Mar 4, 2013, 1:45 PM EDT
In some years, a new MLS man who walked out onto a field without tripping over the white line as he debuted might have a fairly good chance of qualifying for an MLS All-New Man team.
Not in 2013. Major League Soccer’s opening weekend was stacked with promising performances from rookies or newly arrived names from lands beyond.
Here’s our All-MLS Newbie team from opening weekend. (Restricted to men brand new to the league; i.e., no MLS vets who changed addresses in the offseason allowed.)
- FC Dallas’ Raul Fernandez
Why we like him: FC Dallas’ new Peruvian backstopper gets a little edge over LA Galaxy’s Carlo Cudicini, who didn’t have a busy day but still made one major mess of things.
- Columbus Crew’s Glauber
- Portland Timbers’ Ryan Miller
- Seattle Sounders’ DeAndre Yedlin
Why we like them: Glauber will have tougher tests ahead, but a shutout for the veteran Brazlian and his back line mates against rebuilt Chivas USA was surely a worthy start. In the Rose City, Diego Valeri will grab up most of the new-guy buzz, but Ryan Miller’s determination to get forward and do damage along the right side was impressive. Yedlin also started at right back for his team, and the youngest man to ever start a league match for the Sounders more than held his own. (Doing so against MLS vet Justin Mapp.)
Oh, about the prominent name you might see missing: Don’t worry, Mikael Silvestre, you’ll get ‘em next time!
- Vancouver Whitecaps’ Nigel Reo-Coker
- Portland Timbers’ Diego Valeri (pictured)
- Toronto FC’s Kyle Bekker
- Vancouver Whitecaps’ Kekuta Manneh
Why we like them: Valeri was a baaaaad man in his Jeld-Wen debut, as anyone there will tell you. We’re talking early (early, early!) candidate for MLS Newcomer of the Year stuff here. We talked about Reo-Coker’s big influence here. And then he talked about it here. Manneh, newly arrived from the Austin Aztex, was sometimes a handful along the Whitecaps’ right side. Bekker, working all the way, will be in Rookie of the Year conversations going forward.
- Sporting Kansas City’s Claudio Bieler
- Chivas USA’s Julio Morales
- Colorado Rapids’ Deshorn Brown
Why we like them: About Brown, the Colorado Rapids’ rookie and No. 6 overall pick in this year’s draft: The kid has got something. Same for Chivas USA’s Julio Morales, who showed he could be dangerous over 45 minutes with the rebuilt Goats. Bieler arranged one goal and scored a nice him for himself in his debut for Sporting KC.
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