Okay, partially because Doug brought it up in the comments, I just want to mention this, one more time. Then move on because it seems as though I might have a disseminating opinion than just about everyone else, when, really I don’t. So not trying to beat a dead horse but let’s talk about some key thoughts with Zavaleta.
Gaining Zavaleta to the squad is a huge coo. The team is certainly better with his attributes and I’m certainly not disappointed. The key thing to remember is that I had Zavelta just one spot below Remick, which would believe some to think that I had him undervalued or that there is a huge range in belief to what he his skill set is.
Honestly, his physical and technical abilities are not being questioned. I think he is the near-perfect mix between ceiling and present talent when you talk about acquiring young talent out of the Superdraft. You need a guy that is going to be able to have a future and progress beyond his current skill set, while still being able to earn some minutes with his present ability.
My biggest concern, and really it’s a huge concern, I’m not sold that anyone has an idea on how to develop, and judging on the handful of comments and differentiating opinions there is going to be some friendly discussions on what would be best for his future. This isn’t a Shampoo vs. Condition argument Billy, this has me legitimately curious to wheather or not he’ll be able to take the handful of positions he potentially will be handed and perform. I’m not sure we got that type of uber athlete, at the very least that’s not who I think we drafted.
I think Zavaleta could be one of the better centerbacks in the league and potentially one of the better up and coming #9’s, but he’s going to need to develop in those roles and playing multiple positions just seems to take away from that. Supporters are talking about picking a position and sticking with it and, yet, I get the vague notion that the Sounders could use him in dual roles this season.
I’m not against EZ playing up top. But, I think there are too many tweeners that have come into this league with the same amount (if not more) talent and have not worked out due to their underwhelming support from the coaching staff.
Maybe the USL development program gets under way and he has some opportunities for wherever the U-23’s end up heading too, where he fits in and builds confidence. But the key point is that he’s going to need time and patience. A reference point would be basically David Estrada who took time to become a viable bench option up top after having a couple of years to adjust to the league.
I’m not saying he’s on par with Estrada, in terms of talent, or that he is like a David Estrada in attack. Rather, simply stressing the point that some guys, most in this draft, need time to develop and I fully expect that Sounders to do thath for both Remick and Zavaleta. Personally if there are less questions about where Zavaleta would end up on the pitch, he’d probably would have ended up somewhere in the top-5 or 6. But for now the problems surrounding the nature of his position and lack of concentration threaten his development and ability to make an impact on this league.