What did our beloved Claret and Cobalt do the evening of March, 10th? They did what they trained for. They did what they most wanted. They did what they are capable of. They “came to score” (The Aggrolites).
I've been talking for a couple days about who we might see on Wednesday, but let's go one step further. If we were out our seven midfielders with the most minutes, what would we do? Could we survive? Let's read on, shall we?
Our seven most-played midfielders are Kyle Beckerman (2412 minutes), Javier Morales (2090), Will Johnson (2075), Ned Grabavoy (1883), Luis Gil (1516), Jonny Steele (1057), and Yordany Alvarez (500). That sounds about right, although I was a little surprised that Javi has played more than Will. Not entirely surprised, but a little.
Let's also assume that for this little thought experiment, we'd be stuck playing the narrow diamond. You know, for the purposes of examination and all that.
Defensive midfield: Chris Wingert. If any player has the awareness and understanding to fill that role, Wingert's the man. We saw him at the back and he wasn't spectacular, but played in the midfield, we'd get more out of him. He's one of our most frequent passers (fourth, in fact, per minute), good in the tackle, good in awareness — the perfect fit. Kenny Mansally slots in at left back.
Left central midfield: David Viana. Yeah, we've never seen him in first-team action before, and yeah, he probably would get pretty tired in the 60th minute or so, but the Frencheguese player (yeah, I just made that up. Please don't accuse me of being culturally insensitive.) has something special about him. Earl from RSL Soccer Talk reports that Viana is a big fan of Deco, and he played in the tip of the diamond, so, uh, he might have to fight the candidate there to get time.
Right central midfield: Enzo Martinez. I initially wanted to play Tony Beltran there, because I think it's a good role for him, but as we don't really have a replacement right back in the ranks (with my having just moved Wingert to the defensive midfield spot), we'd be in a real spot of trouble. Instead, I've dropped Enzo in there, because that's where he plays. There's something to be said for a natural look. Enzo's got some real skills, though, and that would be a good spot for him to show them.
Attacking midfield: Sebastian Velasquez. This one's pretty simple for me, if just because we've seen him there in reserves games, and he really runs the show. As such, he's basically a lock here until someone shows more than him. If so, he might switch places with Viana.
In reserves, we'd have Nico Muñiz and, uh… nobody. That's OK, though — this is with seven players out (for some imaginary reason — maybe they ate at some restaurant and the lasagna just wasn't up to par or something), and recovering from that would be tough. If necessary, I'd move Tony Beltran into midfield, where I think he'd do a fine job, and we could move Chris Schuler into the defensive midfield spot. He'd be a bit more of an anchor than Kyle Beckerman, though.
That's enough of what I think. What would you do?
At any rate, that's enough thought experiment for today. Let's talk Seattle tomorrow. See you then.