Of course there are caveats, some very large IFS. Let's address those first.
Mati Bishop has been writing and speaking about pro soccer for several years, including a few in the booth for the USL Sounders. He has handled the primary duties as the player rater, but consider his role in the booth he has been following the game as close as anyone this past year.
Neither is a neophyte.
How do we know these ratings are close to what Hanauer and Henderson feel about the players?
Quite simple we don't. We can't know, but we can make some corrections, we can take as large a sample set as possible, and guess. That's what people on the outside looking in always have to do.
Taking those two large caveats into account, let's look at how the four players who will be on MLS clubs next year were rated in their performances with the USL Sounders this year.
The highest rated was Sanna Nyassi who averaged a 6.42, capped by his 9 point first leg playoff match v. Montreal.
Ciaran O'Brien had a 5.83 in his limited time.
Sebastian Le Toux had a 5.41.
Nik Besagno had a 5.31.
When adjusted for playing time those players averaged a 5.63
If that is considerd the benchmark the following players should be given a very serious look due to their performance on the pitch this season - Josh Gardner (6.21), Hugo Cullear-Alcarez (6.00), Leighton O'Brien (5.94), Taylor Graham (5.92), Chris Eylander (5.63) and Youseff Kante (5.63).
I think that seeing Eylander, Gardner and Graham on that list gives it some overall validity, but what is more intriguing is that if we set the cutoff at the 5.31 that Nik Besagno was awarded overall Danny Jackson, Kevin Forrest (MLS draftee in '08) and Kevin Sakuda make the list.
Is it reasonable assumption that up to 11 players from the 2008 USL squad could make Sounders FC's roster next year? Considering that they get 10 discovery claims and two are already signed that answer is yes. Book four of the Seattle Soccer series is already under way, and this year has been a long prologue, but the men in Rave Green will be in camp soon battling to see if they are starters, substitutes or reserves for the 2009 Qwest for a Sheild or Cup.
Thank you to prostamerica for inspiring this post with their compilation.
This was originally published at GoalSeattle.com