Picture Gallery – Phoenix FC Tryouts Day 2 Sunday And Talent Assessment
Pictures and story by Garrett Cleverly
Phoenix FC held their last weekend of open tryouts at the ASU Soccer Stadium. On Saturday, Phoenix FC checked players fitness level and had the players play games on a small field. On Sunday they opened up the full field and this is what Garrett saw as far as talent wise.
There were about 50-60 guys and I was impressed with about half of the players. Phoenix FC should bring close to 20 guys back for camp in January to be camp bodies. Sorry to say it like that but it’s true. Out of those 20 players, 10 have a legit shot at making the team but in reality only 3-5 will and should make the team.
There were two MID/DEF from Asia that had great vision on the field when attacking and had a good burst on the ball. Both players responded quickly to changes in the field on defense. They also had a motor that could go for days. They should make the team, however Phoenix FC only has 8 international spots on their roster. With two of those spots are already taken by players who have been signed it could be hard for those players to make the team.
There was another player from FC Tucson who also was on Real Salt Lake’s reserves last year. The player scored a beautiful goal on Sunday while playing forward. He also showed he can be versatile on the field by playing defense on Saturday next to Devon Grousis.
A player with PDL experience from California was impressive as a holding MID.When he dropped back teams had a difficult time attacking up the middle. He was also good in the air and understood what his position asked of him. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter most to coaches.
One major issue I noticed was the forwards who were trying out as many were undersized. I’m talking 5′ 8″ and shorter. USL PRO is a physical league and though these players may be good for a game or two I don’t know about a whole season. One FW who played for the Monsoon last year did have size but I’m worried about his speed. He isn’t a “pure” attacker but has excellent vision and understands how to distribute the ball. Put him in the right formation and he could be deadly. Another FW that shined was the only player at last month’s tryouts who scored and showed again this weekend that he can create for himself. He is a little winded (probably due to playing too many games in two days) and when the PDL player from California marked him he disappeared. But he should be given a extra look by Phoenix FC coaches.
One thing I think Phoenix FC should consider is fielding a team in the Scottsdale Adult League. Yes, I understand that it is rec-league but for those who play in the league, myself included, they know the talent level is very good. It could be a good way to continue evaluating a player because at open tryouts you really don’t know what the skill level is of all the players on the field.
I was also impressed by a central defender who’s brother played GK for the Seattle Sounders last year. He has great size and if you look at picture 8 you can tell he can be a threat on corners.
There were a few other players that were good but these guys are the ones that stood out to me.
I also didn’t see everything on the field because I was taking pictures and talking to the players while the tryouts were going on. There could be players that I may have failed to mention that will be given a chance.
I will keep everyone up to date with any players that sign from open tryouts.
If you are a player in any of these pictures, please feel free to take any you want.