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2011 Soccer Tools: Forwards Score Goals

Fredy Montero causes enough trouble they find new ways to defend. Some are based in other football codes. This one might be rugby.
Fredy Montero causes enough trouble they find new ways to defend. Some are based in other football codes. This one might be rugby.

Quite simply forwards need to score. Obviously one guy does. But for Seattle Sounders FC he did not have a regular partner up top. This has led some to think that this means that they need a new player. Still returning "not Fredy" forwards scored 13 goals in all competitions adding 10 assists as well. Of course that Montero guy was the star of the bunch with his 17 and 11. Maybe the rotation system can work, or maybe a permanent partner unlocks even more magic. Since forwards require so little defensive ability the averages for these players will be lower than expected, that does not reduce the players' overall value to the team.

Fredy Montero is the class of Seattle's forwards. He's among the class of the league. Dubbed here the Golden God (ask Aaron) the trequartista is part of that modern forward mold who loves space to operate, wants the ball before he runs and in some cases only mixes it up in the box to get in a keeper's head. Montero struggled when injured, but for the most part showed more willingness to deal with the physical nature of play than in previous years. Still he's not the fastest player on the planet, his defense seems half-hearted and occasionally he wanders into odd spaces. But the magic he can do with the ball, those goals that he pulls out from odd angles or through narrow windows are stunning. In any year in MLS he enters the year on the short list for MVP.

Player Role Technical Tactical Offense Defense Physique Average
Montero Forward 9 6.4 9 3 5.6 6.6
White Forward 6.3 6.7 7.3 3.7 8 6.4
Fucito Forward 4.8 6 7.6 4.4 7.8 6.12
Ochoa Forward 5.3 6.7 7.3 3.7 6 5.8

Often overlooked due to the on-field tragedy of Zakuani's double fracture O'Brian White's blood clotting issues were just as serious if not more so. In White's limited play he was quick, strong and showed ball skills that had him as one of the greatest college players of his era. His runs were effective and noticed. Dangerous around the goal his 2 goals and 2 assists in just 517 minutes indicated just how important he could be when on the field. As much as we all desire Zakuani's return White's could be as important to the team's success and his 'injury' concern is constant and more dangerous through the rest of his life.

When Seattle gave up their 3rd round pick to Chicago for one time United States youth player Sammy Ochoa they got a player who wanted a chance to prove that teams in Mexico made mistakes by not playing him. Unfortunately we never saw Ochoa at full fitness in his very limited play. He did position himself well when the ball was in the attacking third getting both of his goals off of amazing passes. His own first touch and passes weren't great. At his worst he was easily bodied off of long balls targeting him, nor does he have great speed. His head and body do lend to target style play, but at this point he is still more project than anything.

Back in 2010 a certain website mocked this for the near constant refrain in favor of getting Mike Fucito more playing time. In 2011 Fucito saw more play adding goals and assists to his career total scoring 6 times with 3 assists in about 1500 minutes. He's opportune on goal, fast and as strong a player on the team. Though short he wins more headers than most and is willing to get physical with the much larger centerbacks in MLS. Sometimes lacking a first touch in traffic and passing too frequently backwards Fucito plays as high as a target forward but his greatest use is at angles within the box or as a wide release point for route one balls. He applies decent defensive pressure forcing bad balls from already poor passers. A few more off-ball runs and those more frequently seen by his teammates could unlock more goals. Prone to blocked shots in tight spaces there may be times his quick trigger is too quick. Still, when he takes the field the Church is in session. "Everything I Have"

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