Saturday, March 16, 2019

Another work in progress... still.

It's been a busy week around here, but now the soccer weekend has arrived. That means I'm going to finally complete the current Clipboard (now) and my MLS season predictions (West tomorrow and awards on Monday).

So... the fullback slots. The place where my hope constantly lives, because, let's get real, it's most needed there. The guys at these positions really need to come up and come through. I think we're all tired of the disappointments.

Let's begin with right back:

DeAndre Yedlin
Nick Lima
Reggie Cannon

Still want to see him: Keegan Rosenberry

Yedlin is starting to play better for Newcastle, so perhaps he can pick his game back up in red, white and blue. Even though it was against lesser competition, Lima's January showing speaks for itself. I've wanted to him to get a chance for a while now, so it wasn't a great surprise to me. Cannon (who is out with a minor injury at the moment) still has a lot to learn. The Rosenberry comment above speaks for itself. He might actually be the most sound 1-v-1 defender of the bunch if given a chance.

Now to the eternally frustrating left side:

Antonee Robinson
Gregory Garza
Jorge Villafaña

Yes, Robinson is rough around the edges, but I'm still all for sticking with him at the top of this chart for now. His crossing and body positioning on defense are too good to ignore. Garza might also be if he can finally stay fit. On a related note, I'm pretty annoyed that Gregg Berhalter has only called up one true left back to the current camp - one of these first two guys should also be there. It would be great if someone could supplant Villafaña (who's had a tough start to the MLS season), but at the same time we also shouldn't pretend that for the time being he understands what is needed to get a job done at this level more than anyone else. I'm not yet sold on Lovitz as an international, but maybe he can change my mind this month. 

So, now that we're done, what do we have? A line-up with much more potential than seasoning. I've included asterisks next to Wood (because he's a place holder for Altidore) and Nagbe (because He's essentially the 1A with McKennie as 1B - either is fine with me, but really, the brand of opponent on a given day should make the call).

- Greg Seltzer

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