Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The replacements

Just when it appeared that United had found its best starting XI, we have to go and get two players ejected. I guess we all know that players are going to have to sit out a game here and there for disciplinary reasons, but two at once can be brutal. Especially when those two are your highest paid player and most consistent player. So who should step into the starting lineup in place of Marcelo Gallardo and Bryan Namoff? Pick two of the following:

Franco Niell
Rod Dyachenko
Dan Stratford
Ryan Cordeiro
Marc Burch
Quavas Kirk
Domenic Mediate

What I do NOT want to see is Tom Soehn simply inserting the guys who play CAM and right back for the reserve squad. That would be Rod Dyachenko and Quavas Kirk respectively, but neither have enough of my confidence to start a first team match. I'd rather see the team try something just a bit "out of the box".

As for my choices, I'll go with the two guys pictured on the left border. Yeah, the Terps. I've got Mediate in central defense next to Peralta, with McTavish in Namoff's slot on the right. But more importantly, I've got Burch on the left side of midfield to help Martinez with the most dangerous player on the Red Bulls right now in Dane Richards.

But my idea of trying something new involves a couple of things. First of all, it's Jaime Moreno as the chief playmaker, a role for him that I think we can all agree was pretty fruitful in the final 35 minutes at Chicago. And secondly, I'd like to see Santino Quaranta in the middle. But not as a forward or a CAM per se, but as more of a holding midfielder in front of Simms but behind Moreno. Quaranta has good vision to take advantage of space when its shown to him, but where he's failed this year is in sending quality crosses from the outside, and in tracking opposing wide midfielders into the box. I think giving Tino a chance in the middle could take advantage of his strengths while minimizing his weaknesses. And if we find that he is actually a good fit in that role, then Soehn should take note and use him there in those RARE circumstances where United needs to use a 3-5-2 formation.

So my starting lineup for Saturday looks something like this:
----------------Wells----------------
McTavish-Mediate-Peralta-Martinez
----------------Simms----------------
Fred---------Quaranta---------Burch
---------------Moreno---------------
----------------Emilio---------------

What's yours?

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

McTavish and Mediate looked pretty good together when Peralta was out for NE, so it makes perfect sense that you would plug Mediate in on the line. Both of them are more comfortable in central defense, however.
Since one of them has to go on the right, it makes more sense to me to use the one with more attacking experience. McTavish has shown trouble transitioning from attack to defense though, so it is risky.
Burch is another option, although putting him on the right just plays into his biggest weakness.

Didn't Fred actually move into the middle after Gallardo got ejected? That would be my ideal lineup for the offense. Emilio and Jaime up front still, Fred in the middle, Simms back, of course. Burch returns to his familiar left wing spot and Tino is fine on the right.