21 June 2007

Copa America will test United's Depth

I have the sinking sensation that I didn't give Copa America's impact on the season much thought when thinking about how the team would do this season. Let's be frank, national team call ups were the furthest thing from my mind based on the poor start to the season. But lo and behold, May and June came and we have a team that's playing the way we wanted them to in March and April. So, now were on the cusp of losing up to 5 players for the next 2 matches at least. What can we expect?

Goalkeepers: Troy Perkins
Troy is the player we can least afford to lose, primarily because his backups are completely unkown quantities. Well, OK, Jay Nolly played in some MLS games last year, but we also put four or five goals past him as well. Color me unimpressed, and nervous, about our backup keepers.

Defenders: Bobby Boswell and Brian Namoff
Just when the defense had started to click and shut down opponents, we could lose our most veteran player and last year's defender of the year. Namoff has, as usual, put together another solid season, while Boswell and Erpen have partnered very well in the center. McTavish did well enough last week, but was still pretty raw. Who do we have to play in Namoff's position? John Wilson & Mike Burch?

The depth in defense is still lacking, and while we seem to be adding forwards like we're playing Super Mario Strikers, there's seemingly no movement to add a defender. We're not advocating adding a body for the sake of having another "D" in the player list, but the front office has been relatively on this. Add to this, the concern of playing in the Super Liga, Copa Sudamericana and it's enough to keep you up at night.

Midfielders: Ben Olsen
Olsen has been on fire during United's unbeaten run. Loosing his presence and leadership on and off the field would surely affect the club. I think Moose and Simms are capable options on game day. Plus, I can't really analyze Ben's loss without bias. I wore an Olsen USA Jersey in Germany last year, so I'm glad he might play in Venezuela. He's definitely earned the call up.

Forwards: Jaime Moreno
Number 99 has already missed two games, and I think we can safely conclude that our offense is playing as well - dare I say it - or better than it was when he was here. Emilio and Fred have started clicking, and Kpene has brought an extra dynamism and hustle when he's been on the field. If Moreno and Bolivia do well in this tournament, it could refocus him, which would be great. But will he also hold up to the rigors and demands of the international game?



At 22 June, 2007 07:40, Anonymous Goose said...

1. Marc Burch.

2. Super Mario Strikers is the shit.

3. It's the 22nd now, where the hell is that Copa America roster, Bob?

At 22 June, 2007 08:51, Blogger Oscar M. said...

on #1 - I don't make much of an effort to learn developmental players names, usually the Germans shoot them down first.


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