martedì 2 aprile 2013

Rapids 4-4-2 switch

When the head coach Oscar Pareja came in Colorado, after eight seasons as player in Dallas and a gig as an assistant coach to Wilmer Cabrera with US U-17 national team, he had some thoughts. The first one was to play an attacking-oriented, ball-control based 4-3-3, although it was more a 4-2-3-1, with Martín Rivero placed just behind the centre forward. But it didn't work. Now, with holding midfielder Pablo Mastroeni and wing forward Kevin Harbottle out, Pareja switched to a more traditional 4-4-2. It’s a permanent move? The Rapids opened their 2013 MLS season following the same 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 concept, but the team failed to adjust to the new operating principles designed to install this formation. So Pareja came back to a classic  4-4-2 formation with a four man back line, overlapping fullbacks operating behind spread flankers and two target men up top. It’s essentially the same path ran by former manager Gary Smith. The move allowed  rookie Deshorn Brown to pair Edson Buddle up top, while former wide forward Tony Cascio was moved down as left winger. Albeit it’s a transition, the reversion to a well known pattern wasn’t the same required for a move toward some of unfamiliar. The absence of holding midfielder Mastroeni left Nick LaBrocca and Dillon Powers as central midfielders just in front of the back four. Build two blocks of four men give Rapids more defensive protection and the central duo of center-backs Drew Moor and Marvell Wynne,

which lacks of height, could take an edge from a thightest line up. Harbottle on the left and Danny Mwanga up top give Pareja another couple of options. While Rapids’ starting shape were a 4-2-3-1,  Pareja could stick with the 4-4-2 until it pays.

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