The Union have, as Jim Curtin like to say, some tough choices to make when it comes to squad selection. On Saturday they Union are heading up to Yankee Stadium to face off against New York City FC, however they’ll be missing three midfielders do international duty. The starting midfielders are both out on international duty - Alejandro Bedoya with the United States National Team and Haris Medunjanin with the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Team - and backup Derrick Jones is also out with the United States U20s. Who will fill in that void?
Both Maurice Edu and Brian Carroll are out injured, so they’re not for consideration. Smart money has Warren Creavalle in one of the open slots. Creavalle has made just three appearances this year, however made 27 appearances last season. Creavalle is a decent midfielder and will provide defensive grit. Roland Alberg could be used as an 8 with Creavalle at the 6, but Alberg is more of a central attacking midfielder and would be out of position.
The only other central midfielder on the roster is Adam Najem, who like Alberg is more of an attacking midfielder. The rest of the midfielders on the roster are wide midfielders, so it’s unlikely one of them would be drawn in centrally and further down the pitch. That being said, bear in mind that New York City FC’s tiny pitch will most likely help with playing players out of position, as it’s not as far for a player to go to get himself back into position.
One scenario, posed by my colleague Nick Youngstein, sees Ilsinho dropping to the 8 next to Creavalle with Alberg at the 10. It makes some sense, as Ilsinho’s technical ability could help him as a holding midfielder. Ilsinho’s defending has been decent, and it would also avoid accentuating his relative lack of speed. It’s an interesting proposition for one game.
It’s also worth noting that Ken Tribbett played central defensive midfielder for Bethlehem Steel FC this past weekend against the Harrisburg City Islanders. Desperate times call for desperate measures, after all.
So what would you like to see the midfield pairing be this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below!