‘09 Crew: The Strikers
The Crew don’t have a traditional offense built around the star striker. Former coach Sigi Schmid realized what many others around the world did, strikers are expensive and hard to find. Looking to spread the salary cap as far as It is best to focus the offense from the midfield and use a non traditional striker. The 2008 Crew was most effective at this, with Barros Schelotto pulling the strings and Moreno leading the line.
Striker – Alejandro Moreno He is not the 20 goal scorer. He is an exemplary role player in the perfect role. He will throw his body around, hold up the ball, and draw fouls to set up the offense. He will also get into position to score a couple of goals. He may not be the best forward in the league, but he is a very good fit for the Crew.
Withdrawn Striker – Guillermo Barros Schelotto He may be an attacking midfielder, withdrawn striker, or even the trequartista. Barros Schelotto has the freedom to float in the offensive zone and set up those around him for the goals. He is in his mid thirties and will slow down eventually, but he is such a smart and savvy veteran that he will pick his spots well to make an impact on the game, if it is the 5th minute or even the 90th. He will also have to be rested a little more than last year as even someone as smart as him will have to get a little more rest with the busy schedule. He is a player I will long remember as one of the best to put on a Crew uniform, a ferocious competitor and a winner as well.
The Reserves – Jason Garey Another smart player for the Crew. He has carved himself out a niche as a goal scorer in limited time. I am not sure what he would do if given a chance to start, but on a team as well stocked as the Crew he has to stay patient.
Steven Lenhart I am impressed how much he improved last year. He has shown a knack for poaching late goals, but I am getting more and more concerned that his competitive instincts are getting the better of him. He was red carded twice in the preseason for fights and too physical of play (once against a college team). I don’t want to see him go down the Kai Kamara road.
Pat Noonan Last but not least, Noonan will need to settle into an everyman role with the 2009 Crew. With over 40 games on the schedule, the starters will need rest and Noonan will have to adapt to both midfield and forward roles. He showed glimpses of this last year and I hope that he shows the skills that made him a valuable member of the New England Revolution over the last couple of years.