What Next?

We have our forward now to pair with Pontius.  We have our midfirelder to try to bring the ball up creatively the "DC United" way on the wing.  We have our goalkeeper in place.  And we have our coaching staff in place.  Now what? 

I think there are still two things from here to get us out of the cellar.  We need a central midfielder that can create space and creatively get the ball through to Allsopp and Pontius.  I'm not sure if you saw the videos of Allsopp, but most of his gioal were created by putting the ball through and letting him run onto it.  He has a great feel for holding a defender off and striking cleanly on the ball.  But at this point, there really isn't anyone with the experience to get it to him.  We have some options and we'll take a look at them in a minute.

The other aspect of this team that has to be shown is the coaching.  I think we have a good defensive unit, a solid midfield and good forward tandem.  There is nothing great about this team.  There are better defenses out there but this should be a strength for us with us our talent.  The midfield is strong (assuming we solve the center mid situation) but they won't be confused with the best midfield in the league.  And our forwards should show well, but i doubt they'll be confused with the best forward tandem in the league either.  What will make these good-but-not-great areas of the field great is coaching.  Our defense should be pitching shutouts this year.  Jakovic is a stud at D!  Mark these words: He will be defender of the year.  He is that good and he has an ability to lead the defense with Perkins's help.  James is solid.  He will either play in central defense or have to go out wide for Namoff.  I almost would rather see him out wide.  We need aerial prowess in center defense.  We lost a ton of 50/50 challenges last year because all of our guys are like Smurfs (3 apples tall).  This will only get better with good coaching.  The defense needs to be tight and they need to be supporting each other.

This brings me to the midfield.  The backside midfielders have to defend.  I love what Tino did last year but he needs to get back on defense to play right side midfield.  I'll be curious to see how Castillo does this year.  I'm highly encouraged by him though and I think he will be a great addition.  I have no idea about his defending.  Anyone what to chime in on that?  Simms will be very steady again.  He's a workhorse and I hope the miles don't catch up for a few years.  He's young so we should have a lot more time with him.

So who do we put in Central Midfield?

Tino - He is very creative.  He passes very well.  And he certainly gets the DC United system.  He is the top option right now with the personnel we have.  He needs to defend better but all-in-all, he is a good option here for what we have on the roster.

Barklage - He is young and creative but I think he lacks the experience yet to lead the attack.  Allsopp seems to be someone that needs service to get him going so we need someone who can step right in and get him the ball.  Barklage showed flashes when he was healthy, but he has to first prove he can stay healthy and then prove what he can do on the field.

Player to be named -I have a feeling that this will be the way they go here.  I have a feeling, they are down in South America right now drinking mojitos...I mean looking for a quality center mid that is flying under the radar.  They need someone who understands what the forwards need.  They need someone who will fight for the ball on our end, bring it up the field, draw defenders, and put the forwards through.  they need someone who, when dispossessed, will run his ass off to get that ball back like you see from European teams.  I saw Gomez just stop too many times when he lost the ball and that is not acceptable at his position.  That led to him getting subbed at the 43rd minutes in a game last season.

Jamie Moreno -He has been mentioned as a possible guy at this place.  At his age, I just don't see it.  He has the foot skills, but he doesn't have the pace anymore nor does he possess the ability to do that kind of running and get back on defense.

Szetela - I just haven't seen enough effort from him to give him the nod here.  He needs to show that he can stay in the game from the first minute to the last.  He disappears, gets lost on the midfield and we can't have that from our playmaking position.  He does defend well but we need more than that to get into that center mid position.

What do you think of our situation?  Who is backing me on Defender of Year nod to Jakovic?  Who should our central mid be?  Did miss a viable option?

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