FanPost

Backline Lacks Proven Leadership




Still confused by Blake as number 1 pick especially when the Union traded Parke before the draft and management knew Valdez was not retuning. They should have gone for Birnbum at #1. The backline is very questionable with Williams and Ockugo as the only credible defensive players. MacMath improved the second half of last year and will only get better. Goalies don't peak until age 35 and some continue to be great into their late 30's. Did Philly fans suddenly forget about Mondragon? How about Brad Friedel?

If the Union had added Birnbum and a proven left back or kept Parke they could have moved Ockugo to Center defensive mid. I am not saying Blake is not going to be a great player in the future, but I don't think he is ready to lead the team in his first year with this current backline. With the backline players they currently have including the rookies this team could be in trouble defensively game 1. Regardless of who is in goal. So far the Union has taken 2 steps forward at the midfield and possibly 1 or 2 steps backwards at defense. At this point there is no seasoned "natural "defender on the team. Ockugo has progressed but he played his entire pre MLS soccer career as a midfielder. Sheanon Williams is a great athlete who has made the conversion from forward to right back. His best attributes are his play up field and his recovery speed. This team overall is better but a veteran presence on the backline is missing. Who is the lock down Defender on the backline? The Union still lacks height and strength on the backiline defending against corner kicks. I hope Blake is a natural at organizing the defense or he is going to have to make several spectacular saves every game. Id be asking Hackworth to trade me if I were MaMath.

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