I had a lot of hopes for certain people in this game, and they failed my expectations quite a bit
not to say they cant easily change my mind but:
no coincidence this was all these amazing offensive players first. Our attack looked disjointed and like they had never played together at times.
EJ missed the space montero created for him. Greatly. Everyone saying he had a bad game and was lazy etc should look at the space and defensive shift that montero created for him consistently last year. Rosales just doesnt play that sort of game, so we got EJ dropping farther and farther to get touches. This isnt to say that Ej wont get his eventually, but right now hes missing fredy and has to learn the other guys better. Running into Zaks space wasnt the answer.
Rosales was active, but he doesnt have the technical savvy that other forwards seem to have with regards to spacing, and so was in spots where EJ was used to going, etc. He wants to play quick short passes with wingers whereas Fredy unlocked defenses more from the middle of the field. When he drifted out wide he impaired one of the main tactical advantages we had. We were much more effective when he moved out wide however, meaning something has to give next week.
Zakuani got lost. It was really apparent that he missed fredy even more then EJ. Fredy made so much space for zak, and put him in position to succeed more then any other player on the field. Without this awareness, he and EJ found themselves running into the same space a lot. This is fixable as well, and something that alonsos return should immediately impact as that will allow whoever plays in front of him to distribute to the wings more instead of playing coverup defensively, also alonso has a nice counterattack starting first touch/awareness, something rose is lacking
Mario was pretty meh to me. He had a really nice cross once when he wandered all the way to the left side. His play seemed uninspired. Every now and then he would do something and make me think oh yeah there he is and then he would aimlessly try to dribble into 3 guys and lose the ball. Also doesnt seem to have any concept of what an overlapping fullback can do for his game. I counted 4-5x he took the ball of yedlins foot. The kid obviously showed ability, to stop him and take the ball from him seemed weird. I realize that a guy used to playing wide forward maybe doesnt yet get how overlapping runs from his fb can open his space, but he needs to learn it as both the Rbs we have have that ability, and its important in this system. Oh and his corner kicks. Yeesh cmon.
Gonzales looked to really be coming on last year and this spring. I didnt see much. There was a time start of last year i thought he was pretty much done, and so maybe hes just a slow starter. Maybe it was the ridiculous speed Deandre has that made him look old and slow. Sigis “best lb in the league” was merely ok.
Zack Scott is going to get on the end of a few corners, make some ridiculous fouls, be a borderline pk waiting to happen, possibly hurt his own teammates, and just be Zack Scott. He is who he is. nothing to see here.
BUT THERE WERE POSITIVES
Yedlin obviously. Pure pace alone makes him so important, especially with slower defenders on our back line. You cant teach speed. He didnt play amazing, but the things he did well really showed. Add in his inexperience and this is a huge bright spot. I personally wouldnt rush him, AJ is good and I think a learning curve and cautious development important here. Im probably in the minority.
Evans was everywhere to me. He was part of scoring opportunities, he was defending, he was covering for BOTH outside mids who refused to play any sort of defense (whats up with that anyways? multiple times SZ and MM just standing there watching. Ive said it before if you are gonna not play defense you better bring something amazing offensively.. they didnt) Evans played with intensity and with tiffert gone I think thats his spot to play until someone from the Martinez/Joseph group takes it away. If he plays like this its going to be hard.
Hurtado was good. Why is “good” something to talk about? Well cause he had a pretty rough 2012 and to see him back closer to 2009 ability is really a good thing to see. Remember, when this guy is “good” hes a defender of the year candidate. Im not saying hes quite like that right now, but a healthy and productive hurtado is not something we should be underlooking at as keys to this season. His distribution was good, his one on one defending seemed back to its usual strength.
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