4-4-2 or 4-5-1 ?

Carlos De Los Cobos has used the one forward formation for a majority of this season but the addition of Nery Castillo and Freddie Ljungberg has increased the coach's tactical options.  It may be another week or two before we see what De Los Cobos has ultimately decided on.  Nery Castillo is probably two weeks away from full fitness, while Patrick Nyarko has not fully regained his game form while recovering from concussion symptoms. 

The 4-5-1 formation used for most of this season has featured Logan Pause and Baggio Husidic as central midfielders.  Husidic has had the freedom and ability to come forward and join the attack as needed but has been usually stationed next to Pause defensively while several players have attempted to fill the central attacking role.  Initially, most suspected Freddie Ljungberg would fill the central attacking position with Castillo as a withdrawn forward behind Brian McBride or Collins John.  Ljungberg has played the playmaking forward role during his first two matches with the team and assumed that role again in training today. 

De Los Cobos has looked at both one forward and two forward formations during training.  If Nery Castillo is not ready to join the starting eleven on Wednesday, another variation of the 4-5-1 could be deployed. 

 

According to this, either Mike Banner or Calen Carr would start in midfield if Castillo is not ready to start against the Revolution.  New England is not a particularly fast team so the thinking may be geared toward utilizing speed against them on Wednesday night.  Without Castillo to begin the match and Nyarko unavailable I can see a 4-4-1-1 with Pappa and Banner on the wings, Pause and Husidic centrally in front of the defense and Ljungberg playing behind McBride. 

Ljungberg appears to be developing a good chemistry with McBride in training.  The combination also provided the Fire's best offensive moments against New York. 

As I said before, De Los Cobos will have options to consider once all the pieces are available.  If Patrick Nyarko is ready to go this weekend against Houston the Fire will be as close to 100 percent as they have been all season.  Although the ideal starting eleven would include Nyarko and Pappa on the wings with Ljungberg as the central mid this would leave Pause alone to cover alot of ground defensively.  This may work against a struggling Dynamo side but teams with faster more dynamic attackers will pose a problem. 

DLC may ultimately be leaning toward a one forward formation since he has mentioned that Castillo could play on the outside as well.  If this is the direction, one important attacker will sit.  Since that's not likely to be Ljungberg, Pappa or Nyarko are the likely candidates. 

Adding more "good problems" for the coach is the availability of John Thorrington.  If he is able to return effectively, Husidic could be forced to the bench in the central role next to Pause.  Pause's willingness and desire to defend and stay home makes him hard to substitute.  He's also been pretty solid after a less than spectacular first few matches to begin the season.  Replacing Pause with the yellow card prone Thorrington would not benefit the team at this poiint. 

Carlos De Los Cobos has alot to think about and not a whole lot of time to figure it out and mesh all the pieces together. 

Left Back

One decision has apparently been made.  Gonzalo Segares will start at left back on Wednesday.  Krzyzstof Krol has not been bad but Segares is the better player.  If he's fit and ready to go, Segares is the right choice here. 

Comments

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  • Why is Banner still with the team, he's medicore at best,
    Lowry or Carr would be better bets than Banner!
    Hopefully this will be De Los Moron's only year.
    Haven't seen the Fire this disorganized, considering the talent they
    have now, the worst coaching job in the teams history, Wilt's assessment
    about him is right on.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Carr hasn't been available until recently and Lowry doesn't play on the wings. Expecting that they would be a well oiled machine after two weeks and only one match with the new additions is a bit unrealistic.
    As far as grading the coaching job in terms of the history of the team....remember Sarachan's last year?

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I dont think we have the right players for a 442. That formation needs 2 "box to box" midfielders and we dont have that. Logan isn't suited for the middle of a 442. It would have to be Baggio and Freddie and that leaves us exposed on the defensive end. The 4411 that we have been playing for most of the season is the perfect formation for us now with the players we brought in. It takes off even more responsibility for Logan to push forward, gives Freddie more time on the ball to make things happen, and gives McBride the perfect person to lay the ball off to in Castillo. This might be the best roster, on paper, in MLS history. Every player on this team would be a starter on any other team in MLS right now, minus Carr. You can't say that about any other team in the league.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    We're pretty much in agreement when it comes to the formation and the best match for the Fire's personnel. Best roster in MLS history? That's really one to ponder, but it would be interesting to compare the starting 11 now to every other team in the league position by position.

  • In reply to cesba:

    When Logan Pause is your worst starter, you have a really good lineup. And I think the fact that when I say the best roster in history and you start to wonder if it is, the FO has done a pretty good job.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    LA maybe, they are the most dominant force in MLS by far this season IMO. I'd take Donovan over ANY player in the league right now. I still think that these new moves have had a huge impact on the Fire roster. It completely turned around from mediocre to exciting.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I hope to God that Castillo is starting. Not that I don't like the Fire lineup as you have it, Guille, but I have season tickets on the aisle in the front row right where the Fire subs warm up and if I have to try to watch another game with a bunch of people bum-rushing the aisle hanging over me to get a Nery Castillo picture, I'm going to snap! When will people figure out that there is virtually NO chance to get an autograph while he's warming up to get in?!?!?!

    Rant over. Down to business: When will we know the status of Nyarko for the remainder of the season? I think Thorrington can't get back fast enough if Pat's not ready any time soon!

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    I haven't heard official word yet but I'm going to guess Nyarko will be available for the Houston match.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Fire are set to announce that Victor Pineda is signing the first "home grown" player contract in team history today.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Any word on the two other guys from the academy they were considering along with midfielder Pineda.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    They are considering one more academy player since each team gets two slots. Not sure who the second player is yet.

  • In reply to cesba:

    The beginning of the season, they were more suited in the 4-5-1 due to the personnel they had. Now, he can go with the 4-4-2 with the additions of Castillo and Ljungberg.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Per Sam....
    Collins John not training today with hamstring tightness.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Here's the official release on Pineda.....

    http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2010/08/fire-sign-victor-pineda

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    On a totally unrelated note.....did anyone catch Kyle Martino's new show on FSC last night? I was disappointed to hear that Fox Football Fone In was cancelled for this concept.

  • In reply to cesba:

    It was ok but did not have anywhere near the depth of FFF. It's more like a late night talk show format with guests blathering on about personal stuff. Elizabeth Shue plugged her new movie, Cobi talked about his restaurant and Temyrss Lane did yoga with Edson Buddle.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Sounds pretty brutal.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    so is krol done with the Fire? they terminate his loan or something?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mls/teams/chi/roster;_ylt=AvkbiuoAv7dL3UhyuozwhHFK0bYF

    http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1519619

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    This wouldn't surprise me. His loan expires at the end of the season and he's probably not happy with playing behind Segares.
    Kinda odd that this would come to light via his wife's twitter account though.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Apparently no truth to the rumors.
    From Sam's twitter......

    Krol says he is "so happy" to be with the Fire. Wants to stay beyond this season

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    wow, i don't know about this statement. here are some players/positions that aren't THAT strong and not necessarily starters on ALL teams:
    Brown
    Kinney/Robinson
    Husidic
    Pause
    McBride
    John
    Banner

  • In reply to Drew:

    Best in history is probably a stretch. Best in the league now is debatable and a comparison I'm working on.

  • In reply to Drew:

    FIFA 11 game trailer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF_t98LYYcA&feature=player_embedded

  • In reply to Drew:

    Jeff Crandall's piece on Victor Pineda

    http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2010/08/academy-first-team

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