What's Our Best Lineup Now?

What's Our Best Lineup Now?
Kevin Wallace

What is the equivalent to a “First World Problem” in soccer?  Top of the table problem? Three point problem?  I’m sure someone more clever than me can come up with a better name.  Whatever it is, FC Cincinnati has one.  And if you read top to bottom and left to right, you know what it is, we have a congested lineup.

Awesome.

Just in case anyone takes this as a complaint or that I am bringing up a “serious concern”, that’s not what this is.  This is thought experiment; a mental exercise. An excuse to stop doing what I should be doing and write about my favorite soccer team.

So, lets talk this through, and I’ll post some lineups and we can talk about what we have and don’t have in each.

lineup 1.PNG

Ok, so here’s a 4-4-2 that is similar enough to the team that beat New England on the road. Bertone and Uolla bossing the midfield with Manneh coming back to support provides those nice passing triangles that  FCC has developed so far this season.  Width from the full backs allows the left and right midfielders to either push up into the attack or even come in more centrally to provide additional numbers.  Manneh and Mattocks up top provide a 1-2 punch that would out run any centerback pairing in the league. 

The issue here is we left standout player Kenny Saief on the bench here.  Powell, who has been fantastic since leaving Seattle, doesn’t have a spot on this lineup the way Deplange is playing, and Alan Cruz is out of position.  Powell could possibly be the option on the right wing, but then Cruz is on the bench with Saief and we lose the dynamism those to bring to the team.

lineup 2.PNG

So this is a very similar lineup to the one above, only subbing in Saief for Bertone. I would guess this is most people’s pick for our lineup against Philadelphia. It has many of the same strengths of the lineup above, though much more of a Koch Klassic 4-2-3-1. The biggest problem here is the midfield. If Saief and Cruz get pulled too far forward, Uolla is left on his own to breakup the attack. That’s a recipe for cards. If Garza is pulled too far forward as well, smart teams will take a few goals off of us before we knew what hit us.

Lineup 3.PNG

Now this is honestly goofy. No defensive cover in the midfield and every attacking player sans Ledesma on the field. And yet, this lineup would have been amazing to watch in New England. All attacking all the time, leave Richey to make a few more highlights and hope to win 5-4. Thing is, against a decent USL Championship team making a run in the Open Cup, I think this could be viable. Bertone and Deplange missing are is a bummer though, those two have earned their Adidas graphic stripes.

Also, notice none of these lineups include Adi, who is seriously injured and the team is pretending that’s not the case. How different does the team play with him in there? Or . . . are we allowed to suggest . . . this team might be better with more dynamic attackers . . . oh boy.

So what do you think? What’s the lineup you want to see on Saturday?

Kevin Wallace