After a momentous first home win for LAFC, there’s been good news and bad news for the club this week.
Let’s start with the bad news:
Striker Marco Urena will be out of the LAFC line-up due to facial surgery because of a collision in last Sunday’s match.
Here’s the good news:
On Tuesday night, LAFC acquired star midfielder Lee Nguyen in exchange for up to 950K in allocation money and Norwegian forward Adama Diomande from Hull City.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) May 2, 2018
While both signings will be good cover for Urena and when players leave for the World Cup, both will unlikely feature in this weekend’s match vs. FC Dallas.
With Urena out, they lose a key dimension in their attack as his hold up play and passing help Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela express themselves on the pitch.
Here are three possible tactical decisions for LAFC in this weekend’s match:
1. Play Carlos Vela as a False Nine
This seems like a logical choice.
Carlos Vela as a false nine would open up different avenues in which LAFC can attack.
In general, false nines don’t have a fixed position on the pitch. They can drop into midfield and interchange positions with wingers at any time, making it hard for defenders to mark them.
Lucky for LAFC, Vela can play both midfield and forward.
If Bradley plays Vela in this role, then he can interchange with Blessing/Gaber or Rossi. This would make the attack increasingly deceiving and can cause nightmares for opposing defenses.
With dropping Vela further forward, Eduard Atuesta would replace him in a midfield three if Bradley decides to use a 4-3-3 formation.
2. Play Diego Rossi as a Striker
This would be an interesting proposition.
Throughout the season. Diego Rossi has play out wide as a winger.
Placing him as a center forward would allow Vela to stay in the #10 role with Blessing and Gaber to play on the wings.
If they play on the counter, then this is a formidable tactical set-up that can cause devastation on the attack as all four players have pace and creativity.
If LAFC hold possession, then this could be a problem.
Standing at 5-foot-7 and weighing 146 pounds, Rossi isn’t the biggest forward around therefore he could get bullied by centerbacks.
While Urena hasn’t scored a goal this season, his hold up play helps LAFC in possession and Rossi does not have the same size and skill set to continue LAFC’s play while holding the ball.
3. Give Rodrigo Pacheco a Chance
Even though he’s appeared once this season as a sub against Atlanta United, Bob Bradley could give Pacheco his first start this weekend.
His possible inclusion would require no significant structural changes to LAFC’s line-up as Rossi would stay on the wing and Vela in the #10 role.
While this looks good on the surface, Pacheco has little experience in US soccer.
After signing with the club last season, he was sent on loan to USL affiliate Orange County SC late in the campaign.
During his stint, he made six starts in seven appearance scoring one goal in the process.
Starting Pacheco would be a big risk for Bradley not only because he’s inexperienced, but he’s lacking in the size department as well.
On the counter, he’ll be a great asset, but if they play the possession game, he’ll also get bullied by opposing centerbacks and attacks could get snuffed out before they even begin.
While these are possibilities, we’ll only find out when Bradley hands in the team sheet hours before kickoff vs. FC Dallas Saturday.
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