Monday, January 29, 2018

Upward Mobility?

As we switch focus to those who missed the playoffs in the East, I'm struck by how many of them still need major pieces fit into the puzzle with preseason camp underway.

NEW ENGLAND

Thus far: Most importantly, they've gotten themselves in a Lee Nguyen pickle. The sooner they sort that out one way or the other, the better. Midfielder Wilfried Zahibo and left back Gabriel Somi are useful pieces, but they need to do much more quickly.

The biggest hole: A true #6 to start (if not star), please!

PHILADELPHIA

Thus far: They recently picked up that David Accam fella to bring balance to the force of their attack. Other than that, the Union has mostly bid farewell to a boatload of veterans this offseason.

The biggest hole: Their midfield could be so money if they ever picked up a proper string puller. Still.

MONTREAL

Thus far: There have been some nicely rejuvenating move made by the Impact this winter. Saphir  Taider brings fresh legs to central park. His possession cool and defensive positioning will make Samuel Piette's job so much easier. Raheem Edwards and Michael Petrasso have arrived to boost the wing stable, while Jukka Raitala is a better left back than he showed early last season in Columbus.
New center back Zakaria Diallo is a fine air marshal, but I'm not sold on the other areas of his game.

The biggest hole: Unless they plan on shifting Nacho Piatti to the #10 role, Blerim Dzemaili's production needs to be replaced there. That said, this club sorely needs a new back line marshal more than anything else.

ORLANDO CITY

Thus far: Teen Paraguay talent Josué Colmán surely isn't ready to run an MLS ship, but that's no problem because Sacha Kljestan has come aboard to hoist the main attack sails. Mohamed El-Munir is an interesting pick-up that should add a new dimension to the team's left-side antics. The team has also acquired some dice rolls. Can Stéfano Pinho pull a Christian Ramirez (a former teammate, mind you) and carry on scoring at this level? Will José Villarreal finally bust out? The former seems a little more likely to me.

The biggest hole: The Lions have plenty of work left to do. They are still crying out for a couple of center backs, preferably with one able to grab a starting spot next to Jonathan Spector. One can barely hear it over the screams for a productive winger type.

UPDATE: Orlando City have more than taken care of the flank issue by trading a big bag of cash for Justin Meram... and it looks like they'll sign Oriol Rosell... and it looks like they've sold Cyle Larin.

D.C. UNITED

Thus far: The Black-and-Red may have pulled off a coup by swiping Gonzalo Verón from the rival Red Bulls just as he seems to have gotten this MLS thing figured out. Defense stretcher Darren Mattocks also joins a bulging strike corps. They also grabbed veterans Frederic Brillant and David Ousted to help solidify the back. I think Júnior Moreno may prove an underrated capture guarding that defense. Fringe Costa Rica attacker Ulises Segura looks like a supplemental scorer, at best.

The biggest hole: The capital crew are not necessarily short anywhere, but they could use upgrades (or development jumps, for that matter) all over. The back line needs them most.








- Greg Seltzer

1 comment:

Jeremy Smith said...

I am normally a bit excited for the season because of some preseason moves but this year is crazy! Atl, Orl, LAFC, and maybe Galaxy look like fun teams to watch. Can't wait!