With four players representing their country this weekend on international duty, Justin Davis serving his suspension for a red card, and a couple injuries, Minnesota United have a chance to give some players who have not had much, if any, opportunity their time to shine.
So, here I am again to play manager.
Here is my humble suggestion:
This is my modified 3-5-2.
I think it is a no-brainer to start Bobby Shuttleworth. John Alvbåge has been practicing with the team, but he may not be ready to start. I think giving another shot to Shuttleworth (especially, against his former squad) is the best way to go.
The defense is what I am struggling with. Leftback is not Kevin Venegas’s natural position, but I do think he deserves a shot to play. May as well give him the start. I do think that Heath should have him on a bit of a short leash. If Jerome Thiesson had not played as well as he did against the Colorado Rapids, I would slot Viva in at rightback.
Brent Kallman was a revelation last week, so starting him in the center was a no-brainer.
A bit of a change in the Midfield:
I wanted to start Ibson, I really did. He changed the game when he was a second half sub. I could easily see him in the spot that I have Mohammed Saeid or Vadim Demidov playing, but I would prefer him to be another second half substitution. I like the idea of using his playmaking ability as a fresh look after halftime.
Starting Demidov may surprise some, but CDM is a position that he has played before. Kristan Heneage of FourFourTwo has suggested this:
A poor showing from Demidov again. I said in pre-season I preferred him at CDM due to lack of speed. Heath may need to shift to a back 3.— Kristan Heneage (@KHeneage) March 12, 2017
Demidov is slow, but he played well in a CDM role for his former club SK Brann. Demidov could be used as a deep CDM, and I would expect for him to slide down next to Kallman when need. But that would not be his primary role. His primary role Saturday Afternoon would be a holding role in the mold of a number 6, a role that I think Demidov would welcome.
By having a five midfield set rather than my older, proposed 3-4-3, It can allow for Saeid and Collen Warner to play off of what Demidov is doing. If Demidov drops into the backline, then this formation can be closer to a straight 4-4-2. As I said earlier, I thought about starting Ibson over Saeid, but why fix what isn’t broken?
Bashkim Kadrii and Miguel Ibarra. Again, I am pushing this. Because Johan Venegas and Kevin Molino will be representing Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago respectively, this is a chance to start Kadrii and Ibarra on the wings. I thought Ibarra looked decent in the draw against the Rapids, but I think an attacking left position is better suited for him. Kadrii has looked solid as a sub, but he will likely need to start this week.
Bring In The Rookie
I love the idea of having the #1 overall pick, Abu Danladi, playing slightly off of Christian Ramirez up front. It gives Ramirez the ability to be in a more advanced striker position while allowing Danladi to play a more central forward role. Ramirez looked great against Colorado and scored a beautiful goal off of a Thiesson cross, but I would like to see him paired with at least one player in the absence of players like J. Venegas and Molino.
Danladi made his debut as a sub against Colorado, and he did not really have the opportunity to impress. He was coming off of an injury, and the team was quickly playing with 10 men during his debut. Those factors do not add up to a successful debut too often. I think Danladi is ready to show Loons fans that he was the best player in the SuperDraft.
What do you think? Let me know below!