Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Fresh Clipboard: #7

One might expect me appoint Arriola as a starter, but I'd rather throw this one open. It's not that he hasn't been solid. Some might find this slot to be paper thin, but there is some speed and young gusto around - which we hope can soon be augmented through consistency. There are also young prospects waiting on a shot. Let's say the D.C. United has a head start on the others.

There are actually versatile guys who could move from the other flank or another position. I also wouldn't be shocked if Adams could run a couple of nice shifts here. But first, I'd like to see what happens when these guys compete a little...

*Paul Arriola
*Marlon Hairston
*Brooks Lennon
Jonathan Lewis

Worth monitoring next season: Josh Gatt, Khiry Shelton

We already know a bit about Arriola, who's done fairly well, but could also offer more production and consistency in defensive responsibility. I definitely think he'd be serve better being stationed as a true winger/wingback in a different set, even a 3-5-2 (yes, I'm now open to this, and actually feel it's our second best option).

I'll admit, I'm curious to see what Lewis could do in this role at this level. Most defenders in the world haven't seen him, and that mystery level could benefit the tricky winger in finding a quick comfort. Using Lennon all depends on who mans the other flank. The RSL attacker is almost like a sneaky weak side second forward. He and Yedlin have the ability to be bamboozling raid squadron together. I'm not high on his defense, though, and he's not the fastest guy here. but he never quits.

The Colorado duo are speedy, shifty gamblers' choices, but not without reasons to roll those dice a couple times. Hairston definitely looks better when the Rapids keep him up the flank. He can do everything okay; it would be nice if he'd raise 1-2 of those skill levels to excellent.

Gatt actually looked like he was getting the hang of MLS over Colorado's last 9-10 games. He just turned 26 a few months back, and 2018 will mark his second full season following the end of his knee troubles. With his injury, the real zip often comes back in "Year 2."

I agree it's not the most instantly inspiring group... but there's time to improve

- Greg Seltzer


DaMa said...

This list was pretty sad for me. I don't think Arriola is good enough in either final third, Lennon is too slow for me and Hairston is pretty far away for a 23 year old who seemed to regress a little this year with the disaster that was the Rapids.

Maybe if Lewis starts getting some play time, but I have very little faith in Viera's willingness to use young creative Americans. After the first month of the season, Rodney Wallace was actually pretty bad (bonus points if you know what month he scored his last goal in). There should have been way more playing time available for Lewis (or Shelton or Tommy Mc).

Sadly I have no idea who to add to the list (assuming Rowe is on the other side). It's too bad we can't adopt Jack Harrison. Pomykal?

I feel like the only other real option is, as you say, Tyler Adams. We know he can do the defensive work, we know he CAN play there cause he can play just about anywhere. Using him out of position does free up some space in a relatively crowded central midfield. Watching the Red Bulls I do usually think they would be better if they moved Adams into Davis's spot and started Lade or someone at the right wing/whatever back spot. meh.

Greg Seltzer said...

Yeah, like I said, it's not immediately enticing. But it's young and can improve.

There several other options moving forward. I will discuss the players who may see time at different positions than they're listed at in this Clipboard when it's done. The versatility file, if you will.