to go as well as took a long throw in that lead to the first goal. Unfortunately, Villa could not hang on and lost 4-2 when Ivanovic and Torres scored late for Chelsea. Keep your eye on this young right back, he has a bright future ahead of him.
After taking to twitter to ask our followers who they would like to have as their team’s captain, we compiled all the answers into a top 3 and are happy to share them with you here. So, without further ado, here’s our top 3 best captains for your squad!
1. Ryan Giggs
Let’s face it, if Giggsy was your captain, you’d be popping bottles of champagne like you were ushering in the millennium. Class Act. Hard Worker. Winner…just a few aspects of Mr. Giggs’ career. The 38 year old started his career in 1990 and has remained loyal to the club that made him a pro. He’s recorded over 900 career appearances while tallying 163 goals. Ryan Giggs is the epitome of a leader. He’s never been sent off while wearing a Manchester United jersey and was an English Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2005…before he even finished his freaking career. How badass is that? The dude has received awards for charity work and honors to the community, while serving as the perfect role model in United red. A captain embodies the goals of the team, the attributes of the team, and puts them into play on the field. Plus…he does this (Click the jump for Giggs’ FA Cup goal against Arsenal in 1999). Whatever Giggsy wants, he gets. He’s a leader, a badass (citing his manly chest fro), and a hard working, committed player. He’d be a great captain on any squad. Boom.
2. Steven Gerrard
Ahhh Stevie G. One of my favorite players, not only because he drops absolute bombs when I play FIFA on my PlayStation 3, but because he’s a phenomenal player, and a great leader. I’ve always thought he should be England’s full time skipper, but that’s another story. He started at Liverpool in 1998 and has been their savior ever since. Okay okay, they haven’t won a title in a while, but still, this dude is something special. At Anfield, the world revolves around this guy. And if you disagree, he’s got 149 career goals that say otherwise. And not to mention, 148 of those are amazing. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but there’s no denying that this guy’s good. He’s had some off the field scuffles…but let’s face it, anybody that gets into bar fights and knocks out the DJ’s teeth is worthy of leading my squad into battle any day. General Gerrard, reporting for duty…and worthy captain number 2. Check out his top ten goals (Click the jump).
3. Nemanja Vidic
This past weekend in an FA Cup match between Tottenham Hotspurs and Bolton Wanderers, Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed in the 41st minute suffering from cardiac arrest. His heart was not beating on its own until he arrived at a near by hospital in London. The 23 year midfielder is still in intensive care and is still considered to be in stable, but critical condition. Tributes, prayers, and thoughts of Muamba have been seen all over the soccer world. Get well soon Muamba has been trending on twitter lately, Gary Cahill after scoring a goal revealed a Pray 4 Muamba T shirt underneath his Chelsea kit, and in one of the classiest decisions I have ever seen Real Madrid wore specialized get well soon Muamba kit’s. Everyone keep up the faith in a speedy recovery to a great footballer and an even better human being. Pray 4 Muamba.
ITS PREDICTION TIME!
That’s right its time to see how wrong on how many levels I can be by the end of the MLS regular season and playoffs.
Lets Start with the Final Overall Table:
1. LA Galaxy
2. Sporting Kansas City
3. Seattle Sounders
4. FC Dallas
5. Real Salt Lake
6. Philly Union
7. New York Red Bulls
8. Colorado Rapids
9. Portland Timbers
10. DC United
11. Houston Dynamo
12. Chicago Fire
13. Columbus Crew
14. Vancouver Whitecaps
15. New England Revolution
16. Chivas USA
17. San Jose Earthquakes
18. Toronto FC
19. Montreal Impact
Top 5 Leading Scorers:
1. Kris Boyd (18)
2. Robbie Keane (15)
3. Freddy Montero (14)
4. Thierry Henry (14)
5. Dwayne De Rosario (13)
Worst Performer of the Season: Rafael Marquez
Had a troubling season last year and his problems look to continue. He was very lazy in the back of the NYRB’s defense and they often looked a better team when he wasn’t in the lineup.
Comeback Story of the Year: David Ferreira
FC Dallas’ number 10 was out for just short of the entire season with a terrible achilles injury in 2011. To see him back in the lineup of FCD will be great not only for the team, but for the MLS viewers. He is someone that is easy on the eyes when he has the ball at his feet. His vision when distributing the ball is out of this world and his close control when taking on players makes him one of the strongest attacking midfielders in the league.
MVP: David Beckham
With so many attacking options now to distribute the ball to Beckham will be racking up the assists all season long. Whether its Donovan, Buddle, Keane, Magee, or Juninho, Beckham will find them on corner kicks, free kicks, through balls, crosses, or any other form of passes. His age may be rising, but so is his class.
Best Off Season Transaction: Sebastian Le Toux traded from Philly to Vancouver
Le Toux is one of the greatest assets in the MLS right now. He is an extremely opportunistic striker that was also bumped back into the midfield at some parts during last season. He is a player that makes everyone else he is playing well play better. He has great finishing skills in front of goal, but is also a great play maker and produces as many opportunities as he finishes.
1. Philly Offense- Without the ominous shadow of Le Toux, Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney have a great opportunity to show they have stepped their game up and are ready to fill the void. More specifically I think that this is “Jack Mack” ‘s year to make a name for himself. He is a great all around forward, hes got pace, deadly accurate right foot, and a knack for popping up in the right spots in front of goal.
2. Benny Feilhaber- Last season he was thrown into a sinking ship and was expected to try to bail it out with a coffee filter. This year it looks like Benny will have a little bit more support on the attacking end of the field. He now has a target forward in Nate Jaqua to work behind and rookie Rowe gives him another player to work with that has the same tactical weapons like Feilhaber, which will make him one of the more valuable players in the MLS.
3. Luis Gil- The 18 year old Real Salt Lake midfielder could be set to make a huge impact for RSL this year. It with 2 goals in 25 apperances (14 starts) last season he proves to be one of the United States young stud midfielders. He may have worked his way into a starting spot at the beginning of the year, if not then I expect him to be by the mid way point. Gil is still young enough that he could make his way to the Olympics in 2016.
Next DP Coming To MLS:
Miroslav Klose- After he is out of the German squad to make way for the youth of German strikers, Klose will make the switch stateside.
Next Expansion Team: New York Cosmos
That is right, the next expansion team is going to Pele’s old team. The history of the New York Cosmos is to much to deny making the 20th team. How great would it show for the league to come full circle in coming back to its old roots from the NASL days. Spoiler alert! The New York Cosmos will be the team that I will support when they become the 20th team.