wherein DF travels to Deutschland for the 2006 world cup to follow the US men's national soccer team

Monday, May 01, 2006

Roster eve knowledge: Olsen scoop and the (collective) wisdom of pundits

Roster Eve! It's one of my favorite eves, after Christmas Eve and Halloween (the full name of which is All Hallow's Eve, the night before All Saints' Day). So much has been said, so what can DFinD offer? Two tidbits caught my eye when I scanned the US soccer blogosphere this AM:

First, the Washington Post is reporting that Ben Olsen will be on the final roster. After Ben scored the last couple times he was under the Arenascope (against Jamaica in Cary, NC and against FCD this past weekend), this hardly seems like earth-shattering news. I'm not sure this is a great choice, not because Ben doesn't deserve it (he does) and not because I'm not a huge Olsen fan (I am), but rather because I'm not sure we need depth at the D-mid spot with players like Reyna, Mastro, and (maybe) O'Brien who are locks to be on the roster and who can do the job there. Of course, Olsen can also slot in at right mid, where we're weak. All told, I'm happy for Ben (assuming the Post got it right), and for DCU having a representative on the USMNT WC side.

There's also a great article in MatchNight collecting the predictions of various soccer writers about who'll make the team. The most variance among the pundits concerns who will be our forwards (and how many Bruce will take). More interestingly, the article collates the various opinions and adds up how many votes of confidence each player got. If James Surowiecki's ideas about distributed information markets have any purchase here, they suggest that this latter grouping should predict with a high degree of accuracy Bruce's final roster. When Arena reveals the 23, I'll compare and contrast his picks with the pundit's consensus to see how well this worked.


Blogger mirarchi said...

Great stuff. Thanks for posting the link to the story on Olsen and to the pundits' picks.

I think the collective wisdom of the pundits is a good bet. At this point, the only real open question, I think, is whether Bruce takes Berhalter over Albright. The pundits' collective wisdom seems to say Berhalter, but I still have a feeling Bruce will take Albright instead.

I suppose there's also a slim chance that Bruce takes Ching over Twellman, but I think the pundits' collective wisdom has nailed it -- the forwards will be McBride, Twellman, EJ, and Wolff.

I was glad to see that Peter Wilt and Waldo predicted the same final 23 that I predicted.

In any case, I'm looking forward to watching sports center tonight and seeing the final roster.

10:23 AM, May 02, 2006


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