Ten Best: Metro teenagers
October 29, 2010
With Juan Agudelo primed to play a bigger role in the playoffs than anyone expected, let's look at the ten best teenagers in Metro history. This is gonna be simple: before Agudelo, there have been only ten.
10) Elie Ikangu (debut: 5/13/2006, 19 years, 7 months, 9 days)
Well, this is a forgettable way to start. The paper-thin Frenchman, who Mo Johnston compared to Claude Makelele, was anything but. He made three sub appearances for the massive total of 30 minutes before turning 20 late in the 2006 season. More in Obscure Metro Files.
9) Danilo da Silva (debut: 7/23/2005, 18 years, 7 months, 27 days)
While Danilo's Metro career was nothing to write home about (147 minutes in all competitions), he is now a regular for Ukrainian giants Dimano Kiev. Go figure. More in Obscure Metro Files, again.
8) Marvel Wynne (debut: 4/2/2006, 19 years, 10 months, 25 days)
Would be higher on the list if his debut didn't come so close to his 20th birthday. He started all five games that Metro played before he turned 20.
7) Abbe Ibrahim (debut: 4/16/2005, 18 years, 8 months, 22 days)
So much potential... The lightning-fast Ibrahim scored two goals and added three assists in his lone season with Metro. Then Johnston jerked him around for a year, brought him to Toronto, and dumped him again. Since then he has played in Ukraine and Romania.
6) Tim Ward (debut: 4/22/2005, 18 years, 1 month, 25 days)
In his lone season with Metro, Ward played in 14 games and tallied four assists. Johnston (again!) jettisoned him for the over-the-hill Chris Henderson. Ward dropped off the face of the map so fast that he became a casualty of Obscure Metro Files (again!) before resurrecting his career in Chicago, and now with playoff opponent San Jose. He's been on rosters of five MLS teams already, and he's only 25.
5) Tim Howard (debut: 8/18/1998, 19 years, 5 months, 12 days)
Only one game as a teenager for Howard, hence the ranking. But it was a 4:1 victory over Colorado, so can't go wrong with that. We wonder if the first teenager in Metro history ever made a name for himself... Hmmmm.
4) Mike Magee (debut: 4/12/2003, 18 years, 7 months, 10 days)
Many forget what a terrific rookie year Magee had, scoring on his prom day to beat Columbus and ending up with seven goals and two assists. He scored two more in 2004, before turning 20 in September.
3) Michael Bradley (debut: 4/2/2005, 17 years, 8 months, 2 days)
Speaking of players who made a name for themselves... You know, it's funny, watching Alexi Lalas on TV, spewing rhetoric like he's some kind of a soccer expert, when he dumped Bradley for chump change the first chance he could. What a joke. Anyway, Michael played and started 33 games in his lone healthy season with Metro, scored one of the most important goals in team history against Chivas USA to earn a playoff spot, and added four assists. F@#$ing Lalas.
2) Jozy Altidore (debut: 8/23/2006, 16 years, 9 months, 17 days)
His first goal in his second league match, a thundering blast that beat Columbus. Jozy ended up with 37 games, 15 goals, 5 assists, and all before turning 19 and his eventual sale to Villarreal. So let's see, with Bradley and Howard, we had three former Metro teenagers on the 2010 World Cup team. Not bad at all. If only we managed to keep them...
1) Eddie Gaven (debut: 6/14/2003, 16 years, 7 months, 20 days)
His first goal will never be forgotten: in his second game, forced to play goalkeeper, and then racing down the field to beat the DC Scum in OT. Gaven's Metro totals: 80 games, 16 goals, 12 assists, and a MLS Best XI nod in 2004. And once again, it was Lalas and Johnston who dumped a Metro teenager, this time for the then-rotting carcass of Edson Buddle. Sigh.