Sebastian Saucedo has been one of the real stories of 2018 for Real Salt Lake.
Starting as a bench player who wasn’t getting many minutes behind Joao Plata, Saucedo has since taken a starting role with both hands, antagonizing defenses and providing good two-way play on the left wing.
For that — or perhaps because he’s just one of the best homegrown wide players in MLS, Saucedo has been named to the MLS Homegrown team for All-Star weekend.
It’s good recognition for the kid, and it should be applauded.
But — and there’s always one of those in MLS — we have to wonder about some of the more prominent snubs on the list.
DANILO ACOSTA is one of the most exciting left backs in the league. He’s recognized as an extremely good player by league analysts, not just fans. Is he on the list? No, of course not. Marco Farfan, who has played fewer minutes in his two-year career than Acosta has this year (this, despite his being dropped early on), got the nod at left back alongside Matthew Real, who has played three — three! — MLS matches.
JUSTEN GLAD didn’t get the nod, either, and we know just how important he’s been to the team. He started a bit slowly, but so did the whole team. Center backs on the roster beside him? Mark McKenzie — sure, fine, nine appearances, nearly 1,000 minutes for Philadelphia Union — but James Sands? Maybe he’s great, but he has played exactly zero minutes. Zero!
BROOKS LENNON also didn’t make it, which I guess I understand, but I think he’s been a pretty capable right back for us. He’d still be behind Reggie Cannon, who has actually been pretty good. But he’s definitely doing more than Jaylin Lindsey, who hasn’t played much at all.
UPDATE!!!: COREY BAIRD is a player I forgot initially in my blind rage, but he’s been easily a rookie of the year candidate. How is he behind Ben Mines, who has one game under his belt ever? AHHHH.
ALSO UPDATE!!!: OK, so this is a good point, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.
Aug 4 home game v Chicago most critical, can’t have 5 guys miss 3-4 days of prep traveling east— Trey Fitz-Gerald (@3Fitz_RSL) July 12, 2018
AND BEFORE you go all “well senior roster” on me, Sebastian Saucedo is on our senior roster. AAAAND before you tell me that that Glad isn’t listed as a homegrown player on the “official” (sometimes-wrong) roster on MLS Soccer.com, NEITHER IS SAUCEDO.
I just don’t get it. Saucedo deserves to be there, but we have three defenders who should be there and aren’t.
The stupid roster
Goalkeepers: JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Sean Melvin (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Defenders: Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Marco Farfan (Portland Timbers), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union), James Sands (New York City FC), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union)
Midfielders: Efrain Alvarez (LA Galaxy), Chris Durkin (D.C. United), Anthony Fontana (Philadelphia Union), Liam Fraser (Toronto FC), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United), Wan Kuzain (Sporting Kansas City), Cameron Lindley (Orlando City SC), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake)
Forwards: Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United), Ben Mines (New York Red Bulls)