So Goff reported from practice yesterday that with the potential absence of Peralta, United will be switching back to a 4-4-2 for the match tomorrow night in LA. I guess the thought of Domenic Mediate as his lone center back in a 3-5-2 was enough to force Tom Soehn to face reality. But with Marc Burch moving to the back line, and with Fred still gimpy, Goff is also reporting that rookie Ryan Cordeiro may get his first start at left midfield.
Loyal readers should already know my thoughts on Cordeiro. Along with Stratford and Zaher, Cordeiro has been among the most impressive players I've seen on the Reserve squad. He's left-footed, he's got decent crossing ability, and he can even shoot from the outside. Others have pointed out that he's likely to lose the ball a couple times each match, but similar to Quaranta, Cordeiro has got the energy and the heart to chase down opponents to try to win the ball back.
But the idea of starting a rookie has got me thinking… How many wingers does DC really have on their roster? Or maybe a better way to ask this would be… If you were to put every player on United's roster in their BEST position, how many of them would be playing on the wing?
I'd say that given his production last year, Ben Olsen's best position is on the wing, but you can't really include him in this discussion due to his injuries. Fred's preferred position is clearly CAM. Santino Quaranta is best as a withdrawn forward. Devon McTavish might be best on the wing, but he's also a pretty damn good central defender, so that might be a toss-up. I think Marc Burch is better at left back than left wing. Mediate's a utility guy who can play in many different spots, so his best position *might* be on the wing, but it's hard to say. Gallardo, Dyachenko, and Simms all definitely are better off in the middle.
Did I miss anybody? That's the entire senior roster midfield, and not one besides Olsen is definitively a true winger. Maybe McTavish, and maybe Mediate, but keep in mind that both of these guys are earning only the senior roster minimum salary. When is United going to start spending money on the wings? In the offseason they spent a lot of money in central defense, central midfield, and up top, but not a dime out wide. Obviously the team didn't know the severity of Olsen's injury at the time, but surely it was obvious to all of us that Olsen couldn't have more than a couple years left, and his history of injuries has always been troubling. Even if they didn't know that Olsen would be out the whole year or most of the year, the front office should be smart enough to realize that he was never going to be able to play 30 games. So despite Olsen's injury history, and despite the loss of Josh Gros, the front office's solution to our deficiency of wingers was to draft Ryan Cordeiro and acquire a 20 year old developmental project in Quavas Kirk?
I'm starting to lose faith.
But still. If only because of Chivas's ineptitude in defense, I'm predicting our first road goal, but not our first clean sheet. I'm gonna go with a 1-1 draw tomorrow, with United's goal coming from the run of play from a poaching Jaime Moreno.