Friday, March 23, 2007


Jon Busch was waived by Toronto FC the other day, ending an extremely short trial after being selected off waivers. In all my years watching MLS, I've never rated Jon Busch highly to be honest, so I'm somewhat relieved by the news. His playing time in Columbus had much to do with his perseverance and injuries to others, than his quality in my estimation. While he was a survivor of the always active Columbus Crew goalkeeper situation over the last few years, and is probably a hard working guy, he was not worthy of a Senior International spot.

The trade for Richard Mulrooney surely sealed Busch's fate in Toronto. When healthy, Mulrooney is one of the best midfielders in the MLS. Mulrooney is a versatile player as well. His time under Bruce Arena with the US National team program was spent largely as a defender moreover. Mulrooney was very close to landing a spot on the 2002 US World Cup team as a defender. In any event, giving up a draft pick and allocation for a proven MLS player is really a small price to pay for a player of Mulrooney's quality.

With limited information available, and the true realities of MLS transactions only truly understood by a select few insiders (we hope) it is very easy to second guess Toronto FC's player selections. Yet with the injury problems surrounding Maurice Edu at the moment, and the need for a solid backup evident, one might suggest that Toronto would have been better served selecting Chris Seitz with the first overall draft pick back in January given the need for a backup was evident at that point as well (I think I made this very suggestion in my pre-draft predictions). The former University of Maryland goalkeeper, who by all accounts is the next great American keeper, would have counted as a Youth International in Toronto, and like Edu was a Generation Adidas player (his salary would not count against the salary cap). That said he will miss a good chunk of the season due to his US U-20 commitments.

Another well travelled MLS keeper, Matt Jordan, has landed a job with the Montreal Impact of the USL. Jordan who spent 8 years with various MLS clubs, also had a brief stint in Denmark with Odense a few years back. He joins fellow American Andrew Weber as the Impact goalkeeper options for 2007.


Chris said...

Jon Busch is a quality 'keeper. His time on the field with the Crew was not based on the failures of others but the quality he delivered. Look at his stats..and he earned a national team cap at the same time.

Your comments look to me like a cheap uninformed shot at the guy.


I've watched many a Columbus Crew game on the dish up here, and I can honestly say I never felt comfortable when Busch was in goal for the Crew. Although basically a neutral supporter of MLS over the years, the Crew were somewhat of an adopted team because of their proximity to Toronto, their "underdog status", and originally because of Timo Liekoski's signing of South African Doctor Khumalo back in the day.

To say that injuries to Tom Presthus & Johnny Walker didn't play a part in his tenure would be less than accurate. I acknowledge he worked very hard, plugged away,was probably a good guy in the community & locker room, but I've always looked at him more as a survivor of circumstances than an elite keeper (again this is my opinion). In fairness, Busch also suffered a pretty nasty injury a couple of years ago , that has slowed his own career.

Other than wins and losses (and again this is my opinion), stats are meaningless when it comes to soccer. Aside from the Open Cup in 2002, what has the Crew done since Busch has been with the team???

The bottom line - would Jon Busch honestly justify a senior international spot on any other team in MLS???

Anonymous said...

The bottom line - would Jon Busch honestly justify a senior international spot on any other team in MLS???

or put another way - would you waste a senior international spot on a back-up keeper?

Chris said...

You did not make these comments when he was signed from the waiver list... you waited and made them upon his exit. That's cheap.

Chris said...

I think you must have been channel surfing and only watching snippets of Crew games.

1. 2002 - Jon went 8-3-2 with a 1.09 GAA and five shutouts, to earn the team’s Defender of the Year award... Finished second in the league in GAA, just two 100,000ths of a point behind L.A.’s Kevin Hartman.

Crew won Open Cup with Jon in goal.

2. 2003 - Started 24 matches and compiled a 9-8-6 record, 1.44 GAA and four shutouts... Made a career-high 11 saves in a 2-2 tie vs. Chicago on 8/13… Missed five games with a severely sprained right ankle suffered on 6/21 at S.J. ... Returned to the lineup, from the ankle injury, -- that does not sound like the guy you say "defaulted" into the position.

2004 - Was the 'keeper on the Crew's run to the eastern conf championship . Established himself as one of the league’s premier keepers, going 12-5-12 with a club-record 1.07 GAA in 29 starts, and was an Eastern Conference All-Star for the first time... Posted 10 shutouts, which is a new Crew single-season record (Brad Friedel had eight in 1997)... Tied Mark Dougherty for the club’s single-game saves record, with 12, 8/24 at MetroStars)... Set an MLS record for catches/puches in a game, with 16, 7/10 at Dallas… Was named MLS Player of the Month for September… Entered this season with an active 17-game unbeaten streak (8-0-9)… 2004 MLS Playoffs: Started both matches of The Crew’s Eastern Conference Semifinal

Your negative statements about Jon have no merit.

A debate around the topic of using an SI slot ifor a 'keeper is a different topic...


Well Chris, we will have to agree, to disagree on this one mate. Like Sigi, I'm not a fan of Jon Busch, and never have been.

I really didn't comment on Busch's abilities at all prior to his release. I did point out he was available if Toronto was interested when waived by Columbus, and then subsequently when he was picked up on waivers a few days later. The parting shot at Busch, however unpopular, is how I feel - my tv viewing habits aside. :)

I hope Busch lands on his feet somewhere. It is too bad he may have missed out on the Montreal Impact opening due to his time spent with Toronto FC. The Impact are known to compensate players very well. Another former Crew keeper - Matt Jordan landed that job this week.

Chris said...

all ok... & thanks for the considered responses.

and just for grins: You mention Sigi, and his evaluation of Busch.
(I'll counter that Bruce Arena thought differently).

Here's a thought: Sigi has been dismantling and rebuilding the Crew. Mo has been building a team, almost on the same timescale, but with nothing to trade with initially. It will be interesting to see and compare which team is better as the season develops. My money is on Toronto..


Its not just the Crew, as the same could be said about KC, Red Bull, Chicago, and DC.

Chris said...

I don't agree that any of those clubs have been dismantled... tweaked yes but not totally rebuilt from the bottom up