I finally got a Christmas tree...less than two weeks before Kris Kringle shoots down my chimney. I blame the left. No, just kidding. I actually blame school, work, and MTV for running that Emmy-worthy Britney Spears special like 792 times within the course of the week.
(*Darn, that documentary was still enteraining even after the 571st time. Poor Brit...I just wish the media would leave her alone. LEAVE HER ALONE!)
Sorry. I got a little off track. I tend to do that after busy week.
So anyway, another thing kept me distracted from staking the tree into the corner of the living room. The sports demi-god known as ESPN carried the NCAA men's soccer tournament on Friday and Sunday. How could I resist?
Friday brought an upset of biblical proportions. Thirteen-seed North Carolina, hoping to ride the coat tails of its women's side, must have thoroughly scouted one-seed Wake Forest, who also happened to be the defending champs. Either that, or they must have talked to Bill Belichick about cameras and stuff, because wow, they not only figured out Wake, but they dismantled them for a good eighty minutes. The remaining ten minutes...okay, they held on.
Everybody loves an upset. But in this case, I am not part of that everybody.
I am in the minority because I have taken to scouting Wake striker Marcus Tracy. After watching him dazzle during last season's championship quest, he became my soccer version of Tim Tebow.* I love Tim Tebow. I love Marcus Tracy. I wanted him to win.
Anyway, it all began last year around this time. He had a sensation tournament. I could have sworn Tracy was going to go pro after last season. He would have been an easy early-first rounder, if the not the overall number one. Instead, he stayed in school (smart dude, on so many levels) and came up again for the Hermann Trophy consideration.
Although Tracy wasn't the leading scorer on his own team - that distinction belongs to Cody Arnoux - I believe he is one of the best strikers in college soccer. Let me amend that. He is the most technically sound striker in college soccer.
You see, unlike many one-dimensional forwards who simply take sound passes and shove them into the net, Tracy's can dish just as well as he can finish. He's got good pace. He's good in the air. He's tall, but not awkward in the box. He's good with his back to the goal. He can make a mean Spanish omlet.*
(*Okay, that last one's pure conjecture...as far as I know. But you get the idea.)
We all know Steve Nicol knows about this kid. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's got an extensive dossier on this particular Demon Deacon. *
(*Nevemind the ENTIRE Wake team. The Demon Deacs may as well drop the pretense and call themselves the New England Revolution Youth Academy. I mean, Nicol collects former Deacs the way my little cousin collects Webkinz.)
Now, the ball is in the Revolution's box.
They've got the ten spot in next months draft. They've got a solid striker in the bank already with Taylor Twellman. But, who's to say Taylor won't take off to Tottenham or Tranmere Rovers or elsewhere before First Kick '09?
That's where Tracy should come in. Because with or without Twellman, the Revolution need another goalscorer. Steve Ralson - bless his heart - isn't a goalscorer. I know he finished second in scoring last season, but let's face it - he's not the long-term solution should Twellman take his bright boots to Britain after the holidays.
Tracy, from what I've watched, has the resume. He's scored in college*, he's shined in the postseason, and he's got the technical skills to make the jump to the next level. In short, he'll likely be a top-5 selection.
(*That's just waaaaay too easy...)
So the Revolution must do what they need to.
Trade up from ten.