Friday, February 26, 2016

The Hatful Eights

This is one crowded scene, and I even considered listing Dax McCarty and/or Daniel Williams here.

Michael Bradley
Darlington Nagbe
Sacha Kljestan

In the frame: Alfredo Morales
Under watch: Wil Trapp, Tony Tchani, Kellyn Acosta
Get a job: Jermaine Jones

Mikey is still the clear-cut and obvious choice. Beyond that, I spent a lot of time shuffling guys on this list, as well as to and from other midfield lists. The reality is, for the foreseeable future, several of them may need to do roster battles at other positions if they want to get PT - even on my Clipboard.

Nagbe could certainly move to another list later, but for now I am most excited by his tenacity in midfield-to-high pressure and linking skills. I'm also not really a fan of playing him wide (and not just because he won't stay wide). Kljestan had a monster season last year and has more top-level club experience than all of the employed players making up depth here.

Morales is enjoying a decent Bundesliga season, but for my money, he seems to underwhelm in a US shirt. Let's hope that is not a permanent phenomenon. The MLS trio under watch have different styles, but all hold some intrigue. Trapp isn't quite there yet, in my honest opinion. Tchani may be at the right level, but we have no way of knowing it yet. Acosta is another guy who may well belong better on another list, but I wish there was ever going to be time to see what he can do in this slot.

As for Jones... hey, if he was 28 instead of 34, we could let his lack of a club slide for a bit. At his age, that bit has passed. We can revisit his place when he has a day job. And when that does happen, if it happens soon enough, some of these other guys could scatter to other depth charts.

- Greg Seltzer


JBS said...

Is "Hatful Eights" a clever pun on winning caps or just a happy coincidence? Because if you meant it, bravo.

DaM said...

I kinda see most of this the same but I would like to see Nagbe and Bradley on at the same time. I guess it depends on what kind of formation you are going with but I imagine right now Nagbe is on the bench to start. I think our possession is exponentially better when they play together (2 really solid midfield outlets to calm things... they reyna-effect if you will).

I suppose I get Trapp as an 8, but Tchani and Acosta as well? I am not sure Acosta has that kind of game. Then again all 3 of the under watch people are still showing us what they are so they could be 8 they could be 6. Tchani being a bit older, I kind of feel like he is closer to his end product and works better as a 6, no?

Greg Seltzer said...

@ JBS: No, it's a Tarantino reference, plus there's eight guys listed, which constitutes a hatful.

@ DaM: Yeah, It's not yet clear exactly which station best fits a few of these guys, but all of those types are outside the top choices.

Jay said...

"Your "revolution" is over, Mr. Jones! Condolences! The bums lost!"