The 2014 Major League Soccer season is in full flow and teams are starting to show their weaknesses. The frailties can be blamed mostly on the coach, but the players deserve a share of the criticism.
Before the season kicked off, some coaches were content with their squad rotation despite not having the necessary depth needed to be an elite team. They decided not to trade for extra bodies that’ll bolster their team’s chances of winning the Supporters Shield.
This time of the year, it’s getting hotter and the players are starting to show some fatigue. Their bodies break down faster and it’s only a matter of time before they pick up a minor or major injury.
These injuries or lack of smart coaching has left certain teams in a hole that’ll continue to get deeper if the roster isn’t refurbished immediately. Here are five teams in dire need of reinforcements.
5. Seattle Sounder (center Back): This might be a surprise to some people, but the Sounders cough up too many goals to ignore the team’s defensive hitch. In 13 games, Sigi Schmid’s defense has conceded 21 goals.
The ultimate goal in Seattle is to lift the MLS Cup at the end of the season and the offense looks like it’s capable of delivering the championship. However, if Chad Marshall doesn’t get a top-notch partner, Seattle will have to settle for just making the playoffs.
4. Chicago Fire (attacking midfielder): One might think a center back is what Chicago (conceded 21 goals this season) needs, but Frank Yallop already has three above average center backs. What Chicago needs is someone that’ll take some pressure off the defense and a player that’s capable of keeping possession of the ball.
Yallop has two top strikers in Mike Magee and Quincy Amerikwa, but he lacks a creative mastermind. If these two players have a Javier Morales-esque playmaker behind them, there will be no limit to what they can achieve.
3. San Jose Earthquake (attacking midfielder): Mark Watson has everything besides a maestro. The former Canadian international has fantastic center backs, experienced defensive midfielders, explosive wingers and powerful target forwards. All the young coach needs is someone that can create unambiguous chances for the strikers.
Just imagine if Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart has a player the quality of Diego Valeri feeding them passes week-in week-out. The American forwards would be scoring at least a combined 45 goals every season.
2. Philadelphia Union (center back and center forward): Whatever reason was behind Jack McInerney’s trade might never be revealed, but what we do know is that it was a foolish move. McInerney’s replacement, Andrew Wenger, has struggled to find the back of the net. His finish has been below par and it looks like he doesn’t fit in John Hackworth’s system.
Hackworth needs to sign forward that is willing to check into the midfield and has the awareness to make runs in behind the defense.
It might be time to give up on former Rookie of the Year, Austin Berry. The 25-year-old hasn’t developed into the center back most people predicted he would become. Since his move from the Fire, he hasn’t integrated well into the Union’s setup.
Hackworth needs a veteran center back to help coordinate a relatively young defense.
1. Montreal Impact (everything besides center forward): At this moment, Joey Saputo needs to start spending. His team has been horrific this season. Even though he kept most of his starters from last year’s impressive campaign, injury and bad luck has devastated the Impact’s season, condemning the Canadian team to one win in 11 games.
With Marco Di Vaio and McInerney on the roster, signing a forward would be a waste of cap space. However, the Impact urgently needs new personnel in the back and midfield.
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