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Eddie Gaven: A Score to Settle?

For years I have viewed Eddie Gaven as one of the most talented and potentially successful young players in US Youth National Team setup. Gaven appeared to be the perfect midfield compliment for the budding world superstar Freddy Adu. But something happened along the way to stardom for Gaven. It was called the Metrostars.

Like so many other players, young and old and coaches famous and not so famous the Metrostars were like a bottomless pit. Gaven didn’t simply not develop like other American youngsters: he regressed. Enter Sigi Schmid and the Crew filled with young players and with a manager who arguably is the best at player development in this corner of the globe.

Now Gaven is not only an MLS star helping to lead the Crew to the MLS Cup: he’s a viable midfield option for the US National Team going forward. The Crew has dominated this season and earned its trip to the MLS Cup. But the peculiar playoff systemof MLS has proven itself to once again give us a final particpant that is honestly unworthy: like in 2005 when a pitiful LA Galaxy team reached the final and claimed MLS Cup. The current Metrostars team (re branded the Red Bulls) has reached the final and can claim the first MLS Cup for the franchise that has long been the laughingstock of North American football. But they have to get through Eddie Gaven and the worthy Crew first. New York is here because of the Crew: firstly the Crew played its reserves in the next to last regular season game with Red Bull won and then the Crew reverted to play their starters in the last regular season game which eliminated DC United and allowed New York to back into the playoffs.

Juan Carlos Osorio is a tactical genius at least by MLS standards.  He very well could develop a game plan to minimize Gaven’s influence on Sunday’s final. But count me among those hoping Gaven has a big day and settles a score with New York.

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  1. Ric

    November 19, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    As Daniel points out, Gaven played well throughout his time in NY, which was when he was coached by Bob Bradley. Metro fans still fondly remember Gaven’s time here and that sending him away was a bad idea (and if you need any proof, MetroFanatic lists Gaven-for-Buddle as one of the worst Metro trades ever). And remember that it was the Johnston-Lalas leadership, neither of whom are still remotely related to the team, that dealt Gaven away. So I don’t know how much of an axe he has to grind.

    And I’ll say it: if the Red Bulls can, in the span of three weeks, defeat the Dynamo 3-0 in Houston, defeat RSL at Rio Tinto, and defeat the best team in the league for the third time this year, they’ll deserve the hardware.

  2. Daniel F. US Open Cup

    November 18, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Just to let you know Kartik, Gaven never regressed. He always started and finished strongly for the club, his middle struggled. But we all viewed Gaven as an important player for the club. We wished Mo Johnston never traded him to the Crew for Edson Buddle, but at that time we had no striker.

    Gaven will always be known to play goal for our club for a minute and then score the match winner in the golden goal session at RFK against DC United.

    The only reason he regressed when playing for Columbus was he wished he was still here playing for his hometown club. I’m happy for Gaven that he has found his game again and playing well under Sigi. But the club that sent him away was still MetroStars before Red Bull bought them.

    But blaming this club was the wrong way to go. He did very well under Bob Bradley, it was Mo Johnston that got rid of him for no reason to bring in Edson Buddle, who had a great two match start, but barely showed any life during the season.

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