With Andre Blake having played his final match for the Philadelphia Union before the Copa America Centenario, Jim Curtin is left with a difficult decision - who replaces the irreplaceable Blake in goal against Columbus Crew SC? This is the same Crew that hung four on Real Salt Lake on Saturday thanks to an Ola Kamara hat trick. I polled the staff here at Brotherly Game to get their opinions, and here's what they said:
Heather Reppert: John McCarthy because he's the only one who has been consistently playing.
Colin Campbell: McCarthy just because he's been starting for Bethlehem Steel FC.
Barry Evans: Matt Jones. He is an experienced backup, and this is the job he is there for. McCarthy may have been starting at BSFC, but that's always the plan. Let him stay there for the continuity and continue to learn with the same players around him. Also, wanted to be different.
Nick Youngstein: I'd like to see Jones. I already know what McCarthy is as a player.
Frank Cobbina: Jones. He's higher on the depth chart so I assume Curtin rates him higher than McCarthy.
Justin F.: Normally I would lean toward the more experience Matt Jones in this situation. But given that earlier this week Jones witnessed the birth of his first son, I say he should spend as much time as needs with his family. Let's just hope McCarthy does not have one of those games where he is a useless waste of space.
Alex Klein: McCarthy, he has been playing with the Steel. Also his helmet might trick players into thinking they're playing against Petr Čech.
I also asked Evan Villella who he thought should start, as Evan is our Bethlehem Steel FC correspondent and has seen both men in net.
Evan Villella: So, I'll talk about Jones first because he is a bit more of a wildcard. He had weird spacial awareness was the big thing i took away from it. The goal he let in (against FC Montreal) is irrelevant, because it was a damn good hit (by Montreal's David Choiniere). I just think he made FC Montreal look a bit more dangerous than they were. Slow shots that were going wide he palmed out for a corner. And I think it's worth noting he started against Montreal. They are a bunch of 19 to 21 academy kids. Not a whole lot of talent that's ready for MLS or history in the USL.
McCarthy has at least proven he's good at what a backup should be. He's a pure shot stopper, and when he won Goalkeeper of the Year with the Rochester Rhinos he had a good back line. His goal kicks are fine, and he seems a bit more comfortable controlling his box this year. And he's played some big USL teams, so I'd give him the start.
So what do you think? Who would you start in goal while Andre Blake is backstopping Jamaica to Copa America glory? Take our poll below and leave your comments below!