If the season started today, how would Louisville City line up?
Let’s assume no one returns that left or is out of contract. How would LCFC stack up? I am going to do my best with the 11 plus Greg who just signed the other day, to make a team line up. I will use several formations based on various teams. Slugger Field is a fast -paced field and presents obstacles to consider when talking tactics. The turf and grass mixture really throws teams off and isn’t ideal for soccer as consistency of the pitch is important, however Slugger is home and we’ve been successful there. We’ll also look at the tactics.
Traditional or Sir Alex Ferguson Style: 4-4-2
With this set up we can see a very old school style of soccer 4 defenders, 4 midfielders, and 2 strikers. So how would this look with our current roster?
Defenders: On the left would be Kyle Smith, who is got a great foot and lead the team in assists last year. Central defenders I like the idea of Reynolds and Morad controlling the middle defense. I think those two can really work well together. On the Right we would have Paco Craig who had a pretty successful season at the back.
Midfielders: This is going to be interesting since 3 of the 4 are central mids. I would like to see Guy Abend and Naill McCabe in the center midfield role. Their passing, ball movement and attacking are ideal for the control of the game. Mark Anthony-Kaye played some on Kadeem’s side of the pitch and played well so look for him as a winger. This last one is Paolo DelPiccolo who I can see as a winger with not necessarily great pace but a great passer and defender who could offer an extra hand should the midfield adjust from flat to diamond style.
Strikers: Obviously this would be Ilija Ilic and Cameron Lancaster. Ilic has a great ability to get behind the defense and attack on the run, so he can make a good replacement for Hoffman (Who really was great early on but as we saw was predictable with his runs). Lancaster makes a great target man in the box and a holding striker who can attack from various angles look for him to have a good year if he gets to start often.
New Style: 3-5-2
This is a set up Antonio Conte uses at Chelsea.
Defenders: This formation would push a defender up or out of the lineup. I see this as Reynolds, Morad, and Craig at the back. Well, what about Smith? If you hold your horses I’ll tell you why he’s not in here.
Midfielders: Now for the great wisdom of your writing team. I firmly believe that if you push Kyle Smith as the left winger he can do some serious damage with his left foot. Now wait a minute you can’t do that Taylor. Well, Antonio Valencia for Manchester United does it so Kyle can too. Kyle on the left, push DelPiccolo inside left, McCabe most central, and Abend on the right central. That leaves Kaye as the right winger who certainly has the pace to replace Dacres should he not come back.
Strikers: Ilic and Lancaster running the attack.
Old Chelsea Style: 4-3-3
This is the formation Jose Mourinho used at Porto, and Chelsea.
Defenders: This would be Reynolds, Morad, Smith and Craig again in defense.
Midfielders: Make McCabe central midfeilder. I would push DelPiccolo out as the left winger. Abend would slide out as the right winger.
Strikers: Ilic would slide to the left of the attack, Lancaster would stay as the target man in the center, and Kaye would slide up as the right striker.
As you can see with the core of our team returning we still have a great team poised to make another great season in Soccer City. Now the question remains what formation should we take. I expect a traditional 4-4-2 formation from O’Connor. This is the most solid formation. However, I would also like to see a 3-5-2 with the line up above as I think it brings back our high octane offense and large opportunities to score goals. However that formation does leave our defense having to do a lot more work which I think they can do. Also, with Slugger’s fast paced field, the 3-5-2 would present a lot more attacking options and runs into the offensive third. The 4-3-3 however presents the best of both worlds having a good attack and defense however the midfield has to cover more ground. Ranking these formations is impossible as slugger Field has pros and cons galore with soccer formations. Personally, I would go with a 3-5-2 as it has worked well for Chelsea in the Premier League against the 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 formations. The USL teams mostly play a 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 so it will be a big attacking advantage for us, and we can stagger the midfield to have 2 defensive mids and 3 offensive mids. The 3-5-2 is what I would play based on this roster as we have a lot of attacking minded players and a solid defense.
We here at the writing team are keeping a close eye on the team as they sign and off-load players this offseason. I am hoping we can get over that Eastern Conference final hump and play for the USL title. We have the team and the supporters to do it so let’s make it happen! COME ON YOU BOYS IN PURPLE!