Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Starting XI Against Houston

Some debates are starting to build as to who should be included in the lineup.  Contrast this to the discussions of the previous couple of weeks about who needed to be benched. 

Here is the lineup that I would go with:

FWD: Espindola, Movsisyan, Mathis

ACM: Morales

DM: Johnson, Beckerman

DF: Beltran, Borchers, Olave, Russell

GK: Rimando

Here is my logic:


Espindola and Cox are our only true left-sided attacking players.  Espindola has been coming into form and getting better each week. 

Yura is in the middle of a mini hot streak. He also can interchange and play wide.  He was quite impressive last week when he was working the wing, and even delivered a couple of good balls into the box.  I don’t think that Findley can fill that same role. 

Mathis has shown to be one of the better passers on the team, and we need his creativity on the pitch. 

Findley is our leading scorer, but he’s coming off an injury.  I’d save him for the second half if needed.


Morales is a no-brainer coming off of a fantastic game last week.  His creativity, energy and play off of set pieces are needed.  If he doesn’t show up in the first half, slide Clint over and bring Findley or Bomma in.


Johnson was also sensational last week and seems to be thriving in this holding role. 

Beckerman’s the captain, and although he’s been less than stellar on whole this season, he had a good week last week.  He’s also more of a natural d-mid than Johnson or Ned. 

Grabavoy has earned some consideration for a starting position.  I’m not sure that I see him playing a “wing”, but he could fill in one of the holding roles.  I’d hold him out, evaluate the play of Beckerman and Johnson in the first half and then bring him in as needed.


Although Joy has reportedly been healthy for a couple of weeks now, I get the sense that Beltran and Russell are the preferred outside backs right now.  With the 4-3-3, I think that Wingert is less attractive since you rely less on runs from the outside backs.  1v1 defending is not his strong suit.