Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sharpening the Axe

Who will The Viper's Nest put on the chopping block?

With the World Cup close to completion, the nation's eyes will be returning to MLS and the Red Bulls. Okay, that may be overstating it a bit, but it is as good an excuse of any for a quick column on the state of the team.

The question posed was "If you were making a decision today, who on the roster do you cut and who do you keep?" The responses might surprise you (but probably not). Below you can see the decisions and a few thoughts on each player and those at the top of the org chart from Matt, in black; Tom, in red; and Big Viper in blue.

Andy Roxburgh
Keep     But Austria has to be concerned about his talent evaluation
Keep     Needs to step it up, but FO needs continuity & adult supervision
Cut        We need a GM that values creativity

Mike Petke
Cut         Hate to do this, but he is tactically naïve. We need an adult in charge. What do
               we do in training?
Cut         Still looking for any evidence of coaching skill. Suspect of "character" claims
Cut         Has lost the ability to motivate these guys. Again, need someone here who values

Andre Akpan
Keep     Bench fodder
Keep     We need to get younger fast
Cut        Totally useless

Eric Alexander
Keep     But only to play on the wing. Otherwise bench.
Keep     Needs a consistent role for long term value
Cut        Not the answer at all

Cut         Every game he's a red card waiting to happen. Would rather see Miazga develop if
               we're gonna suck.
Cut         Lots of mental lapses in coverage, major foul risk. Will miss the hair.
Cut         When Matt Miazga is better than you, there is no choice but OUT

Ruben Bover
Keep     Great in a sub role for now. Promising talent.
Keep     Jury is far from in, but glimmer of talent is exciting. Needs minutes
Keep     Pretty good sub option

Michael Bustamante
Keep     No reason to cut - has he even played?
Keep     Purely for Young MC joke
Keep     Showed good play in the few games he played last year

Tim Cahill
Keep     When he's here a key player for us. You can see we miss him.
Keep     The real leader of the team. Probably has 2 good years left for us
Keep     A "Get Stuck In" guy. He has been huge for us

Santiago Castaño
Keep     I guess. Third keeper.
Keep     Meara will go, so we need a backup
Keep     I can't rate this guy

Ian Christianson
Keep      Not sure if he'll ever play. Injury-prone.
Cut         Haven’t seen him yet and probably never will
Cut         Seems to have a broken metatarsal at all times

Bobby Convey
Keep      But only because we have no one else at left back at the moment. Massive
               disappointment, but I never expected much.
Cut         The Heath Pearce of 2014. Illusion of competence
Cut         Dude is total crap

Chris Duvall
Keep     Has looked decent in the changes he's had so far
Keep     Solid to strong in starting debut, defending and going forward. Could give us back
              what we lost with ridiculous Barklage cut
Keep     Our long term starter at right back

Richard Eckersley
Cut         Pricey GARBAGE
Cut         Number 1 reason to burn FO to the ground
Cut         Horrible

Thierry Henry
Keep     Probably his last season. Lousy way to go out.
Keep     Le Roi!
Cut        Gone next season anyway

Kosuke Kimura
Keep     Not great but he'd be my preferred backup to Duvall at RB.
Keep     Middle of the road player. Some bonehead moves this year, including horrendous
             foul in the box for a PK
Cut       Too much for a reserve Right Back

Connor Lade
Cut         If he can't get a game at LB over Convey he must blow.
Cut         Sadly. More of a Petke issue, it would seem. He will come back to bite us.
Cut         Has to get time elsewhere

Péguy Luyindula
Keep     Like his in MF, less so as striker.
Keep     Feelings change on him day to day. Does just enough to keep you optimistic
Keep     I guess

Dax McCarty
Keep     He's having a poor season by his standards but our best pure DM.
Keep     Losing Dax would be big blow to vaunted "consistency." Not sexy but solid.
Cut        Probably our best trade option

Ryan Meara
Keep     Solid backup to Robles.
Cut        Still think he may be better than Robles, but we can't keep him on bench forever
Cut        Might be worth something in a trade

Matt Miazga
Keep     Can we please see if he's better than our current central defenders? Can he really
              be much worse?
Keep     Keep for youth
Keep     Our Long Term starter at Center Back

Roy Miller
Keep     Never thought I'd say it but I hope he comes back soon.
Keep     Has done a great job for us. At least one more season here.

Marius Obekop
Keep     Why not?
Keep     Youth movement
Keep     Can't rate this guy

Jámison Olave
Keep     But he has no pace anymore. All bull-in-a-china-shop defending. Card after card
             and always a penalty danger.
Keep     Our best pure defender
Cut        He's slow as molasses and prone to give up bad PK's

Ambroise Oyongo
Keep     Great attacking skills, probably needs to work on defensive side of his game
Keep     Yes, 2 weeks ago had no idea who he was.
Keep     Our Long Term option at Left Back

Luis Robles
Keep     Less great in recent weeks but has kept us in many games. How sad is that?
Keep     So much more than we could have hoped for
Keep     Has been huge for us for two seasons now

Lloyd Sam
Keep     Pretty good season for Lloyd so far.
Keep     Good and getting better
Keep     Good to have a player like Sam

Ibrahim Sekagya
Keep     I guess. Not a huge fan. Big body, no pace.
Cut        Flashes of quality, but let's not kid ourselves
Cut        See Olave above

Jonny Steele
Keep     But only as bench depth. Not having a good season.
Keep     I'm a fan. Waiting on a big comeback. Needs minutes to produce
Cut        Has totally lost his Mojo

Eric Stevenson
Keep     Again, who?
Cut        No reason to say “yes”
Cut        I can't rate this guy

Bradley Wright-Phillips
Keep     Banging in the goals. Just a shame we're giving them out like Halloween candy
             at the other end.
Keep     Do I really need to explain this one? Can work on his passing
Keep     Scoring goals in bunches for us. Imagine if he had some creativity behind him.
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