Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Starting Over: #7

For the attack, we'll go right wing, left wing, striker. That first stable is ripe for development, which is a nice way of saying there's a lot of youth and no one who has grabbed the starting role with both hands yet.

Paul Arriola
Sebastian Lletget
Brooks Lennon

Rising fast: Jonathan Lewis
Needs more end product: Rubio Rubin

Of course, Arriola has recently flourished playing in a more central midfield role. Rather than throw him the Nats' #8 crowd, I think it's best to see if we can get him to show a similar spike in offense out wide. He will get a quality attack mentorship from Rooney, who needed barely 30 minutes to play a part in two sweet Arriola goals. Lletget is another guy who could easily get lost in the central midfield traffic jam, and I quite liked how he operated on the wing before an injury broke his USMNT momentum. Both of these guys have the skill to contribute in attack, it's just a matter of finding consistency at a new level.

Lennon is faring pretty well as a Real Salt lake right back this season, but this is one more case of keeping a guy where he can have more impact. Before this year, I'd have said his two-way awareness was a good distance behind that of the top two here. Has playing in defense heightened his back-track sense? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, he's definitely a legit late game weapon, if for no other reason than his serves into the box. Lennon should hope to get a chance to impress before Lewis zooms right past him on this chart, though. He jumped onto the Clipboard a while back, and is now on a nice super-sub run for NYCFC. The kid has speed and has a knack for making plays in packed areas - never a bad thing to have on hand for CONCACAF duels.

Rubin, meanwhile, should see more action now that he has a preseason to hit the ground running with Tijuana. From a Clipboard standpoint, now would be a great time for him to bust out. Of course, we could say that about almost every US option on either flank...

- Greg Seltzer


DaMa said...

Oof that was rough to see. Hopefully working with Rooney jumpstarts Arriola's play in the final third. So far so good ;)

Unknown said...

I'd rather put Pulisic here, as he's more of a dribbling playmaker than a passing one, I'd rather shove as many of the good CMs into the team as possible (I'm thinking McKennie and Adams with any one of Williams/Bradley/Parks/Nagbe/Durkin based on the opponent and how well those guys are playing), and none of those players you list for RW excite me too much (Arriola is probably the best but as you said DC is using him in the middle).

Anyway great job, I like seeing depth chart things like this.