Clearly arguments can be made for both cases. 2 games in the season do not dictate the rest of the 32 left to play. This is the third year Nowak’s been in charge and the team has regressed. We have a lot of new players that Nowak believes will fit his style. The entire team chemistry is disrupted with the turnover of our playmakers. Our team needs time to start to gel together. Why send our team internationally for preseason games instead of playing games against our own competition?
This list for each can go on, and on, and on.
It’s easy as a Philadelphian to quickly jump down a coach’s throat – hell, we’ve been doing that to Andy Reid for 5 years, justifiably so (only the foolish think he can field “America’s team” ). But why, with seemingly all the wrong choices and the “clause of silence” all throughout Union management, should we hold back from attacking Nowak?
Well for starters he’ll make you run laps.
Being that this is practically a brand new team – 15 players remain from being on the 2011 roster at any point in the season, 9 (give or take) being primarily subs, with 1 now a regular starter – it does take time to gel. The question now, as we know with Nowak, is with the acquisitions made in the offseason, do these players not only gel with Nowak’s bipolar strategy (‘solid’ defense with defensive offensive pressure) but do they have the capability to perform as such.
With Carroll, Califf (if not taking a shot, apparently), and Valdes being the central defense it seems, you will often find Gomez and Williams pressing the ball into the offensive half (and the occasional Valdes, and Gomez drops back). This tallies for 5 players that are guaranteed to be conistent starters – barring national duty. Add in Pajoy as a viable outlet for crosses, set pieces, and our only offense it seems, this makes up 6 of our 10 players.
So… what gives?
Lopez has yet to impress, and has made costly foolish mistakes that have lead to goals. Mental lapses if you will (at least the one I saw against colorado, going for the ball instead of making sure the man behind him was marked). Being that this is his 8th year playing soccer, one can’t really explain why he would have these costly mental lapses – one would assume maybe it’s just the newness of everything getting to him, but a professional shouldn’t be making these mistakes.
This shows what we expect – or at least explains – 7 of our 10 field players who are going to be our regular starters (sans call ups). It almost seems like Nowak has most of the tools he needs (read wants) to implement his bipolar system. But sadly, we are still missing 3 players.
Who do we have for these three players? Well, a russian roulette of youth, talent, and immaturity. You can almost label any of these descriptions on our cast of characters – considering that Marfan is probably the odds on favorite for regular starter, who knows how many times even he will play. Adu, Mwanga, and Torres don’t even have guarantees in being a starter in any of these positions. And sadly, this is where our push forward in play will likely, and constantly, stall. Why? Inexperience with eachother. They are the connection from the backline to Pajoy, and even have direct paths toward net themselves – but because nothing is consistent with this area, it will always end up changing.
Looking at things in a breakdown, you almost wonder how we were only able to tally 1 goal a game so far. Albeit there have only been 2 games, but we should have a more solid team than even last year. So it goes to wonder – is Nowak almost completed with his experiment with our team and it will just take time? Or, is this just the beginning of the end for him?
I will get to my eulogy of the Union’s 2011 season some time this week. It may wait until after I participate in the season-ending YSA Report podcast (shameless plug).
I was trolling through the US Soccer site to see the full roster for the Men’s U-23 team that is going through Olympic qualifying. The news came out that Union players Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo, and Sheanon Williams were joining the squad following Union’s loss to Houston Dynamo. I was curious to see who the Union trio’s peers would be. The page is a standard roster listing, with information such as height, weight, date of birth, and club team affiliation. It’s that category that got my attention when I got to the bottom of the page and observed that Sheanon is listed as “unattached.” That doesn’t sit well with me at all. Union need to fix that immediately, if not sooner. He needs to be a staple of this team, up until the point that a bigger club recognizes his abilities and snatches him. Get it done, Union, get it done.
Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union (@UnholyUnionNDY)
The biggest threat Houston Dynamo poses to Union is Brad Davis. He is the league leader in assists, with 16. He is a left-footed left wing midfielder, which means the responsibility of locking him down will fall primarily on Sheanon Williams. This will be the one matchup that I will be completely intrigued with for the duration of the match, both legs of it. Davis is a player who has not been able to prove himself on the international level, and Sheanon is someone we have been campaigning for to get a shot with the USMNT (if Michael Orozco Fiscal got a shot, why the hell not?!?!?). My prediction is that a stellar defensive showing, coupled with intelligent play going forward, will earn “The Sheanomenon” enough credibility to get him a look. The playoffs will bring more intensity than Union have played with all season, or in their history, for that matter. The hightened stage will provide a better indicator to the people who run USA Soccer as to whether or not Sheanon deserves consideration. It also helps his cause that Timmy Chandler was moved from right back to left back and seems slated to stay there in the future (wiiiiiiiiiide open door for ya, Sheanon). Davis provides the perfect foil because of the quantity AND quality of his service (for MLS purposes only). He will be prominently featured in Houston’s offense, and his crosses into the center of the pitch are usually threatening. He is the “head of the snake,” so to speak. Cut off the head, and the body will follow. Hopefully, Sheanon is sharp enough to make the cut (ending with terrible pun, athankya).
Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union (@UnholyUnionNDY)
I’ve made note of this before, some banners in the River End have been missing since July, one in which was Charlie Sheen… Now, I’m not saying it’s primarily because of the banners, but there is an awful lot of coincidence in the Charlie Sheen banner hanging proudly in The River End, and our first win in two months. If you have finally recovered from celebrating (or dredding the Sunday night loss of the Eagles, both should result in hangovers) you already know we beat Columbus 1-nothing.
With a starting eleven that rotates more than a 5 year old on a computer chair, this was the most haphazard chemistry experiment Nowak has implemented this year. We started with the normal GK with MacMath, Valdes, Califf, Williams, and an interchangable Farfan in left back (Gabe this time). In the midfield was our solid CMD in Carroll, and our new favorite combination of Adu Torres. The change here, as Justin Mapp was listed on the injury report, was our youngest acquisition – Pfeffer. The 17 year old had his first start and played well – but I will get to that later. So, with the midfield with a little twist, you would expect to see Mwanga and LeToux up top. Well, half right. The interchangeable Farfan’s strike again with being able to fill a striker position with Michael. My eyes went crosseyed when I saw this line up. Nowak was either a mad genius, or has gone mad. Both are the case, but I’ll just go with genius. That or he reads all the bloggers’ predictions before hand just to mess with our heads so that we are always wrong.
What went right-
Most everything. We didn’t have drifting midfielders. We didn’t look like a midfield blob the entire game. No overplaying the ball defensively and having to chase. It was one of our better form games this year, and it showed.
It seemed from my end that it was mostly a midfield battle, as Columbus would come in and literally possess the ball with handling and passing, which they are fairly good at. For the Union however, from the beginning, it seemed our strategy was grab and dash. We weren’t really trying to keep the ball possession, rather, get the ball, and get it to goal as fast as possible. Many breaks would end up with the ball stolen and Columbus back to pure possession, so the first half Columbus generally maintained the ball. But like most strategies for a counterattack game, if you do it long enough there will be a breakthrough and it came with Torres to Le Toux.
Now, there were a few breaks before that could have resulted in goals or attempts, but this one was just perfect. Torres on the right wing on the defensive side of midfield looks up to see Le Toux in between two Columbus defenders, pointing at goal. I don’t know why this has never been done before, but Torres actually sent the ball in… Not only did he send it in, it was perfectly spaced and weighted putting the ball in front of Le Toux, inside the 18. Le Toux with a step on the defender coming in at full speed, you would think that he would end up hitting the ball high or wide, but something has happened to the Frenchmen in the past 2 months – he got his touch back. He calmly struck to ball low and to the right of Columbus keeper Hessmer, and officially made him his bitch.
Pfeffer in the closing minutes of the 1st half had a shot on goal as well, initiated from a Torres cross to Le Toux into the box once again, which he then outplayed a defender along the goal line and got it to Pfeffer who was in the middle right side of the 18 box, with his back to goal, pivots and strikes the ball nicely for such a shot. Unfortunately it was directly at the keeper. Not bad for a 17 year old.
These were the only 2 shots on goal out of 8. 5 others went wide, and another was stopped before it reached net. Columbus had an equal amount of chances, but only required MacMath to make one save, giving him the clean sheet and first MLS career win. They also had 4 shots off target, and 3 were blocked.
What you would have thought-
Thinking about this, I don’t know why Columbus did not try to go on our left flank more than they did. Granted, we have a 17 year old first time starter as left midfielder, and Gabe Farfan, the better defender of the two Farfans, but not a natural defender – so thinking strategically you would pressure that one side. Luckily enough, they’re Columbus and screwed up. I’m not complaining, but it makes you wonder about the strategies teams try to implement – and remind us that even though it seems we don’t have one cut in stone, some other teams are that much more worse off.
