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Player Profile: #17 Jalil Anibaba

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Now he's with Sporting KC where he could be a starter. Last year he was supposed to be a rotational player helping all along the backline. He kind of did that.

Mike Russell

The former Chicago Fire right back, is now a Sporting Kansas City defender who can challenge to start there. His time with Seattle Sounders FC after the cap clearing trade (Ianni & Hurtado away) may not be the best indication of that as Jalil Anibaba struggled here.

Being 26 and with a few strong years, there is reason to think that Anibaba can be a decent player again. Most Sounders fans will be happy if he does that, elsewhere and not when playing against the Rave Green.

jalil anibaba graphic

Offense:

Not a great passer, who sometimes tries too much when playing out of the back. Decent getting forward as a fullback on either side, lacks great crossing skills. Can get too rangey while playing as a centerback. Can be active in the box on dangerous set-plays.

Defense:

Positional awareness struggles at times and could not recover quickly enough from turnovers. Needs to mark more tightly in off-ball situations. His on-man defense is fairly good. Overall, better as a traditional fullback.

Physique:

Merely adequate speed at the MLS level. Body is broad enough, but does not play particularly large. Not a good leaper.

Best Case 2015:

With Sporting he should challenge Ike Opara for the 2nd CB spot while getting spot time at right back.