Okay, I’ll be the first to say that I’m absolutely in love with what DeAndre Yedlin has brought to the Sounders. His speed and general work rate is impossible not to fall head over heels for and it’s generally left the injured Adam Johansson looking like the toy we got last Christmas, rather than the sparkly new–and much younger–toy that just arrived under the tree.
His future likely resides in a return to Sweeden’s Superettan, but while remains an asset of the Sounders it would be silly not to incorporate him into the squad as the season moves on.
It’s easy to forget that Yedlin hasn’t ever played a full season or even more than 1500 minutes and that’ will be a growing concern as the season moves forward and what his fitness will be after a full summer, with it the intensity of the schedule will pick up.
Looking at a bunch of neat graphs as designed by Steve Fenn, you can see that the Sounders MLS schedule largely picks up after April and generally becomes harder. The need for Adam Johansson is going to be at it’s greatest during this period.
This isn’t even considering the fact that you now have two additional Champions League games in April against Santos Laguna and that the US Open Cup kicks off in May. This further emphasizes the issue of depth as the season matures.
The biggest issue isn’t necessarily that you don’t have the depth at this point, but it’s when you have to use it. Johansson isn’t quiet ready for minutes just yet, but once he is it’s important that he gets those minutes to get into form.
Any type of player valuation and assessment of talent and affect on the pitch directly correlates to how much time they are seeing in terms of minutes in competitive action. A player is only going to be as good as the form they are allowed to work themselves into when it comes to hockey, soccer and even basketball.
Yedlin is a young and exciting player and with U-20 Olympics on the docket for the month of May you have to believe that he has a very strong chance at making Tab Ramos line-up.Even if he doesn’t make the squad, which I think is unlikely at this point, the need for Adam Johansson’s presence on this squad will be a necessity, in my opinoin, before July.
Johansson still has a very large and important role on this squad. His knee may still impede his ability to be on the pitch this weekend in yet another intense match-up against San Jose and their ‘Goon Squad’. But, it’s only a matter of time until he’s healthy and ready to be rotated into the squad for consistent minutes.
I’m sure that this will dampen many Sounder fans with their heart strings attached to their eyes but despite his speed and explosive play, he’s still learning and despite his lower ceiling Johansson makes fewer mistakes out on the pitch.
I like that the Sounders desire to score more goals, but the need to retain the ball and reduce the number chances at their net raises the opportunity for points just as scoring goals does. Johansson does all of that and still can create plenty of chances to score.