In my last post I wrote about the state of MLS and mentioned 4 New England Revolution players all under 23 to watch. Today, there are many current soccer players from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and those who attended college here in Massachusetts that are worthy of your attention.
Starting with those who MIGHT make the United States 23 man roster in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. Attleboro’s Geoff Cameron, who will turn 29 in July, is about to complete his 2nd season in the English Premier League for Stoke City. Cameron plays defense, and has emerged as one of Stoke’s more important players on the starting XI. Before that he was drafted by the Houston Dynamo in 2008 and played there 4 seasons until Stoke City bought him. It seems likely Cameron,with 24 games with the US National Team, will be on the starting XI for team USA fort their WC opener June 16th against Ghana.
Michael Parkhurst (30), from Providence Rhode Island, was drafted in 2005 by the New England Revolution and plays right back (defense). He won MLS rookie of the year in 2005 and in 2007 won defender of the year. After the 2008 season he joined FC Nordsjælland of the Danish Super League. During his 5 years in Denmark he was a starter and won the League championship in the 2011-2012 season. In 2013, he moved to Germany to play for FC Augsburg of the German Bundesliga, but failed to make an impact (only played 2 games in over a year). This past winter he moved back to MLS and now plays for Columbus Crew, and will most likely get called up to the final 30 man roster before the final 23 are selected.
Sheanon Williams, 24, is from Boston. He plays defense and currently plays in MLS for the Philadelphia Union, since he was drafted in 2010. He has represented the USA National Team at the u-17 and u-20 level, playing in the u-17 World Cup in 2007 and u-20 World Cup in 2009. He is yet to play for the senior team, but at 24, playing well for the Union, it is only a matter of time before he gets his chance. In 2005 he was offered a place with the prestigious IMG soccer academy in Bradenton, Florida, where he earned youth honors in both 2006 and2007.
Charlie Davies, 27, is from Manchester, New Hampshire. He played for Boston College for threee seasons and is currently a forward with the New England Revolution. Instead of playing in MLS, he signed with Hammarby Fotboll in Sweden for 2 seasons. In 2009, he signed with France’s FC Sochaux, but tragedy nearly killed Davies that fall. He was involved in a deadly car accident on the George Washington Parkway in Washington DC, while playing for the National Team in a World Qualifier against Costa Rica. A 22 year old female who was in the car with him was killed, and Davies himself was left with multiple fractures, bleeding in the brain, and a lacerated bladder. Not only did he miss the 2010 World Cup, but this accident ultimately ended his national team career. Despite all that Davies was able to find some kind of scoring form in 2011 while playing for DC united, lets hope he can find his scoring touch again.
Alejandro Bedoya, 27, is from New Jersey and also attended BC for two years. He too may find himself in the final 30 for this summers World Cup. Currently he plays in France for FC Nantes as a winger/attacking midfielder. Instead of going through the draft, he signed in 2008 with Orebro SK in Sweden. In 2011, he signed with famous Scottish club Rangers FC, but only played 1 year before moving back to Sweden this time with Helsingborgs IF. In 2013 he signed with FC Nantes in France.
Other players who play pro soccer include young 20 year old Will Packwood, from Concord, MA, he currently plays for Birmingham City in the Championship League(2nd tier in English soccer). This past winter he played his first game for the nation team against Ukraine, and has represented the national team at the youth level, u-17, u-18, and u-20. He plays defense/defensive midfield. I have high hopes for this kid!!
Other players to look out for with local ties are current New England Revolution players Chris Tierney (Wellesley) Scott Caldwell (Weymouth) Diego Fagundez (Leominster since age 5) and Andy Dorman, who is from England originally but attended 3 years at Boston University and played for the Welsh national team. So if you are a casual fan of the Revolution or are trying to get into soccer but don’t know who is who, I hope knowing who some of the local kids are will help you follow the game a little better. If you knew the names of a lot of these players already, then you might have an avid interest in soccer or the development of young players in particular. If this is the case, then why not check out some scouting courses. It’s a great way of getting into the game and using your passion for soccer in a positive way.