What to improve -
To be honest, I can’t think of anything to improve on with this game. Adu did very little, but was available for distribution. Torres made some fantastic service similar to that which we saw and loved last year. And we looked like a team that knows how to get in first place for the conference, and has the making to finish the season strong.
I guess the only thing I would ask for would be some insurance goals. Sitting on one goal leads is never pretty, but it wasn’t like we weren’t trying. Just get it on target boys.
Also, in case you didn’t know – during half time Rotary International was showcased, a volunteer organization that provides “communitees at home and abroad to support education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, and eradicate polio.” That was taken from the main international site. You can go to Rotary.org, philarotary.org or the Philadelphia Club facebook. They used this game to raise funds to be donated to Rotary for polio education.
Tonight, 9pm, Comcast SportsNet, from Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.
So, who in the hell is going to play right fullback? Sheanon Williams’ red card against Colorado has put Union in an unfamiliar position. They are already playing with a mid-season replacement at left back, Gabriel Farfan, but have yet to have to replace their right back for even a minute of this season. This should be a massive problem, right?
Enter the Chicago Fire, who own the league’s worst home record. If there was EVER a good time to find out exactly how much versatility this roster has, this is the week. My guess is it’ll be our other Farfan, Michael, because, well, that’s Nowak’s new philosophy. When in doubt, just put Farfan in there. Who knows what he’s going to do if they need another attacking midfielder. Maybe Gabe and Mike have another brother, or a cousin….
Anyway, the bigger issue here is the need for Union to rebound from their first home loss of the season, and their first time in a long time not atop the standings table. A mid-week match against a bottom-feeder seems just the remedy. I normally think these mid-week matches are more arduous for the side, thus not a good thing, but in this case, the team needs to get the bad taste of last match out of their collective mouths. The sooner the next match came, the better.
I don’t care about Chicago’s team. Tonight is about Union accomplishing what they should get accomplished. Which means I do NOT want to see Kyle Nakazawa in the starting XI. He has looked tentative in attack ever since the friendlies against the European teams. The person who has looked best in that same timespan is Roger Torres. Starting him, however, would defy Nowak-logic, thus I expect Veljko Paunovic to start in the CAM spot tonight…. not that I want it that way, it’s just what is likely to be. And on that note, is it a good thing or a bad thing that we, as fans, have not the foggiest idea of what our starting XI will be from week to week? I say it’s a good thing, because it gives me something to discuss in previews, and something to complain about in post-match critiques.
So, for what I expect to happen, not what I would like, It will look something like:
Mwanga Le Toux
Mapp Carroll Paunovic Daniel
Garfan Califf Valdes Marfan
I could see this playing as a 3-5-2 also, with Paunovic playing as a CAM/recessed striker, and Neon Keon sliding into a more central position to allow Marfan to play the right wing. That’s likely how the attack will evolve anyway when pushing forward, but I think Nowak will have them start in the 4-4-2 they’ve played almost all of the season. Also, if Nowak would like to start Jack McInerney and show Sebastien Le Toux what the bench looks like, I’d be ok with that, too. Whoever plays in this match, I want a decisive victory for Union, at least 2-0. I think the clean sheet would be a nice achievement given that their normal right back is not in the lineup. They need to play more like 2nd half vs Colorado than 1st half vs Colorado. It’s about results, and Union need one badly to keep up with Columbus and to stay ahead of New York.
Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union
The way that I sum up Sunday’s performance against Revolution is that this is EXACTLY what should have happened. No more scoreless draws at home, THIS is what you do to a bad team who is also missing their best player. Union dominated possession and had all of the threatening chances in the match. They made the Revs look like the only reason they were on the field was because the MLS schedule told them they had to be there. From New England’s perspective, the smartest people on their side were the member of the supporters’ group, “The Fort,” who staged a walkout in the 17th minute in protest of their team’s front office. Those lucky people saw their side down only a single goal, and as the rest of us who watched the whole match know, it only got worse for NE from there.
I didn’t bother submitting grades for this match because that would be giving them credit for something they were supposed to do. I would have high praise for them winning 5-0, but seeing how they really won 2-0, adding a breakaway in the waning seconds, they deserve just standard compliments. A similar performance in their next league match on Friday, July 29, against defending MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids would carry far more weight.
