Sunday, June 20, 2004


MLS' impact on World Cup qualifying

MLS has been a fertile training ground for the US National Team, and as DrChuck said sometime ago , it has the potential of providing playing opportunities for talented players on other national teams in the region. But have you thought about how much impact this league has had so far in this cycle of World Cup qualifying? Some numbers for consideration:

* 26 goals by 11 current or former MLS players (yes, I'm counting former Crew draft pick and current Toronto Lynx striker John Barry Nusum in that total) representing 10 countries OTHER than the United States in 3 confederations.

John Barry Nusum (Bermuda) 7
Dipsy Selolwane (Botswana) 4
Dwayne DeRosario (Canada) 2
Duncan Oughton (New Zealand) 2
Ryan Nelsen (New Zealand) 2
Jean-Philippe Peguero (Haiti) 2
Stern John (Trinidad/Tobago) 2
Carlos Ruiz (Guatemala) 2
Zizi Roberts (Liberia) 1
Amado Guevara (Honduras) 1
Shaun Bartlett (South Africa)1

* SEVEN of the 11 teams in CONCACAF's semifinal round of qualifying (not including the US) will have players from MLS on their rosters (Jamaica, Canada, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, St. Vincent/Grenadines, and Trinidad/Tobago), including such studs as DeRosario, Guevara, and Carlos Ruiz. Moreover, EVERY TEAM in Group B has an attacking player based in MLS (DeRosario; Guevara; Ruiz; and Erick Scott, Columbus/Costa Rica)

* Three of the twelve teams in the semifinal round will be managed by guys who used to troll MLS sidelines (Bruce Arena, DC United/USA; Frank Yallop, San Jose/Canada; Bora Milutinovic, Metrostars/Honduras), with a fourth former MLS gaffer heading up Brazil's qualifying campaign (Carlos Alberto Parreira, Metrostars) and a former MLS player (Lothar Matthaus, Metrostars) leading Hungary into qualifying in August.

This will be a feature throughout the campaign as information is available.

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