ASN 100 Analysis

Who's No. 1? Is Hall Getting Hosed? Answers Here

Our newest ASN 100 Panelist, Jon Arnold, submitted his rankings for the first time just a few weeks ago. We caught up with him and asked to explore some of the nuances of both his list, and ours.
BY John Godfrey Posted
December 13, 2012
5:26 AM
1. Michael Bradley moved past Clint Dempsey for the No. 1 spot in the ASN 100—do you agree with that change at the top?
Definitely. Dempsey's recent "slump" was overblown by a combination of Spurs fans upset he wasn't bombing in goals from outside the 18 like they saw him do in his Fulham highlights and USMNT fans wringing their hands about him slipping in form. In truth, November was just a down month for Dempsey. With that said, Bradley suffered no such issues. He just fits at Roma, and he's the best American player in the world right now. At the risk of gushing, it's a joy to watch him in the Roma midfield.

2. Who is the most overrated American player in terms of their current ASN ranking? Why?
Maurice Edu. Jurgen Klinsmann still has a considerably higher opinion of Edu than Tony Pulis or U.S. fans and media members do. That creates an awkward situation for panelists, as the tendency is to move him down considerably when he doesn't see any time with his club. Then you pause and realize he's played in every single national team match since February save one. Can we move a guy that clearly is in Klinsmann's plans down the list that far? We can, we should and we will. It's just taking some time.

3. And the most underrated player? How come?
Tally Hall! The guy was one of the best keepers in MLS all season, but at #78 he's still 41 slots behind Dan Kennedy and 25 behind the Bill Hamid-Sean Johnson block. I'm a big fan of the up-and-coming guys, but Johnson has had a nightmare of a year when it comes to big matches and Hamid hasn't had his best year, either (though I'm not suggesting anyone can hold him back).

I'll put Hall up against any of them at the moment. Sure, he didn't end up lifting the MLS Cup, but that wasn't any fault of Hall's. He's a tremendous keeper who seems to get overlooked far too often. I'd love to see both him and Steve Clark get a look in January and perhaps in the Gold Cup as well.

4. Which player outside the top 100 most deserves to make the list?
Andy Gruenebaum. Apparently I have some sort of bias in favor of MLS goalkeepers, but Gruenebaum did well enough to keep a not-that-great Crew team in contention until the summer when the reinforcements arrived. That's enough to snag a spot on the list.

5. Who should be off it?
Landon Donovan, as he's retiring in January. Only joking, everyone. Omar Salgado barely made it on, but he hasn't done enough to merit inclusion, even in the final spot. That's not to say I wouldn't love to see him get healthy and vault up the rankings, but for now he's undeserving.

Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a freelance writer based in Phoenix and the co-host of MLS in 30 on NASN.TV.

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