When a team gets trampled like the Crew did by Atlanta United in Match 2, there is a tendency to think wholesale personnel changes need to be made. Here is some pure speculation on my part on lineup changes Wilfried Nancy could consider.
Let’s start on the back end. The only change I can see among this group is if Malte Amundsen moves back after starting in midfield Tuesday. This really isn’t much of a change since he’s spent the majority of his time at left center-back since joining the team midseason and played there in Match 2 after starter Sean Zawadzki left the game with a bloody knee. The only other possibility I can imagine here is if Zawadzki is not available and Nancy really wants Amundsen in midfield again, he’d go with Yevhen Cheberko on the back line. I think there is almost no chance of that happening. Also, although Steven Moreira had what was probably his worst game of the season, I think there’s little chance you’ll see he or Rudy Camacho replaced.
In midfield, I see the most likely position to change is left wingback (yes, I said wingback) where Yaw Yeboah could get the start as he did in Match 1. Considering he has been a regular here since the injury to Will Sands early in the season, I’m not exactly going out on a limb with this one. But I’ll go one step further and say I expect to see Nancy insert Yeboah (three goals, five assists) into the starting lineup for this deciding match.
Here is one I don’t see happening, but I’ll throw it out there anyway for sake of discussion: Mo Farsi gets the start at right wingback instead of Julian Gressel. Since play began after the Leagues Cup, Farsi has made just two starts, but Gressel doesn’t always look comfortable to me, especially on defense. Will Nancy make this change in such an important game and go with a player who better understands his system? No, I don’t think so at all. Despite any struggles Gressel has had, Nancy really likes him.
I’ll be very surprised if there are any changes up front. If Nancy was to make a move at all, it would be Christian Ramirez for Diego Rossi. Although I don’t have a problem with that, I don’t see it happening. I also don’t see Alex Matan being replaced by Ramirez either. With Cucho, Rossi, and Ramirez on the field, who drops back to create? I’ll be shocked if Matan isn’t in the lineup for Match 3.
I’ve always believed when a coach makes wholesale lineup changes in a situation like this, it is because he lacks confidence in his team and is trying to find something…anything. Wilfried Nancy doesn’t lack confidence in his team and he’s not going to make major changes to the starting eleven. All of this speculation on my part is just something to stimulate discussion and help put Tuesday’s debacle behind us.