As to these friendlies Union will be playing in the interim, I am a fan of the team doing this. My theory in sports is that you only get better by playing better players. These matches against Everton and Real Madrid are excellent opportunities to learn something from a collection of the best players in the world. I’m looking forward to seeing how Sheanon Williams and Carlos Valdes handle the likes of Leighton Baines and Tim Cahill. I’m also curious to see if playing in a no-pressure environment can get Sebastien Le Toux to score a goal, though dealing with Sylvain Distin and Johnny Heitinga could prove to be too much for him anyway. If nothing else, it will be a fantastic way for Union to view first-hand how a top-level club organizes itself and works to break down a defense.
The point that I hope Union take away from this match, and the match against Real Madrid on Saturday, is at least one technique or philosophy that they can incorporate into themselves to improve both individually and as a team. I know Everton is in preseason and this is just a money-grab for the club, but there’s no way that they want to lose to an American club team. They will play hard to prove their season readiness to manager David Moyes. Union should take this both as a challenge, and a bonding experience, to take down a team playing in the highest level of English Football. One thing I will be looking for is maybe Sheanon Williams being able to mirror Leighton Baines’ technique crossing balls from the defensive wing position, though Baines plays the left side. Should Sheanon improve that aspect of his game, he’ll earn the right to play in the All-Star game every year that he’s in MLS. Other than that, I hope Marouane Fellaini is on the trip because his white man afro is fantastic.
Nick, the other .5 of Unholy Union
What blogger / tweeter / skeeter hasn’t commented on this yet? Sheanon Williams was outted by his girlfriend on twitter for missing his flight home from Colorado, with Keon Daniel and Danny Mwanga, because they stopped on the way to grab some candy. Philly soccer page has even coined it “Candygate“. Too easy to make a joke.
Me and my coblogger Nick have failed to put up many a post-game report because of procrastination and life getting in the way. This time though? We didn’t see the game. Great work guys…
Speaking of great work, the CFU group of people are bringing CONCACAF to all it’s glory. The pirates of the Caribbean are now being defiant to the ethics investigation that is being conducted on them concerning the Warner / Hammam money fest that I imagined happened similar in style with the Joker in the original Batman, can’t you just hear Prince and the Revolution? But I digress…. Surely the best thing to do when you’re being conducted for breaking codes of ethics, is thumb your noses at the people who will be deciding you fate. Tactful, they are not.
Henry Kissinger is relevant again! Mumblemumblemumble
So I tried to write a touchlines type of article last week on my opinion of the FIFA ethics allegations, and CONCACAF’s complete misuse of all powers… but then I felt like Eric Lindros. That wasn’t good.
- If you didn’t know, President Warner is suspended due to the allegations brought up by the only American Exec Committee Member Chuck Blazer. Acting president from caribbean Lisle Austin asks for explanation. Blazer says “fuck off, you’re still being told what to do by Warner, I’m telling AGAIN”. Austin says “Bullshit, you’re fired”. Everyone else with REAL power in CONCACAF says “You can’t do that”. Blazer says “Fuck that shit”. Austin says “No really, you’re fired. I’m not listening to anything more now. LALALA” Those same people again get together and ban Austin saying “You’re inept, fuck off”. Austin says “You can’t do that” but does nothing. Then Gold Cup happens.
- you see what i mean?
Connor Casey’s a douche.
The Gold Cup has started, and Ruiz has not produced once again for the team he is on while playing the full 90 minutes. They did however tie the game while down 2 men… Coincidence? Or drug cartels. You decide.
Did this fill your sweet tooth? Or just leave you craving for more?
This has been a halfassed version of Touchlines.
When: Friday, May 6, @ 10:30pm EST. Where: JELD-WEN Field, Portland, OR
First off, I had to wikipedia why the stadium has such a strange name. The naming rights were sold to the Jeld-Wen Corporation, a manufactuer of building supplies. The team has built quite a reputation in a short time in Major League Soccer (like what I did there?). They were undefeated at their oddly-named home stadium prior to this week, and are probably looking to rebound after losing to San Jose, the team that Union beat last week playing down a man for 50 minutes (that’s right, you suck, San Jose).
