The debut of our new segment where we talk about formations and generally show why we’re inept at this, TICC-Y TALK-A (see what we did there?).
With preseason at an end, let’s talk about how we think the rosters line up on April 3rd, barring any injuries.
Based on performances between the three forwards, it seems pretty clear to me that Yasmani Duk will start up top on opening day. Not enough consistency from Lucky or Arrieta, although I think Arrieta could challenge down the road. Bover and Orozco on the wings with CAM support from Arango could be a lethal set-up with Arango’s FK ability, Bover’s form, and Orozco’s speed. Gio really likes the 4-2-3-1 so I see Lahoud (who is strong in the role) partnered with Niko who, like Senna and Raul, will roam as we often saw in preseason. Back line and Jimmy Maurer remain the same, but I think Ockford, who has experience with Gio’s system. may get the look over David Ochieng (for now, anyway). This could change, but for now, I think Ockford gets the nod.
Ok, guys here is my “pure gut” pick. I’m going to go with Duk up top as I believe he will be the signing of the offseason. There will be a new look midfield (left to right) with Niko, Arango and Orozco. Flores and Bover will also get some major minutes with Ruben growing into a league standout this year. Behind them should be a platoon of Moffat/Szetela and Lahoud. I think Danny Szetela is on a short leash and Moffat can get some more starts if Danny falters. The back line should shape up as Freeman, Mendes and Ayoze with the LCB being a rotation of Ockford, Ochieng and Farfan. This rotation is subject to change if Roversio is ever healthy. The keeper should be no surprise in that Jimmy will get most if not all starts in net. This team has one thing that teams in the past have not had, depth. I could see an extended run in the Open Cup this year surpassing previous years’ failures. All in all, this team is stacked, should remain at the top of the table and be in the running for the league title.
I believe Arietta up front will cause havoc for the opposing defense. I like our backline and believe this is the year of the Maurer. I like the strength and depth of the midfield and also believe this will be a breakout year for Bover. Would like to see Moffatt and Ockford jam up the middle to stuff any offensive threats. This team looks real strong to me and I have great hopes for this upcoming season.
My formation is along lines of Luis’. 4-2-3-1, wingbacks push up, Niko pushes forward, and Lahoud drops back. I really think this system, in general, is the best formation for the club and Gio’s tactics. Also, I truly believe Bover is due for a breakout year. He very well down the stretch last year, and all indications from preseason show he’s becoming a favorite among the coaching staff and has been in great form. Also, I think Lahoud and Niko are the best combination at DM this year. Danny and Moffat don’t work together, and I think Lahoud is a better partner for an offensive-minded player because he’s more capable of being a “sweeper” of sorts. In the same vein, I think Niko is the best “offensive” DM option because of his experience at CAM and wings at Tottenham and QPR. One point that I might differ on from my colleagues; I like Ochieng compared to Ockford. This is only based on the higlight videos, but I believe he’s a very capable replacement for Roversio. This is a great set-up, in my opinion, and one (if it stays healthy and in form) that can challenge for USOC.
I know the Cosmos have tried a few different formations this preseason and I also know the 4-1-4-1 is a real possibility, but I am going to get very boring with my predictions. I think we stay a similar formation and style but I think we see Ochieng be the starting CB paired with Mendes after a while. I just do not have faith in Roversio’s ongoing health issues and from what I have heard from the Cosmos, Ochieng has the potential to be as good.
I think Niko and Moffat would be the best holding midfield pairing we can put out there and would really shut down attacks but at the same time, still contribute to this team going forward.
I think we see Arrieta up top based on his experience. He is a more proven goal scorer than Duk and he has done it already on American soil with Columbus and DC United. Arrieta knows the American game better having been in it the past four seasons. I also think his style will fit better with the other attacking players. However, if Duk was to get the nod, it would not be something that shocks me.
What do you think, Cosmos Country? Get in the conversation and comment below!