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2015 Player Profile #22: Micheal Azira

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Now a Colorado Rapids player Azira was probably the best representation of what replacement level talent in central midfield is in MLS.

Mike Russell Foto

A couple years ago the Seattle Sounders found a solid USL player just entering his peak period. The minimum contract offered, his playing performance and that they let him go after two years shows their confidence that they will be able to replace the defensive midfielder through the draft, HGPs or another USL signing.

Rank: 22 | Age: 28 | Starts: 12 | Appearances: 17 for 1136 minutes | Bench: 16 | Goals: 0 | Assists: 0
all comps, 1st team

Offense:

Azira is capable of lateral passes, but rarely looks to break through a defensive line. Dribbling is good enough that he won't get pocket picked, but needs to advance ball more often. Does not have an effective shot. On set-plays should be back to prevent the counter. Crossing is negligible and provides little help getting forward when played as a right back.

Defense:

Reads the game well, occupying passing lanes to force creativity from his opposition. Confident when defending more skillful ball carriers. Is useful as a defensive midfielder or right back helping improve a team's defensive posture. Is prone to poor decisions that can destroy a team's chances.

Physique:

Tackles like he has a large frame, going in hard and heavy. Is nimble, but not fast. Slight build that won't win balls in the air.

Best Case 2016:

Now with the Colorado Rapids the Ugandan will prove to be a competent backup to Sarvas and Cronin.