Round Table: What Position Are You Most Worried About?
Contributors to the post answered one simple question going into the 2021 season, "What position are you most worried about?" Yes new players have been signed and for the first time in forever Cincinnati will have the same manager from the end of last season into this season. But here is what our writers are still worried about.
FC has tried to find a solid 10 for the past few years without much luck. Supporters have been let down year after year, and it seems our scoring opportunities have only come from luck or penalty kicks. This has caused our back line to be over worked and our mids feeling the need to stretch too high and constantly be out of position. I’m most worried about whether we can create enough scoring opportunities to take pressure off the back line and mids, so we can play a more organized style.
I’m worried about the #9 position (yes, seriously). We have one, potentially dazzling prospect there and a bench-warmer on any other MLS squad, someone who oozes USL energy, as the other pure #9. People who I owe a beer will claim that Locadia is a #9; he’s not. He’s a winger/striker/“forward” who may not even be here past June/July. If Brenner gets hurt or simply, can’t play 3 matches a week for 2 months and needs the occasional break, the gulf in quality at that position is concerning.
Center back until it isn’t. Right now we have two limited players who are “fine” on their day, a perennially injured Dutch journeyman who has honestly looked past it ever since he signed here, and a young Ecuadorian prospect whose highlight video consisted almost entirely of plays that would be called fouls by any MLS ref. I’m going into the season assuming that we remain susceptible to a popular MLS trick play that we haven’t defended well yet: Passing the ball to your teammate inside the box.
Frankie wants to boogie board at Huntington Beach, Haris is 46, Caleb Stanko is not exactly Paul Scholes, and what I’m saying is I’m worried about our deepest midfield position. The link between the back line and Lucho is probably second only to Lucho > Brenner. If Trade-me Frank-e is gone, I’m not sure who is winning those balls for this team. Hopefully Mocha Joe can crank things into fourth gear, or the threat of long haired Haggs will scare opponents into losing the ball by their own volition. Frankie how could you do this to us?
Chief War Pig
The main position I worry about with this team remains the person filing out the lineup card each day. Jaap Stam might have been a legend on the field, but is still largely unproven on the touchline. He’s been thoroughly average at every stop in his career, and his time at the FC hasn’t exactly been confidence inspiring. He needs to be better and do better if this team is going to climb up to respectability this season. Plus, if he does falter, we’ll be stuck with the indestructible managerial cockroach Yoann Damet for another goddamn season, and I absolutely cannot take that again.
The position in question the most is our center defensive midfielder. Yes, we signed Mocha Joe towards the end of last season but we weren’t able to see much of him by the time the season came to an end. With Amaya’s departure all but certain, there will be a void left where we were accustomed to Frankie’s strong work ethic and hustle. FCC seemed to fix the link between the midfield and attackers, but is Mokotjo the answer and solution to bridge the defense to the midfield? While he’s a clear defensive upgrade from Medunjanin, this position needs to be able to provide much more cover to support our back line than it had in our first two MLS campaigns. Nothing would make me happier than to see the General’s bald head putting down the clamps in FCC’s midfield, but if there’s anything I’ve learned after back to back wooden spoon seasons, it’s to not get distracted by the mirage of hope and what could be.