Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MLS Week Four - Notable Stuff

1) Mike Chabala's long nightmare is over. After being drafted in 2006, the Houston Dynamo player finally got into a regular season match. This comes after countless nights sitting on the bench, and several Open Cup, Champions League, and Sugerliga matches. His league debut comes over 1.75 years after his overall debut in 2007, breaking the record previously held by ex-Chicago Fire player Jared Montz. He's the first player to go more than a year between those two debuts.

I've been waiting for this every time the Dynamo took the field this season; he's on the senior roster this season so he's obviously in their plans and it was just a matter of time. But what really made the night special is how after so long, he was sent off less than 15 minutes after taking the field. "Now tragedy, that's funny."

2) Age updates. Gregg Berhalter was the 15th oldest debuting player in league history at 35.69 years. Tristan Bowen also debuted for the Galaxy in the Open Cup and became the 24th youngest player in all competitions (18.18). Meanwhile, Kasey Keller is now up to 8th on the list of the oldest players of all time.

3) Rookies: 16 of them played in their team's opening game this year. This post details the years 2002-07, I haven't gotten around to updating it. Actually, I'm not sure about if a couple of guys were technically rookies so I've ignored it. But anyway, nine rookies starting tied for the most in league history, as well as the total number of 16.

The real interesting thing is that about 2/3rds of past rookie of the year nominees (25/39) and winners (9/13) have played in the opening match. The four winners who didn't? Carlos Bocanegra (5th match), Rodrigo Faria (2nd), Maurice Edu (3rd), and Sean Franklin (2nd). So the odds are if a rookie hasn't debuted yet, he isn't going to win the award. In fact, 32/39 nominees debuted in their team's first three games (including everyone from 2002-08). On the opposite end of the spectrum was Andy Williams, who was nominated despite not playing until the 20th game for the Crew in a 32 game season. He did have the 1998 World Cup to attend to, though.

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Comments on "MLS Week Four - Notable Stuff"


Anonymous MVallo said ... (8:51 PM, April 14, 2009) : 

Any idea who the oldest MLS player to score their first MLS goal is?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:25 AM, April 15, 2009) : 

Interesting question ... I'm thinking it might be Hugo Sanchez at age 37 or 38.


Blogger scaryice said ... (7:07 AM, April 15, 2009) : 

Good guess. It's Hugo Sanchez. He was 37.85 when he scored his first goal (on his debut).

Not too hard to find out, since only 17 other players have ever played a game at a later age than that.

Runners up:

Claudio Suarez 37.54. Youri Djorkaeff 37.21.


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