Tomorrow’s match against Chicago Fire is one that will see RSL coach Jeff Cassar forced to make several decisions he might have not wanted to make — like who plays at center back, and can he replace Joao Plata?
Let’s go over some of those decisions he’ll be making.
We talked about this one yesterday, and it’s hard to really get past this one. This is a big decision to be made. Aaron Maund is reportedly at “80 percent”, Justen Glad and Chris Schuler are out, and we’ve got two center backs left: Justin Schmidt and David Horst.
Don’t overthink this one — Justin Schmidt and David Horst it is. You can look at changing lineups, formations, shapes, the like — but the fact of the matter is that we need center backs, not a reformation in the defense.
Demar Phillips isn’t 100 percent, and Chris Wingert isn’t really at his best, either. That doesn’t mean we should dump either of the two the ground, but you have to wonder: If Danilo Acosta is the backup at left back this year, then he should be the one getting the start on Saturday — not Wingert. If RSL instead needs somebody who can play in a reliable defensive way without any real question marks — you know exactly what you’re going to get, defensive issues and all — Wingert is the better choice.
There’s plenty of room for discussion on this one. Wingert does have qualities he brings to the table. There could be an impetus to leave him on the bench to account for a case where he’s needed as a substitution in the center.
Joao Plata is questionable for this match. Didn’t know that? I didn’t, either, but that will be a point of discussion for the match. Options include Ricardo Velazco, Sebastian Saucedo and Luis Silva, among others.
Whatever the case, Cassar will need to pick a difference-maker for this position — or, he’ll have to let Jordan Allen assume those responsibilities. After Allen’s preseason, that might not actually be a risk. He was impactful in match after match, and there’s every reason to think he can continue that.
So, you tell us: What decisions should RSL make, and which do you think they’ll actually make?