Monday, October 30, 2017

A Fresh Clipboard: #10

Okay... things are about to get as predictable as can be. And then they'll get a bit weird. I'm sure you can handle it.

*Christian Pulisic

*Mix Diskerud
Darlington Nagbe

The least surprising pick in the bunch (and just the third position I've handed outright to someone thus far) is Pulisic. No spoiler alert necessary there. And yes, I could have found some use for him out on the wing while Dempsey was still in play, but not now. Right now, we need to just hand him the keys and let him take a few stray bumps on the way to stardom.

Now, the weird part. Let's get real: if we're turning over this new leaf, the #10 ranks are going to be rather thin, at least for a while. Diskerud has ably resurrected his career playing for a surprisingly mediocre IFK Göteborg side, and his best USMNT days have all come playmaking from the hole behind the striker. No matter how much sense that all makes, I'm sure some folks will scoff.

Then there's Nagbe, who at 27, offers a quandary. He's certainly not worth tossing aside, but still lacks the end product you'd want from a winger and the defensive work you'd expect from a #8. Oddly enough, he typically provides more defensive help when stationed out wide - but I digress. The guy's as safe a attack end passer as we possess, can wiggle through tight spaces and tends to provide most of his offensive production from the top-of-the-area area. Some may scoff, but I figure: why not get him some sub minutes at quarterback?

By the way, I was all set to list Mihailovic under "Worth monitoring next season" until he suffered an ACL injury that will likely offer a long road back to 100%.

- Greg Seltzer


Adrian said...

What gets Taitague on this list?

Tom said...

Playing with the first team?

Greg Seltzer said...

Yeah, a McKennie-sized breakthrough should do the trick. I'm just not sure he's that close to gaining the first team minutes to be able to match it.

Adrian said...

In other words, a loan to a 2. Bundesliga team wouldn't cut it

FiveTwo said...

From what I gather, Taitague has been moved to the wing for Schalke, so maybe more fitting as a 7.

Would like to see Akale or de la Torre break into a first team and get involved with US.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Adrian:

Yeah, such a loan could conceivably do the trick, but it changes the metric of how much shining needs to be done with the level drop.

@ FiveTwo: You took the words out of my mouth about Taitague. The problem is the first team isn't always using wingers these days.

I am hoping Akale and De la Torre can make real strides with the first team next season.