With the Cosmos taking a slow, deliberate approach on signings, instead of participating in the initial rush to sign players, it’s made it pretty difficult to forecast any ideas about what the starting XI might look like.
We decided to hold off any speculation on positioning until recently with the Cosmos making more, and higher profile signings. New signings may change our views, but for now, here’s some thoughts on what we may see on opening day.
But, Cosmos Country, we’d love to hear your theories or even look at your proposed line-ups. We’ve seen debate out there on who starts up front, the left side, the back line. Comment below. Tell us why we’re wrong, tell us what we missed or shower us with praise.
Based on Gio’s habit of relying on the 4-2-3-1, it’s possible we continue to see this as we kick-off the 2016 season.
With the departure of Marcos Senna, we could see Adam Moffat take his old spot. Danny Szetela would take his typical spot in the other holding mid role.
On the attack, Seba Guenzatti would probably look solid on the left wing, based on how 2015 ended. New addition Juan Arango slots into into a central attacking mid role and newest signing Yohandry Orozco would take the right wing.
Finally, up front, I think we’ll see Jairo Arrieta get a look.
There’s also the potential for a formation change based on something we observed last season.
When the club lost Senna mid-season, Moffat took his spot and initially paired up with Szetela. He seemed to put him out of a job and took on (and dominated) a sole holding mid role, only taking a seat when he broke his foot. If Moffat duplicates that, that may free up a slot on the attacking side.
With Flores possessing experience in the CAM role, he and Arango might split central duties on a four-man line with Guenzatti’ on the outside left and Orozcomon the right wing.
Arrieta remains up front.
This kind of speculation is so much more fun than to me than worrying about stadiums, MLS vs NASL or pro/rel. In the week of the Super Bowl, I can say, I love X’s and O’s. The amazing thing about me is, I love this game so much but never have played it on an organized level. I am just of the beer-drinking watcher type.
That being said, my first formation, like Luis, is sticking with the one most commonly seen from the Cosmos, the 4-2-3-1. I agree with Luis mostly outside of the left. I can see us possibly putting Flores out there. See, I like Guenzatti, but if you heard the show, I do have my reservations. I think he offers pace and skill, but I just think, all around, Flores is a better player. I don’t know much about Orozco but it seems he prefers the right.
Here is the thing, I am excited about this lineup. Just two weeks ago, I was really concerned about the Cosmos but knew there was time. I look at this lineup now and think, this is a team that can compete for another Soccer Bowl.
This lineup to me seems to me the most likely, but we really dont know what Gio is thinking. The only thing I really feel certain about is the back line. Ayoze is Sone of the best full backs in NASL and the complete back line is really talented. In fact, with Ottawa losing players, this COULD be the best back line in the league, but only time will tell.
However, I think this could be the year that we see a change of formation. Honestly, right now the Cosmos are so loaded with midfielders, specifically those that can attack, that we might see a different look. If you watched closely last season, you noticed that Gio, at times, went with one holding midfielder. That was mostly with Adam Moffatt and Adam seemed to thrive when he was the only holding mid. So that leads me to believe we could see something like this.
I know, I know. BOOOO, That is what Luis has. The reality is, this right here is possibly the strongest lineup the Cosmos can put out.
The saddest part about this lineup is that there is no permanent role for Danny Szetela in the starting 11, but he would still most likely come on as the first defensive sub in the second half if the Cosmos have a lead. Whether he replaces Moffat or he replaces one of the attacking midfielders and changes the formation mid game, Danny can play a huge role here.
Lahoud is the one case I find interesting, as with Flores, Arango, Orozco, I am not really sure where he fits in. However, we will find out more about potential lineups in a few weeks as the Cosmos take to the preseason.
Again, all speculation but this is fun!