Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Magnificent #7

Guess what... we have a new Clipboard starter on right wing.

Fabian Johnson
Jordan Morris
Paul Arriola

Useful vet on hand: Graham Zusi

Other than the #9 slot, positioning everyone the rest of the way happened after tons of consideration. There's a long list of guys who make excellent options for two spots in the fun half of the field. Johnson is one of those, if not chief among them, and I nearly kept him on the left flank in order to get a certain young stud on his preferred foot. In the end, I opted to keep FabJo's track back/cover skills on the Yedlin side. Frankly, I also feel allowing Johnson to work from his natural wing makes him more of an assist threat.

Morris stays over here so he can maintain a prime bench role. Obviously, his wheels are downright disheartening to tiring defenders. Arriola is one of the top risers in the squad; not only is he off to a fine start to the season at Tijuana, he's finally being allowed to work a majority of his minutes from the right flank. Due to his experience, crosses, restarts and improved defensive help skills, I'm not at all ready to cast Zusi aside like some observers would prefer - he nearly kept the third spot here. If absences thin the right side of veterans, he can still do a reasonable job, especially as a sub. For me, though, let's just skip the right back experiment from here on out. Deal?

And now, I will go back to trying to untangle the pile of ear bud wires that is the #8 slot...

- Greg Seltzer


Patrick said...

I think keeping Pulisic where he plays and Johnson where he plays makes more sense than switching them. I'd argue our LB will need more help than Yedlin.

Greg Seltzer said...

Each has played plenty on both wings, so that wasn't a real concern. And it's not about help, per se. It's mainly about fit with the corresponding wingbacks. Johnson on the right gives Yedlin more freedom to raid the opposing corner/area. Putting Pulisic on the left gives him less defensive responsibility and a steady flank partner in Villafana.

dikranovich said...

I think the main thing here, is that we have two of our most important games in the history of US soccer coming up. Let's not entrust the left flank to a guy who is not even getting starts in the Mexican league. Let's not take on these next two games with a Player who has two s silly!!!

Unknown said...

tbh most benches in liga MX are more quality than most MLS starting XIs.

dikranovich said...

Dany, you help prove the point of fabian johnson starting at left back, thank you! A Mexican league bench player can't start at left back over a bundas league starter, as well as World Cup starter, at fullback.