Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I am now back from Tallinn, a very charming town I recommend you all check out if the chance arises. And that means we go back to the Clipboard to run down some right wingers...

Alejandro Bedoya
Jordan Morris
Graham Zusi

Also in the frame: Ethan Finlay, Rubio Rubin, Paul Arriola, Jerome Kiesewetter

Much thought was given to slotting Bedoya elsewhere, but his intangible combination of work rate, defensive help and possession work is just too invaluable on the right side. If he could just produce more final product, that starting place would be more secure. With Wood fast developing a better hold-up game, Morris moves wide this time. His speed and fearlessness can come in handy here, especially as a mighty bench weapon (for now, anyway).

Zusi's experience and set piece delivery has him hanging on, but his spot in the top three would be under serious attack if younger guns Finlay and Rubin regain top form. Both have the tools to assert themselves in this position, giving the team a couple of different possible looks in the future. Arriola is a rather solid dark horse option here and Kiesewetter should begin improving more rapidly now that he'll do time in the 2.Bundesliga. If Josh Gatt ever gets back to his old self, this place on the depth chart will see some huge battles in the coming years.

- Greg Seltzer


downintexas said...

Tallin is a real nice city. I remember there was a really good Mexican food place there back around 20 years ago. Well good for Texas standards, great by European standards. Welcome back

DaM said...

Welcome back.

I'm not sure I noticed how much of a dearth of talent we have at the right wing slot until I saw your list. Not a right wing amongst the bunch until we get to the "in the frame" crew. I am a Morris fan, particularly the way he has played the last few weeks. But what has become clear to me, so far, is that he is not a wing. You can see him at the beginning of that same stage Zardes was at a year or so ago. He is figuring the position out some and finding ways to use his speed, but he is infinitely more dangerous playing as a striker. Some of that is obviously down to defensive responsibility. But his sense of positioning (obviously it is less of an issue that he always winds up middle if you have a good right fullback who likes to get forward so maybe this works better with Yedlin) is clearly off and he still isn't good enough without the ball to play here.

I won't get too far into zusi and bedoya. They aren't wingers. Both put in a lot of work defensively. Bedoya has times where he looks like he might work there but it is exclusively against lesser competition. Zusi's lack of athleticism almost always shows glaringly. I don't mind Bedoya as a back up for the central midfield, but I don't see him as a real wing.

I assume Zardes is going to be in your forward rankings, which is the right move in general. However, I think he is a more developed more dangerous right wing option than the others you have listed. I am not saying he is ideal, but he too has the defensive work rate, has shown an ability to take the ball from the wing inside himself and has shown good instincts on using his speed on the break to be further forward and central than you would normally expect (though a lot of that was him filling for Dempsey as the "9" when dempsey was off a-wanderin. Part of the real issue here is it has been so long since we have used actual wings on the wings that we don't really know who works there other than the old fill-ins like bedoya and zusi.

Love to see Rubin develop as a wing... any word on him this year? I assume he will be healthy starting the new season since he was working back into the fold at the end of this one, but is Utrecht (assuming he is still there) going to use him?

Still not sure I see it in Arriola. I feel like with qualifying and cups I have seen him a fair amount. I know he is well thought of, but I always come away feeling like there's something missing... though I have no clue what. Maybe he tries to overcomplicate things?

I think that is why I like the idea of having Pulisic on the right and Fabjo on the left.

dikranovich said...

Doesn't this exercise ultimately expose the shortcomings of playing just in a 4-3-3?

Jester said...