Friday, June 26, 2009

Thoughts on Upcoming TFC Match

Coach Kreis hinted at looking at some changes based on the departures of Will Johnson (already gone) and Kyle Beckerman (leaving next week). My guess is that with both players gone, we may see the 4-3-3 temporarily abandoned as we may not have the horses to play holding midfield. While Mathis, Grabavoy, and Russell all could play this role in theory I would suspect that the 4-4-2 (most likely diamond midfield) would be a more preferable lineup with the personnel available.

So what does this mean for this upcoming match against TFC when Beckerman is available? Do we see Grabavoy join him in a holding role? Do we see Mathis move back and Findley fill in up top (with Movsisyan out wide).

With Olave serving a red card suspension what should we see along the backline? Does Russell step into the center back spot? Does Horst make an appearance in that role? Does RSL go to a 3-man backline and add another midfielder?

Here is my projected lineup:

FWD: Espindola, Movsisyan, Williams
ACM: Morales
DM: Beckerman, Mathis
DEF: Wingert, Borchers, Russell, Beltran
GK: Rimando

Here is some of my logic: I think Kreis will stick to the 4-3-3 for at least this week with Beckerman around. Reverting back to the 4-4-2 is an option, but I don't think we'll see it this week based on the recent success with the 4-3-3. Going with a 3-5-2 is unlikely given the recent attacking prowess of Toronto FC.

It would have been easy to say that Grabavoy would see the start alongside Beckerman, but I think that Kreis may reward Andy for his decision not to join Jamaica in the Gold Cup and instead to stay behind with RSL. I wouldn't be surprised to see Grabavoy get the start, and it may be a better "fit" but my hunch is Bomma.

Grabavoy could also move into the holding role instead of Mathis, but I think Kreis likes having his leadership on the field and he has still been our most consistent player on the season.

I think Russell moving into a central role is a no-brainer. I don't see Horst making the start, and don't see alot of other viable options. I just about put Joy into the mix instead of Wingert. Joy has been putting in good work in practice, and I could see Kreis rewarding him for his effort and taking advantage of Russell having to slide in centrally to find a spot out there for him. However, Wingert is also a veteran and Kreis is likely to try to restore/rebuild his confidence and give him the opportunity to shine.

I'm a little unsure of the status of Findley, but would guess that if he does see action it's in a substitute role.

What do you think? Tell us your opinion of the starting lineup.