Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dynamo thoughts and links

So I really am tickled pink that Dynamo has resigned Brian Mullan, their 2007 co-MVP. (Story here and Dynamo's press release here.) I expected no less for the guy that makes the right side go. My friend and fellow prawn-sandwicher Dimitri even goes so far as to say that as Mullan goes, so goes Dynamo. I'm not so sure I'd go as far as Dimitri on that one, especially since his finishing and often crossing can be atrocious at times (Brian's, not Dimitri's), but I will say this, insofar as the Orange thrive on wing play, Mully is one of the top 3-4 key guys on the field at any time.

One thing I've always noticed about Mully is his speed and the creativity he brings to even the simplest run. Opposing mids and backs are always on their heels. Even idiot Wynalda has noticed this about Mullan, mentioning in a broadcast last year that whenever Brian is in a tackle, either as the tackler or tacklee (is that a word?), he is always, ALWAYS, the first to get up. This has gone so far as to be a key component of seemingly about 50 percent of his runs up the side. Defenders go after him, they both go down and while the defender is still getting up, Mully-Mull is already about 10 yards away and resuming full speed with the ball and space in front of him.

He's also one of those Jekyll/Hyde guys who looks totally different with facial hair and without. I mean, check out the challenge with the candystriper above and now look at this one right here. With beard, dude is Brian Mullan, Into the Wild mountain hermit. Clean shaven, he's Brian Mullan, teen heartthrob. I mean, look at this guy, does he look like the kind of player who's among the toughest attacking forces in MLS? To me, he looks like he's about to break into a rendition of Jesse's Girl any moment now. I gotta move on because this photo is starting to freak me out.

OK, while we're on the subjects of mountain men and teen heartthrobs.
The Dynamo site is currently running two journals, one from Brad Davis about his experiences in Cali with the US MNT camp, and another from Stuart Holden and Patrick Ianni from the right coast with the U-23 camp in Bradenton, Fla. You can check out both at the Men in Orange's wonderful Web site at
And here are their lovely pics for your viewing pleasure, first Brad Davis, Scruffmeister extraodinaire.
Next is Holden and Ianni, good buds and breakers of hearts (I'm glad I don't have a daughter) far and wide. I'll bet Awty alumnus and Sugar Lander Holden is still even sporting his oh-so-sexy scar from this little incident chronicled here three years ago. (Thanks to The Offside Rules' SF for digging this one up.) Geordies' wrath or no, Holden is just about the No. 1 Bachelor from Buffalo Bayou, or at least so say several friends of the female persuasion up at my office.


playtherapy said...

Uhum, maybe it's just me, Martek but I'm refusing to count how many times you have used superlatives describing Dynamo players- burly, mountain men, heart throbs, oh so sexy scars.
As you say regarding Brian and Rick Springfield, “I gotta move on because this photo is starting to freak me out….,” I have to reposit the question, “I love soccer, am I gay?”

I have always been stumped by Mullan. Highlight moves to leave his first and often second defenders in the dust or eating dirt. And then… And then… And then…

The play invariably fizzles out. Perhaps Mullan creates so many corners that his statistical noncontribution is misleading- from subsequent set plays come the assists and goals. Yet I just don’t see it. Don’t get me wrong, the way he goes at defenders is fantastic but looking at his stats,

07 1 goal, 3 assists
06 2 goals, 4 assists
05 3 goals, 6 assists
04 3 goals, 8 assists
03 6 goals, 9 assists
02 3 goals, 2 assists
01 2 goals, 2 assists

Since 03, his numbers have dovetailed. I'm not a numbers guy but surely they should be better than... this. I know I'll hear they're the champions argument and all or the sum is greater than the parts. But I just don’t get it. Help me.

BTW- I truly feel that MLS is healthy enough for us to have these sort of frank discussions instead of apologist dialogues (can't say anything negative cuz the sport will fail here) or homerisms (All Dynamo good, all others BAAAD). I like Mullan, i just want to see him do more. This might also earn a Nat Team spot.

Martek said...

Mully's lack of numbers is also mystifying to me. One goal, three assists is team co-MVP material? Like you, I am not a stats guy, but this looks more than a little odd.

Like you, I have seen just amazing runs down the side, leaving defenders in the dust, and then.....

His assist numbers at the very least should be up there. I know stats mean little, but they DO mean something, don't they? I know the old saw of "You can't teach speed" but you can teach crossing and passing, and it might be high time Brian had a lesson or two in that area.

The guy breaks up defenses better than just about anyone I've seen in the league, but unless his finishing gets better, you could see the quickest exit of an MVP you've ever seen.