OTFATT 2008: Update #1
|It's back! OTFATT is short for "On the field, all the time." In this post and subsequent updates throughout the season, I'll be keeping track of which MLS players have played every minute of every game (regular season only). This feat has been accomplished a total of 29 times in 12 seasons. Click here for the full list of survivors.|
It's interesting to follow because the players who do it have to be good, but not so good that they miss time with the national team. They also have to be fit and injury free, as well as disciplined to avoid suspensions. Now you would think that goalkeepers would make up the majority of the men who have done this, but that's not the case. Only 13/29 were keepers.
There are 14 MLS teams, so multiply that by 11 and we have 154 potential candidates. After three weekends, that's already been narrowed to 68. So who's the most likely to survive? Number one on the list has to be Revolution GK Matt Reis. He hasn't missed a minute over the past two seasons, and has just set an MLS record for most consecutive minutes played. Keepers Bouna Coundoul and Kevin Hartman are very good candidates once again this year; Bouna was one of the final guys eliminated while Hartman was one of three to achieve the goal. They have weak backups which helps. Among field players, Chris Klein was the only guy to make it last year and is always a good bet, but with Ruud Gullit as head coach I wouldn't feel confident about his chances. And it's always hard to do it two years straight. Nick Garcia and Jay Heaps are other defenders likely to make a run.
Also, I want to point out that MLSnet is back to their old tricks. The stats on the site show that apparently Rafael Gomes came on for Jose Burciaga during the last minute of one of the Rapids' games, and the process of elimination puts that substitution against the Wizards. But that sub is not found in any of the lineups listed on the matchtracker or the game report, and you would have to look deep into the game guide to find a mention of his debut. They have a history of missing subs in the posted lineups (including 4 last year).
Remaining Candidates (68)