We move on to the cobra head slot, which is obviously missing a great deal of its strength due to injuries. While we wait for Jozy Altidore, Aron Jóhannsson and Terrence Boyd to get healthy (if not also for Juan Agudelo to find himself), the Clipboard will go with this trio...
Wood's hold-up game has improved and his runs annoy the hell out of defenses, a skill that often gets overlooked. Of course, he's also the best finisher of the fit players available. Zardes can also drive back lines bonkers with his athleticism, but we often must hold our breaths when it comes to his first touch and finishing. Sapong is the best healthy power forward available at the moment and really needs to be brought into the group.
Of the players listed at the top, Altidore is the closest to returning. And when he's back to action, he immediately slots into the second spot, if not direct competition for the starting job. That may rile some, but he still has the most complete forward game of our current crop. Boyd is the wild card; if he can finally stay in one piece, he is a threat to fill the live wire bench role.
- Greg Seltzer