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ASN Weekly Debate

Who Will Be the Breakout Player at the Gold Cup?

Our heroes banter about the upcoming Copa del Oro, wondering which United States fringe man will join the first team ranks with a strong performance. Also, will Landon Donovan contribute?
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
June 28, 2013
1:00 PM
Noah Davis: Hey Ryan. Taken any panenkas lately? Also, who do you think will be the breakout player in the Gold Cup?

Ryan O'Hanlon: Every night. Five hundred before I go to sleep, which you know. But anyway, I'll say Joe Corona because I think he's good at soccer and he'll presumably play more than he does with the full team.

Davis: I actually have no idea what you do before you go to sleep, but your revelation is just so sad. I'm not sold on Corona yet. He always looks sort of lost out there, on—I hate to say this—the Sacha Kljestan "things are happening too fast and/or I don't fit in with these guys" plan. It's one of the more popular plans in the American soccer community. Maybe you're right and that what Corona needs is more time at this level, but there's part of me that worries he just isn't up to the transition.

O'Hanlon: I can see what you're seeing, but he only has 4 caps, and I'm not sure he's played all that much in any of them, so I don't think we've really seen enough to know, which qualifies him as a breakout candidate. If anything, then, I hope we just get to see him play.


Davis: I watched him for a week in Nashville at the U-23 CONCACAF qualifying tournament in 2012 and came away with the same impression: good, but there was something missing. But I'm sure your opinions about him are just as valid, even if they are based on magic and feeling rather than fact. Let's put it this way: I hope you're right, but you're not going to be. I'm gonna say another one of Corona's U-23 teammates, Mix Diskerud. Just a feeling. I know we're big into those here at ASN.

O'Hanlon: I would like to see him break out, too. But seeing that Corona has been on all the recent rosters, it seems like there's a better chance of that happening, which is sort of a fact and not necessarily a feeling. If we're talking feelings: Dancing Bear. Davis: Yeah, that's not going to happen either. I'm excited about Jack McInerney, but I think that's mostly because everyone else is so excited about Jack McInerney. He's like the 2013 Josh Gatt, except he's a real person instead of a YouTube highlight reel.

O'Hanlon: Man, remember Josh Gatt?

Davis: He's back! I was going to pick him until I remembered that he's really good at running fast and less good at playing soccer. I actually think this is a really compelling roster. O'Hanlon: I tend to agree. No matter what lineup the team plays, there will be guys playing who we haven't really seen play all that much for the U.S. Plus, Landon Donovan, who is mildly interesting.

Davis: And Oguchi Onyewu. Anything could happen with him. He could be great; he could have not played soccer in a year. It's a mystery. But also, I just realized that the backline is not hugely inspiring. Then again, that could be said about the A team as well.

O'Hanlon: It could be exciting to see Edgar Castillo play consistently because sometimes it looks like he's still learning how to walk.

Davis: He's on the "I'm dazed and confused" plan, too. He might be the founding member. I'm excited for the return of Alejandro Bedoya. He was good, and then he wasn't, and maybe he is again? Hard to tell. I'm not about to find a feed of the Swedish league.

O'Hanlon: The Gold Cup was the highlight of his career, and he was actually pretty good. Also: Freddy Adu was one of the best players on the team back then, too. Good times. I'm excited to see what exactly is going on with Holden, too. I'm not convinced, which makes me sad, but I'm not opposed to being made un-sad.

Davis: That's well-said, actually. Compared to your expectations, who will have a bigger impact on the proceedings: Holden or Donovan?

O'Hanlon: Thank you? Yes, thank you. I, hmm. So I'm comparing what actually will happen (which I don't know) to with what I think will happen? My brain is not evolved-enough for me to do that, but: I think Donovan does a lot of good things and Holden does not.

Davis: Yeah I realize asking you to hypothetically evaluate a hypothetical situation is probably unfair. But I'm gonna say Holden. I expect Donovan to come in and maybe not dominate but certainly make an impression. I expect Holden to get on the field at some point. But I have to say that if Holden does start, and it sounds like he might, I expect him to do some good things. So, basically, I'm going O'Hanlon and I have no idea. Those two, along with Onyewu, are the players I'm most interested to watch. I don't think the younger guys are quite there yet, whereas that trio has something left, maybe.

New question: Over/under on goals and assists Donovan gets. I'll say six.

O'Hanlon: That seems like a lot, even if it's a watered-down tournament. I'll say "under."

Davis: What do you think the line is? Three and a half?

O'Hanlon: I want to meet the person who bets on these things, but yeah, that sounds about right. If you forced me to give an answer: I'd say he probably surpasses that.

Davis: So over. Always over. It's the Gold Cup way.

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. Mistakes were made.

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