Szetela's perfect MLS team fit

Adu, Gaven and Memo Gonzalez from the L.A. Galaxy -- Szetela will come into the league with a man's body at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, and will likely be able to handle the physical demands of the game. He will not come in and dominate. More than likely, he won't have the impact of an older first-year player like a Clint Dempsey or a Chad Marshall. What he will be, is a very solid player who will contribute to his team, not define it.

Just by the time he is ready to take that next step into the stratosphere of the Beasleys, the Donovans and the Conveys -- all Bradenton Babes at one point -- he'll be off to Europe, which is why Dallas, Columbus and all the rest of the potential suitors shouldn't be too upset about not seeing Szetela in one of their uniforms.

What it comes down to, really, with Szetela is how he now handles the mental aspect of the game, and of being a pro. How's he going to fit in with the older players? (Memo hasn't had it too easy in La-La Land.) How will he handle sitting on the bench if he doesn't earn a starting role by the end of the season? (Adu showed his age by stating his displeasure with his playing time last month.) And, to be honest, a question that is always whispered about the residency players is how they'll take to another coach after playing for a nurturing figure like John Ellinger for the past few years?

That brings us to Bob Bradley. If there's a coach in MLS, or anywhere in the USA for that matter, who is better at developing young players, please stand up. That's one of the reasons that Szetela belongs on the Metros. It's also one of the reasons he signed with the league.

Do not think for a second that his pro and con list between going to Europe and staying home to play in MLS didn't have Bradley's name on it. There were also a lot of coach's names and cities that didn't maker that cut, either.

No offense, guys, but Szetela didn't sign with MLS to move to Dallas or to play in Columbus. He signed to play at home. In New Jersey.

Which is exactly where he belongs.

Marc Connolly writes for ESPN.com and several other publications. This column runs each Wednesday on MLSnet.com and Marc can be reached at shaketiller10@yahoo.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


To report a comment, mouseover or touch the comment and then click/touch the flag icon (Flag).