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Midweek Mailbag: Midfield starting projection and injury updates

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

We thought we'd put together a Twitter Mailbag, but we only had one question float down the wires of the internet. It's from friend and stats guy Charles Barnard, and it's worth talking about for a longer period than we would've otherwise.

Charles asks: Who do you see starting in the midfield against NE?

Thanks for the question, Charles. We don't have the answer yet — but that doesn't mean there's not an answer to be had. The big question, and it's one we all have on our minds, is whether Javier Morales is back in contention for a starting spot.

If he is, then it's hard to imagine Luis Gil starting in the midfield. It seems likely we'd be back with a Beckerman-Mulholland-Morales lineup. Despite what I thought was a reasonably good performance from Luis Gil (even though our community-sourced player ratings definitely disagreed,) Mulholland has been consistently better in that spot between Beckerman and Morales.

The tricky part is figuring out what happens if Morales is actually out again. Does Luis Gil get a start? Probably, but it would be more interesting to look at our other options in the midfield.

John Stertzer is an option that would push Luke Mulholland to a spot further up the field. Interestingly, Stertzer's been the preferred substitute to Pecka, but that's probably down to experience with the team in late-game situations. He's a fairly conservative player most of the time, but last year, we did see him making some very nice attacking runs.

Pecka might be another option, and he's showed some good flashes with Real Monarchs. He's still waiting to make his first-team debut in competitive play, and maybe he's getting close to an opportunity. He presents many unknowns.

Eventually, some more questions rolled in on Facebook, and we answered those, too.

John asks: I'd love an update status on our key injuries, especially Plata.

That's a good question — Plata, at last accounting, wasn't yet in full training. A late May projection is still the case for his recovery. Sebastian Jaime's been in training, but he's going to have to play through a fair amount of pain. Javier Morales is improving, as per Chris Kamrani, but is still a doubt.

Graydon asks: How about a breakdown of some of the academy standouts that might be making their way to the first team at some point?

We'll keep this in mind, but for now, you can take a gander at our breakdown of the '11-'12 U-18s.

Jesse asks: Would it be possible to put together a combined schedule of Gold Cup, and any other international call-up games that would likely include RSL players?

Yes. We'll do that at some point. I've added it to our project list, so you should it at some point.