Some Questions for Tonight | a Half-Assed Preview

So what do we think Tommy's going to do tonight? Does he put out a strong side and defend the Cup, or does he throw minutes to the Brethren of the Pine and rest the greyhounds for the big MLS race at the weekend? Considering that we haven't won in the league for three games and will be at home this weekend, facing a side with a poor away record who will have a third-string keeper in the net, I think you've got to get a result there.

Where does that leave us for tonight?

I think you'll be seeing a lot of pine-timers, though the likes of Peters and DiRaimondo will probably start on the bench. Their loan spells to USL2 sides seem to have "not ready for primetime" written all over them. Fortunately, we've got some quality depth this year, and we can run out a pretty decent reserve side. That said, there will be some gaps...
  • Where do you put McTavish? If you start him in midfield, who goes at right back (assuming Tommy sticks with the 3-5-2 and John + Janicki are left and center)? If you put him at right back, who plays the d-mid role in midfield (Simms needs a break)?
  • Who's Simms' dancing new partner? With Olsen shelved for a month, are we turning to Jacobson as our default option to pair with Clyde? If we are, I think you've got to rest him to make sure he's healthy, given that he's carrying a knock as well. If you're perhaps considering Fred after last weekend's decent turn in the middle, then Jacobson probably starts tonight.
  • Left wingers? Of course, if Fred takes a turn in the middle, and Wallace is rested, who then becomes your left midfielder? Barklage, perhaps? Or perhaps Barklage goes in the middle with Fred on the left?
  • Hand Gomez the reigns. It's not like he's been starting. And we need to figure out sooner or later if he's going to be able to run the show, so I think you start him, probably behind N'Silu and Pontius (he's had more rest than Tino/Wallace lately.
Predicted lineup? No time for the fancy stuff, so here comes the Courier...


Namoff? Yup. You got any better ideas? Do you really want to see Janicki or Peters trying to play wide? Obviously, you yank him early if you can, but I don't see any viable alternatives unless we're going to a four-back lineup. So what's your guess on how Tommy plays this one?


  1. N-Silu and Pontius up front. Barklage in the middle with Fred and Khumalo on the flanks. Jacobsen and McTavish as the holding mids. Janicki in the middle with John on the left and Namoff on the right. If he wants to rest Namoff (who has seen every minute of every game so far), then he has to put McTavish on the right and put Simms in next to Jacobsen. Wicks will be in goal tonight.

    He might risk using Peters or DiRaimondo, but I see those guys getting more playing opportunities if we get by NY (when they can play against other USL teams in the Open).

  2. I think Namoff and Iron Clyde will still start tonight. Because I don't have the ability to change fonts in comments (do I?) I'll just have to wing it in the sanserif.

    Namoff, Janicki, John
    McTavish, Simms
    Pontius, Gomez, Fred
    N'Silu, Quaranta

    I think Tommy wants to get a good result tonight, and another one Saturday. Unlike last year's team, this might not be an either-or situation. I do like your point about Gomez - he ought to be well-rested by now, and whatever happens tonight, he can still play the super-sub against RSL on Saturday.

    If you'll excuse me, I've got some tailgating to attend to.

  3. Your's is an interesting line up. It shows we do have alot of options, which makes it hard to predict what Tommy will do.
    I have this awful feeling we may see Wicks tonight. (ugh!) This keeper situation is frustrating. I would like to see Fred and Gomez in the middle again. I think we may have something there. After that, I don't mind seeing any of the variations mentioned here. Unfortunately, we won't be watching any of it tonight. :(

  4. I love "The Brotherhood of the Pine" and the greyound comment. Excellent preview