Three Questions: Matchday 7
It's Matchday 7 and here are the three questions we have going into FC Cincinnati's match tonight against the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is at 7:30 Eastern and marks Chicago's first home match back at Soldier Field since the club moved away from the lakeside stadium in 2005.
Did Alan Cruz win a start?
Readers of the previous pre-match preview will have been warned about manager Jaap Stam not trusting Cruz to start matches. Friday, Siem de Jong started along Frankie Amaya and Caleb Stanko in the midfield. But frankly, de Jong looked slow and picked up a minor injury in the first half, forcing a halftime substitution for Cruz. de Jong had fewer than 10 touches in the first half and no real memorable moments of play. Cruz on the other hand came into the match and was an immediate spark. His ball winning, key passes, and movement on the field was night and day from what de Jong offered. With de Jong officially questionable for tonights match, and Medunjanin still out on paternity leave, you have to assume Cruz starts, right? Stam wouldn't run an injured Siem de Jong out there... would he?
Will Gyau and Gutman continue to be how this offense develops?
It might have been a lack of Medunjanin and an ineffective de Jong, but the entire offense for FC Cincinnati came from the wings against DC United. Gutman, while having trouble connecting longer passes, appeared to be willing and able to go forward at will. Gyau continues his impressive form this season by dribbling at and through defenders. Perhaps the match plays out differently if Cruz is there from the start, but it is clear the two wing-backs are important in getting the attack going. Will that continue tonight, or will a probably Alan Cruz start change up their role?
Will FC Cincinnati Bunker on the Road?
While fans were prepared to watch a 90 minute bus parking training video from Metro on Friday, the team came out in a classic 4-3-3. While the first half was rough at times, try top avoid the first twenty minutes if you do re-watch it, the team did eventually transition to a 3-5-2 around half time. But this isn't the #MLSisBack 3-5-2, this was an attacking, front-footed formation with diagonal balls and runs behind defenders. But that was also a match against one of the worst teams in MLS this season and at "home", whatever home field advantage is worth these days. Will we see a bunking FCC tonight? Or will Stam want to see what this gelling team can do?