The All Shakespeare Starting XI
Before we get back into the wallowing paranoia that the season's start has given us ahead of Thursday's game against New England, I thought I would try and have a little fun. It is "A Year of Shakespeare" in DC, and in an attempt to do my part for the cultural significance of our fair city, I give you the All Shakespeare Starting XI, plus bench. To my knowledge (and quick Google searches) this most worthy effort has not yet been undertaken, so I may need some help. I'm not sure the roster is quite right, so your recommendations of how to fine-tune this goal-scoring machine are most welcome before their season starts against Jonson Athletic and Marlowe Wanderers.
GK Brutus (Julius Caesar) – Your keeper should be cool, unflappable, like Brutus, who won't take a night off even if his wife kills herself by swallowing fire.
RB Marina (Pericles, Prince of Tyre) – If she guards the right flank as well as she guarded her chastity, attackers will find the box difficult to penetrate.
CB Henry V (Henry IV, Henry V) – After some shaky moments during Henry IV when his passion for the game was questioned, this young prospect demonstrates strong abilities to organize a back line and is great in International competition. Just elected captain.
CB Titus Andronicus -- The great defender of Rome is stout on the pitch, but can occasionally make odd choices in his distribution. Makes up for it with great service (both on the pitch and at the dinner table).
LB Goneril (King Lear) -- Confident in handling the part of the land allocated for her, Goneril may get caught ball-watching occasionally and never seems grateful for the role she gets on the pitch.
RM Falstaff (Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor) – Aging star popular with the fans (think 2002 Marco Etcheverry), pops up unexpectedly in odd places and seems to defy time. Was supposed to be in the starting line-up for Henry V, but was stripped of captaincy and lead role by Hal, and may be on the way out as nights out with George Best catch up with him.
CDM Shylock (The Merchant of Venice) – Opposing attackers find it difficult to charge through midfield when this Demo Kovalenko-esque midfielder takes his pound of flesh.
CAM Iago (Othello) – What should your #10 be? Crafty, and they don't get much craftier than Iago, whose use of misdirection and playing others through is unparalleled. Sure, he's still upset that he was passed over for Othello for the Italian team, but professionals can get beyond that, right?
LM Duke Vincentio (Measure for Measure) – Excellent two-way player, both in dictating the attack and in performing the down and dirty work of tracking back and defending.
CF Macbeth – He can strike and finish, but plays withdrawn constantly checking back for the ball and looking for players ghosting out on runs. Occasionally overconfident, when he scores it's a dagger to the opposition.
ST Othello – Charges headlong on whatever Iago sends him to chase, occasionally acts too quickly for his own good, but that's what you want in a striker.
Manager: King Lear -- Replaced Polonius earlier this season. Emphasized simple play and tactics – "Divide we our formation in three!" May lose his cool towards the end of the season or in bad weather. If season does not end well, may be replaced by Propsero who supposedly retired, but is said to be itching to get back in the game.
Former Manager: Polonius (Hamlet) – Like Ray Hudson, he was quick to the quip in the locker room until the front office realized they had no idea what he was going on about.
GK Cordelia (King Lear) – Biding her time on the bench until her father realizes she has something to offer.
D MacDuff (Macbeth) – Need a steadying defense at the end? MacDuff can shut a game down and make opponents feel that their grasp of the game was "untimely rip'd"
M Puck (A Midsummer Night's Dream) – Fast, mischievous, Puck'll do whatever it's told in order to sow confusion among the opponent's defense, and is clever enough on the ball to make any marker look like an ass.
M Ariel (The Tempest) – Sometimes you need a bit of magic on the ball, and Ariel is a great choice. Excellent at winning midfield headers, like most Elemental Internationals.
M Hamlet -- Transfer listed, he never seems to have settled in and lacks confidence in his decision making. May have been affected by the death of his father, it is hoped that a transfer back to Elsinore FC where he'll be closer to mother and girlfriend (Bianca.... er, Ophelia) will provide him the comfort level to flourish.
F Lady Macbeth (Macbeth) – When Macbeth can't get it done, she'll come into the game and finish it off.
F Ulysses (Troilus and Cressida) [on loan from Ithaca United] – Excellent at picking the lock of another team's impenetrable fortress, and popular for talking with other players and coaxing the best performance out of them. Many fans demanding he see regular starting time, but they're just a bunch of Homers.
M Richard III – Leg and back problems plaguing this potential star, rumors of a bad attitude also surround him.