Wednesday, February 28, 2018

And now back to our irregularly scheduled Clipboard...

I could easily let you know how busy I've been with work duties with the MLS season set to begin, but that really wasn't it. I could say I've just been slackin' off, but that's not true. No, the real reason it took me a damn week to move on to the back line depth charts was an inability to decide how to tackle the USMNT's set-up moving forward.

To be honest, I'm basically stuck between continuing to advocate a 4-3-3 and pushing a switch to the 3-5-2. I've gone back and forth over it for days now and my brain hurts. Ideally, we could have both of these formations already in our locker - but as I always say, life is not microwave popcorn. The good stuff takes time.

So... after a ridiculous amount of thought (and line-up permutations), here's what I'm gonna do. We will continue on with our usual Clipboard roll-out, but now, at the end of each line there will be a single annex post to share how I'd stack our boys up in depth charts for a 3-5-2. Believe me, this will include some player shuffling. It's been a great pain in the ass to sort it all out.

With that out of the way, let's talk some 4-3-3 right backs:

DeAndre Yedlin
Eric Lichaj
Nick Lima

Under close watch this season: Jake Nerwinski, Matt Polster
Perhaps a little too soon, check back later: Shaq Moore
Future watch: Jaylin Lindsey

Yedlin is a lock to get the nod when fit. Duh. He's such an ink starter, I nearly pushed Lichaj over to the left back pool (and reserve the right to do so at a later date). As is, he's a suitable back-up. Both of these guys will only work friendlies on FIFA dates, so Lima should see his debut soon. At this time, I think he's the most sound end-to-end guy we have past the top two.

Nerwinski is an interesting prospect that flies under a lot of radars, Polster needs to work on his one v. one defending but gets forward well and the talented Moore needs more seasoning. I am extreeeeemely excited to see how Lindsay's two-way game develops. He was impressive in the preseason, and should get some minutes for Sporting KC this season.

- Greg Seltzer


Patrick said...

Surprised you didn't have Reggie Cannon anywhere in the post. Pretty sure being on the fringes of the first team for a La Liga team puts you ahead of similarly aged MLS players that haven't lit the league on fire. But waiting to see on all them seems fair. In this day and age, playing four years of NCAA kind of tells me the player is not that serious about pursuing his ability to the highest level.

Tyler Adams should be here until he can prove that he can play elsewhere.


Future: Cannon, Lindsay

Unknown said...

^Have you ever seen lima play? I'll take him over cannon - who hasnt played a minute of senior football - for now

Patrick said...

Cannon is 4 years younger and could have four full seasons under his belt by the time he is Lima's age. Sorry, these fullbacks that play four years of college seem to be ok for MLS; but they are not going anywhere. There is no upside like there is with kids turning pro at 16-18 and already near the same level.

Cannon started the two CCL matches, so your post is already out of date. He started today.

Lima was called into January camp and couldn't get minutes on that squad. He is ok, a good solid MLS lifer probably. Maybe if a bunch of guys get hurt he could backup someone.

Playing four years of college ball and getting your degree is all fine. But it shows a lack of commitment to the game. Pulisic, Adams, McKennie, et al are the next generation and they didn't burn their prime development years playing in the NCAA.