For the second year in a row, injuries befell Collin Martin early in the season and dominated most of the year. Last year, the midfielder picked up an injury which required surgery in April and then suffered from mononucleosis later in the year. He ended up not making any appearances in MLS that year, though he did make seven appearances for the Richmond Kickers.
This year, the young attacking midfielder was sidelined with a foot injury from the beginning of the season, which dominated this year as well. Finally healthy by the end of the year, he started the game against Orlando City SC at the very end of the season after having gotten one minute two weeks prior in Toronto.
It is extremely hard to judge a player who hasn’t gotten much playing time due to injury, but the promise is still there for the young American attacker. He has only just now turned 22 and is a veteran of the US youth national teams. When healthy and getting playing time, he has shown the ability to dominate at the USL level for the Richmond Kickers, which is what you want to see out of a young player with an MLS future.
The change from a 4-4-2 to a 4-1-4-1 also benefits Martin. In the 4-4-2, he was stuck playing out on the wing or trying to be shoehorned into a central midfield pair. In a 4-1-4-1, or in the 4-2-3-1 that Richmond plays, he is relieved of the primary defensive duties that a central midfielder must have in a two player midfield and more free to attack and press high up the field.
D.C. United need a backup for Luciano Acosta, and it has sometimes been Julian Buescher. But Buescher could be even better suited for the middle of the three central midfielders role, whether as a potential starter or as a backup. If healthy, could Collin Martin lay claim to the backup for Acosta? It will all depend, as has been mentioned a myriad of times throughout this pieces, on his ability to get an extended runout of healthy training and games.
Let’s get to the question itself: