Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3/9/2010: Is Toluca The Time For Experimenting? Warzycha May Not Have A Choice


Crew right winger Emmanuel Ekpo and Crew central midfielder Adam Moffat might find themselves in unusual positions at tonight's 7:30 kickoff (Pics: ChicagoNow & Life.com respectively).

According to Shawn Mitchell in today's Columbus Dispatch, the Crew might do something crazy roster-wise tonight if the Crew's practice lineups on Sunday were to be taken serious. In that practice, Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha tried right winger Emmanuel Ekpo at striker and played central midfielder/defensive midfielder Adam Moffat at right back. More than likely, Coach Warzycha was trying some new things out to see if he could get a better mix on the field tonight with Hejduk, Zayner, Marshall, and Schelotto out.

Without the experiment of Moffat at right back, the backline would likely be O'Rourke----Brunner-----Iro------Padula.

I could see Moffat maybe pulling off the right back job though, which would switch the backline to probably, Moffat------O'Rourke------Brunner-------Padula.

That backline might work out better if Moffat can be serviceable at right back because Warzycha more than likely wants to have O'Rourke (and his experience on that backline) at one of the two center back positions.

The idea of Moffat at right back is sort of understandable. The idea of Emmanuel Ekpo at striker when you already have Renteria, Garey, and Lenhart to take up the role of second striker when Schelotto is not in there, is a bit more surprising.

There have been proponents before of Emmanuel Ekpo at striker because of his speed, how he takes on the defense, and his lack of defensive skills in his own half. And, maybe Emmanuel Ekpo's speed will surprise Toluca.. But, I'm not sure if this game is the best time to spring that experiment.

However, if Emmanuel is used at striker it would be Ekpo----------Herrera. So, maybe during this preseason Coach Warzycha has came to the conclusion that the other strikers logging minutes, such as Renteria, Garey, and Lenhart, are not enough of a consistent threat on the field and therefore Warzycha has to shake things up a bit.

If Warzycha does not go with the Ekpo experiment, I'm guessing he would go with Renteria-------------Herrera up top just because Renteria has combined the best with Herrera so far, as each had a part in all four goals against Chivas USA in Arizona. However, Garey and Lenhart have appeared to have more practice time as of late compared to Renteria, so maybe one of them steps in against Toluca.

Experiment or not, based on everything out there in front of us fans, here are the most probable lineups tonight in my opinion (in order of likelihood- the first one is most likely, the last one may work out but is extremely unlikely overall):

1.)
--------------Hesmer--------------
O'Rourke---Brunner--Iro-----Padula
-------------Carroll-----------------
Ekpo----------Gaven----------Rogers
-------Renteria-----Herrera--------

2.)
--------------Hesmer--------------
Moffat---O'Rourke--Brunner--Padula
--------------Carroll----------------
Ekpo-----------Gaven---------Rogers
-------Renteria------Herrera-------

3.)
--------------Hesmer--------------
Moffat---O'Rourke--Brunner--Padula
--------------Carroll----------------
Gaven----------Duka---------Rogers
-------Ekpo---------Herrera-------

1 comment:

  1. Hesmer
    Moffat-Brunner-O'Rourke-Padula
    Ekpo-Carroll-Gaven-Rogers
    Herrera-Lenhart

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