Monday, September 16, 2019

Wide Receivers (R)

It was tricky putting together the wing ranks. The original plan was to put them all together, as so many can play either side in certain tactical arrangements that acceptable permutations are endless. But no, I didn't like it and here we are, with me trying to put everyone to their ideal side (not always an easy choice) while maintaining some sort of balance.

That is, until some #10 not named Pulisic rises to a level that allows the team to put its best player in his ideal job. For now, there is a right wing chart that breaks Clipboard rules.

Tyler Boyd
Sebastian Lletget

Just back from injury: Jonathan Amon
Show us more: Corey Baird, Romain Gall
Not giving up on him: Brooks Lennon
Future watch: Chris Mueller

There's only two players listed at the top of the depth chart where we typically have three, because Weah isn't due back for approximately 4-6 weeks. I'm not yet sure if he's a winger or a striker, but for now his ability to get loose on the flank puts him here. Until then, and despite underwhelming in his past few starts, Boyd holds the top spot.

Lletget is most often used in the middle in club life, but his USMNT time has been split between there and the wing. I think I prefer him out wide, where his two-way work rate and crossing skills fit with the manager's ideas. Beyond that, there isn't really anybody I trust to start an important match at this time.

Amon is a intriguing speedster, but he may as well be in the "show me" group with Baird and Gall. All three need to bring it more consistently to threaten the top three here. Who do I like the best out of that trio? Gosh, it depends what day it is, doesn't it?

As for Lennon, his big play service (both run of play and restart) keeps me interested in seeing him up the wing in red, white and blue. I hope RSL sells Savarino in the offseason, so he can slide back up to his natural spot (and, by extension, allow Herrera to slot into his full-time). I'm pretty bummed that Mueller's playing time has dropped this season, as for my money, he's been more consistently dangerous. His cool and smarts around the area are enticing.  

And, of course, if future watch is a category I suppose we could also add...

Do not open before Jan. 2022: Julian Gressel

- Greg Seltzer


willsaxton said...

How do you assess Konrad de le Fuente's prospects for breaking through to "Future Watch"? Do they depend on his US under-20 contributions? His breaking into Barcelona B? Both? Neither?

Greg Seltzer said...

He just turned 18 in July, so I'd guess he's still at least a year or two away. He was probably the least seasoned guy on our U20WC team, but yeah it will depend much more on his club trajectory.