Portland features 3 players with mulitple goals on the season: Kenny Cooper, Jack Jewsbury, and Jorge Perlaza. So, those are the 3 guys that will get shut down by Union’s back line Friday night, even though they will be without the services of Jordan Harvey. I expect Michael Farfan to get the start at left back, and he should do a fine job. Cooper is somewhat of a concern because of his height. At 6’3″, he’ll have to have the full attention of Union’s D when around the box. Kalif Alhassan seems to be their most threatening playmaker, with 4 assists on the season. He plays left wing midfield, which means Sheanon Williams will shut him down, then awe him with the distance he gets on his throw-ins.
Now, for the stuff we care about. Union will be without Jordan Harvey, as they will not appeal the suspension for his red card, undeserved as it was. Michael Farfan linked so well with Keon Daniel on the left side of the field that I don’t foresee any trouble with having Farfan get this spot-start. That may be the most exciting part of the lineup, though. I fully expect there to be 2 defensive midfielders in the lineup to start, some combination of Brian Carroll, Stefani Miglioranzi, and Amobi Okugo. I’m not exactly sure what failed experiment Nowak’s going to try at right wing this week. Roger Torres is not a winger, so he’s out. The heck with it, just keep Le Toux there, and play Mwanga and Ruiz up top to start.
The concerning part for Union is that Danny Califf is not guaranteed to play due to illness. We may find out whether or not Juan Diego Gonzalez is, in fact, still with Union. Either way, though, Daniel can probably play it because he seems to just be that good, and Okugo played centerback for the Generation Addidas team. That situation bears some monitoring. We all should continue to have faith in Faryd Mondragon to keep whoever is in front of him coordinated and playing the right way. The games are the same night, but I think the Flyers could really use The Dragon in goal. There is no way he would have let Chris Versteeg be skating around in la-la land while Zdeno Chara winds up a wide-open slap shot for a goal. What would have happened is that Mondragon would have made the save, held the puck for a faceoff, then spent the next 20 seconds bitching Versteeg out for being defensively irresponsible. From watching him, he seems like a very intimidating guy, so he probably would have made Versteeg cry. And at that point, Mike Richards would have just skated over, ripped the “C” off of his sweater, and handed it over to Mondragon. I don’t think, even in my side tangent fantasy land, that it’s a stretch to say that Faryd is the best captain in Philadelphia sports. He will be the reason Union earn a point on this trip, and I predict a draw, 1-1. Union score in the first half on a counter attack, and will concede in the last 15 minutes after a bad call by the ref gives Portland a free kick from a dangerous area, and we will spend the rest of the weekend hating MLS officials, again.
Nick, the other .5 of Unholy Union
Where: Robertson Stadium, Houston, TX When: Saturday, March 19 Time: 8:30 EST
Welcome to the 2011 MLS season, finally. I know that there was a game on Tuesday, but Union weren’t involved, so it doesn’t count. Union begin their 2011 odyssey against a club they have not lost to, having earned a win and a draw last season. The road side will look to continue this modicum of success with their retooled roster against an opponent in a similar position. Dynamo have also turned over several of their starters, including their keeper (Pat Onstad retired, the 2 guys Union had last year, um, yeah….). It promises to be an entertaining affair, as the strength of both teams is in offensive play and both lack quality and depth in their respective back lines. A baseball-esque scoreline, anyone?
Offense: Returning goal scorers Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga will be joined by former MLS MVP and golden boot winner Carlos Ruiz (Choooooooooooooooooch!!!). Nothing has become official as of this posting, but it’s a safe bet that Ruiz is up top with Mwanga in Coach Nowak’s 4-4-2. Le Toux will get to settle into his “midfielder who covers half the stadium” roaming roll, free to attack wherever he pleases. The addition of an accomplished striker is something that will only benefit a Union side who stands to concede many goals. I fear that they may need to score 3 goals most games to win, as I do not foresee many clean sheets. Justin Mapp will also be in his first full season with the club, and his deft ball controll and passing will be critical in keeping teams from defensively keying on Le Toux, as well. The central midfielders, well, I could analyze them if I actually had any idea who Nowak is going to put there. Brian Carroll will be one of them, but the other? Not a clue. I’d prefer to see Roger Torres for his offensive spark, or Amobi Okugo for his defensive tenacity. That means that Stefani Miglioranzi is the likely starter, because, …. I don’t know.
