Well the Desert Diamond Cup matches are here and I don’t know about you but I’m thoroughly excited. I promise to have a better prepared graphics for the regular season. These will be rather juvenile in the time being.
At this point in the pre-season you can expect to see a good bit of veterans, as they’ll likely play something of a good 50 – 75 minutes. But I’m certain that you’ll also see quiet a few of the trialist that have yet to sign a contract. These are going to be crucial games for those that have yet to really solidify a spot on the roster. As I figure it there are at least 3 good battles between player to watch for during this match and the others over the next week or until the final roster is announced.
Who Is the Third Centreback?
Based upon my understanding it’s really down to Djimi Traore and Mikael Silvestre. Liverpool and Arsenal. It’ll be interesting to see where these guys land going forward. Some may say that it’s Silvestres to lose being that he’s the big ticket guy in all this but there have also been favourable reports on Traore and I think he may a bit more left in the tank for a full season than the former Gunner.
Who Grabs The Final Roster Spot?
It would seem that Lebogang Moloto has a very good opportunity ahead of him and while this final spot is more for time on Reserve League squad. It’s possible that it leads to more, as was the case last year with Cordell Cato (still really disappointing about that whole situation). Others that will be challenging for it will be Philip Lund, Ashani Fairclough and even Jennings Rex.You should see one or two of them for sure, tonight.
Who gets teamed with Eddie Johnson going forward? Will it be David Estrada? Could Sammy Ochoa make a last push? It’s really between these two at this point. But it’s been interesting to see Babayele Sodade‘s name in the mix, though we likely will be viewing him more in the Reserve League, but there are always Open Cup matches.
As it stands right now there isn’t a lot of information about possible starting line-ups. Though I am predicting a Gspurning; Scott, Traore, Silvestre, Burch; Neagle, Alonso, Rose, Zakuani, Ochoa, Estrada. A lot like last week against the Timbers with a few notable differences.
What will be interesting is to see is how serious the Sounders take it. They have 4 games–assuming they don’t make it to the final–prior to their season opener and, including that, 5 more until their first CONCACAF home-away match against the Tigres of UANL (Mexico with their professional teams playing at colleges and part of former colleges… so weird).
The game will be streamed over MLSSOCCER.com so I would expect them to have something on youtube so that if you miss the game tonight (like I will) you can come back and rewatch it.