Once upon a time, Chris Schuler was being touted as a potential USMNT level defender and quite rightly so. Having secured the starting spot next to Nat Borchers from Jamieson Olave and turning out quality performances his stock was rising at an alarming rate. The only thing holding him back was his own body and it’s inability to stay healthy and for me, that sums up this season for Chris Schuler. Nobody can deny his heart and passion are in this club as he shows that every game he starts but that can only take you so far. This season, it just wasn’t far enough.
It’s a sad story as he couldn’t have asked for a better platform to show he was able to perform. Justen Glad was away with the international team and several players were in and out with injuries. He started strong next to David Horst against Toronto and picked up another two starts against LA and NY in the following weeks.
From there, the team conceded 20 goals in the next 9 games he started in and he hasn’t been seen in the line up since. Now, all 20 goals won’t be his fault but when you’re playing in defence there’s going to be questions asked of you for conceding like this. He played with passion but was sluggish. He was brave to make dramatic goal line saved but often to cover his own mistakes. He has the heart of a lion in the back line but heart doesn’t win you games.
What to expect in 2018
I think Schuler will either be unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft and taken as a backup for the newly minted LAFC or his option will be declined and we see him head back to the Monarchs to be the veteran voice of reason in a very promising young team. He has a lot to offer still in terms of his passion and his drive for the team but he’s 5th in the depth chart now behind Glad, Silva, Horst and Schmidt. He will fight for his place back in the side for sure and if by some stretch he is still with the team in 2018 he won’t go quietly into the night, but I’m expecting him to be turning out in another jersey next year.