ESPN FC released the results of their second annual anonymous MLS player poll this morning. While most of the questions centered around issues concerning the league such as standard of play, international breaks, salaries, and the dead-on-arrival promotion/relegation debate, players were also asked which of their peers they would consider to be most overrated or underrated.
U.S. international Mix Diskerud received the distinct honor of being named the most overrated player in Major League Soccer, according to the 123 players who were surveyed on the condition of anonymity. Toronto's Jozy Altidore came in at a close second.
As one would expect, the list was littered with big-name MLS players who receive salaries which are much higher than the league average, including European legends like Andrea Pirlo and Steven Gerrard. Several players cited MLS' designated player policy as the main reason behind their choice.
But we're here to talk about overrated players in the USMNT pool, not near-retirees. In addition to Mix and Jozy, the top ten most overrated MLS players included Michael Bradley (6th-T), Clint Dempsey (8th), and, Benny Feilhaber (10th).
I guess the bottom line is: don't make a lot of money in MLS if you don't want to be considered overrated.
But is it fair to a player to expect him to play at the very top of his potential at all times simply because he's being paid his value? Maybe so, but it's a bit unrealistic.
These guys aren't Ronaldos and Messis. Heck, they're not even Marco Reuses or Antoinne Griezmanns, but they are very good soccer players who are leaders for their clubs. Is a player really 'overrated' just because he can't put his squad on his back and carry them to the MLS Cup final? By that measure, Messi would be considered an 'overrated' Argentinian international player, wouldn't he? But I digress.
Of the 38 players who were considered overrated in the poll, 18 are U.S. national-teamers. Unfortunately, the article does not name the remaining 13 "overrated" USMNT players in MLS. But that can't stop us from speculating.
But, before we speculate, know that a handful of other U.S. players were thought to be among the most underrated in MLS. New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty and Timbers playmaker Darlington Nagbe tied for the most votes as the league's most underrated player.
FC Dallas' Kellyn Acosta, NYRB's Sacha Kljestan, and the Revolution's Lee Nguyen also were thought to be among the league's most underrated players. Nguyen and the aforementioned Nagbe were just called in to an important USMNT camp ahead of two World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala, while Acosta has been tabbed to represent the U-23s in their Olympic playoff against Colombia in a few days' time.
How about you guys? - Who do you think are the most overrated/underrated USMNT players currently playing in MLS? Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments below.