Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The Magnificent #7
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