Defense: Dan K.’s favorite player (and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible), Jordan Harvey, will feature in a slightly re-tooled back four. Also returning will be Danny “Cap’n Ink” Califf, and Sheanon Williams. The newcomer at center back is Carlos Valdes, the Colombian also signed at the same time as veteran goal keeper Faryd Mondragon, in what seemed to be a Colombian buy-in-bulk deal. The rule of thumb in sports is that your defense must be strong up the middle, and Union have a new ‘keeper, center back, and defensive holding midfielder. The Union faithful hope Nowak is right with his choices. I’m a bit skeptical, so I don’t expect many clean sheets, but hopefully more than the Flyers have this year (yikes!).
Reserves: Jack McInerney and Chris Agorsor played well in the preseason and seem to be the go-to guys Nowak will deploy when needing a goal late in the game. This blog unabashedly loves Jack Mac, and would prefer to see him starting at left midfield, but we can rant about that later. Agorsor, also new to the squad this season, hopes to impress and earn starts along the course of the season to spell one of the strikers. Union still have a glut of central midfielders, so many in fact that some of them have taken shifts playing defense as well. Union just signed Gabriel Farfan, midfielder and twin brother of 2011 2nd-round pick Michael Farfan, as depth at left back. Amobi Okugo has spent time as a central defender in his Generation Adidas and U.S. U-20 time, so he has continued that work with his club side. Maybe Nowak loves midfielders so much he wants to put 11 of them on the field at the same time. Who knows?
The opponent and outcome: Houston, as previously mentioned, has also undergone significant turnover. Their keeper retired, they’ve got 2 new starting defenders, and their best-known player, Brian Ching, is out with a chronic hamstring pull. Unfortunately, this does not leave them shorthanded. They play an aggressive style under Dom Kinnear, pressing for goals every minute. Last season, this was an inter-conference match, but Houston was realligned to the East for 2011. The benefit for Daynamo is that the West has five of the league’s six best teams, so their chances at one of the three Eastern Conference playoff spots are much greater. The players to watch are brand new to the league. Draft picks Will Bruin, forward, and Kofie Sarkodie, defender, have played themselves into the starting XI during the preseason.
My prediction is that this match will end in a 2-2 draw. A hard-fought road point for Union would be an excellent way to begin a run towards the MLS playoffs.
-Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union
Well, now. I figured we’d have a different starting keeper, but I didn’t think that ALL of the keepers on the squad would be new. Enter the Dragon (Faryd Mondragon) and Zack Mac (and we already have Jack Mac, just need Little Mac from Mike Tyson’s Punchout to complete the set) and hopefully many clean sheets are in our future. The other great news is that Roger Torres is in training camp. I understand the big offseason moves involved the defense, but Union will need a stronger offense because I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect Sebastien Le Toux to score 14 goals and get 11 assists again. The shape of the midfield is going to be critical to offensive success of this team, maybe even moreso than the cohesion of the back line.
What we know is that Justin Mapp will be on the left wing, to start. I know he switches sides to change things up, but he’s the left wing. The other three spots, I’m not sure. Brian Carroll will be in the starting central midfield, but who joins him? Stefani Miglioranzi is a solid, unspectacular player, who understands his defensive responsibilities and makes few mistakes. Blah. Amobi Okugo is a dynamite defensive stalwart who lacks experience and refinement, but makes up for it with ability. Roger Torres is the raw, creative attacker. We’ll likely see all of them in some combination as we progress through the season, but my vote is for Roger to start. Right wing? I’m not really sure that we have one on the team. The team seems to like Andrew Jacobson and Nick Zimmerman, but would Kyle Nakazawa be the best choice? He strikes the ball primarily with his right and serves great crosses. With Seba covering half of Chester, and Sheannon Williams using speed on loan from jet engines, Nakazawa’s relative lack of pace wouldn’t seem to hurt them. He gets my vote there. Then again, that’s what training camp and Peter Nowak are for.
The striker depth chart hasn’t changed. It’s still Danny Mwanga and Le Toux, with McInerney in reserve. The speculation still exists that Union have targeted yet another Colombian (unfortunately it’s not Shakira) to add here. Jorge Perlaza has been mentioned in rumors to be brought in. That would change my midfield predictions, should that occur, as Le Toux would move back to right wing (then covering 2/3 of Chester) and Perlaza would join Mwanga.
In summation, here’s what we know: There will be 11 players in the lineup for games, our keeper was not on Union last year, and Seba is the man. There is much more to fill in the blanks. The good thing about this is that it’s a product of having competition at all positions. More will come as it develops.
Nick-the other .5 of Unholy Union