Around the Horn: Who Would You Keep for a Total Rebuild?
When the season isn't going the way you hoped it would, .500 record was too much to ask for, you start thinking about rebuilds. Here at The Post, we started thinking about what players we would keep if the entire roster was being overhauled. The consensus pick from the team was Frankie Amaya. The US Youth International has made a case for being the best player on the team, which is both impressive and embarrassing (for the vets in this squad). But what if you could only keep one other player in addition to Amaya?
Chief War Pig
My pick is Álvaro Barreal. FC Cincinnati went into 2020 with the 3rd oldest roster in MLS and as the only club without a player from a CONMEBOL nation (the source of some of the best talent in the league). Even though he's yet to play a minute, Barreal's youth and upside make him a must-keep for a team that, other than Amaya, lacks impact youngsters that you could see being sold elsewhere for a decent profit down the line. In a league like MLS, if you don't have any players coveted by other teams around the world, that's a huge problem.
I’m picking Joe Gyau. This team has been almost entirely devoid of joy during the past few seasons, and Gyau is one of the few capable of generating that emotion all by himself. Whether he is the correct building block for the future, I don’t know, but I’m not wagering money on anyone else currently inked with FCC."
I'm picking Allan Cruz. He's young, he's got a green card, he's s midfield utility player capable of moments of brilliance (that backheel against Portland, tho). Nothing but upside from this guy; he attac, he protec, and he could be worth some cash with regular paying time and as a bonus, he can bridge the Spanish/English language gap from the midfield, an important ability in MLS."
My pick is Andrew Gutman. He’s young, but more importantly, he’s confident for his age. He reminds me of a [much worse] Brandon Williams (Manchester United) but at the MLS level. He’s a player who is bound to make mistakes, and at times, look out of position, but that is common of skilled college standouts who had to control and take over matches in their early years. What he needs is a manager like Jaap Stam who can shape and mold him into a future All Star LB. I feel he can provide the creativity we need to come from the back line for the times Stanko and Medunjanin aren’t passing back and forth to each other in our own half.
My choice would be for Jurgen Locadia. In his very brief time here in Cincinnati he's already shown himself to be a dangerous striker, assuming his teammates can get him the ball. He's a very capable striker with an impressive resume, plus he's already shown the ability to break Cincinnati's heart with some of his misses; a key ingredient for a Cincinnati team. He's the type of player that on almost any other MLS roster would be bagging 25 goals a season, exactly the player you'd want to rebuild around.
The player I would choose to keep is Tom Petterson. I know we’ve seen him in a small sample size, but I’ve been impressed enough to the point where I believe Petterson is FCC’s top centerback. It will take a little more time for the Sweed to adjust to the physicality of the best soccer league in the world, but his flair and smart decision making has been able to make up for that thus far. Petterson has shown on multiple occasions his ability to make driving runs forward with the ball to create opportunities for our attackers, which is something we don’t see from any of the other centerbacks on the roster. Petterson has been a rock for us in the left centerback position and once Stam is comfortable enough to make the switch to the Dutch favorite 4-3-3, Petterson will be an anchor there as well.