Boskovic and Hernandez lineup math

Ah, the last game before DC United two new signings, Branko Boskovic and Pablo Hernandez, can officially start playing.  That’s when lineup choices will start getting more interesting, although I doubt either of them will start that game (against the Sounders), but maybe a late sub depending on how the game is going.  The lineup will probably be something like this:

Graye Pena Jakovic McTavish
Pontius Simms King Najar
Quaranta Cristman

While the lineup that played in the second half of the last game, with Moreno in on the wing, Pontius up top, and Cristman out, was more effective, I don’t think Jaime can go a whole game on a regular basis.  But until Hernandez and Boskovic get up to speed, I think that they should sport that lineup, meaning that it should look a little more like this:

Graye Pena Jakovic McTavish
Moreno Simms King Najar
Quaranta Pontius

I’m not sure what Onalfo is going to do with Boksovic and Hernandez once they get up to speed.  I think that Boskovic is very likely to slide right in when he’s ready, but I think Hernandez has a much tougher road.  If United stays with their current lineup, I think that we can assume that Cristman is going to be the first one out of the lineup: Boskovic could slot into a wing position and Pontius could slid up top, or Hernandez could simply replace Cristman directly. But if both of them are able to work into the lineup, that math gets a little trickier and it basically works out to where Onalfo thinks Boskovic will be most effective.  If he’s best as a winger, that means either Pontius, Najar, or Quaranta are going to be on the bench; if he’s best as a central midfielder, then I would bet that King is out.  Out of the 4 midfielders and two strikers, I think that Quaranta is the next one out, based on current form.  I think that people might riot if Onalfo benches Najar and I think that both Pontius and King are outplaying Quaranta.  So unless Boskovic is miles better in the center than on the wing, I think you will see him out there.

I think that Onalfo likes to stick with the 4-4-2; he showed a 4-5-1 once or twice earlier in the season, but decided he didn’t like it.  So, if both Hernandez and Boskovic make the starting 11, this is the lineup that I think we would see:

Graye Pena Jakovic McTavish
Boskovic Simms King Najar
Pontius Hernandez

Or, perhaps, Onalfo wants to transition to a 4-5-1.  If United does, I’d love to see it more like a Dutch style 4-2-3-1.  This formation would require more of a target forward up to, and so it would be more like a Cristman or an Allsopp, rather than a Quaranta or a Hernandez, who is supposedly more of a speed option.  I think that this lineup might give United their best attacking options while still keeping a midfielder or two back to help the back line.  So I would imagine something like this:

Graye Pena Jakovic McTavish
Simms King
Pontius Boskovic Najar

There seems to be a tactical evolution happening in soccer; the 4-4-2 seems to be the old way, and a more flexible 4-5-1/4-3-3, with hybrid winger/forwards, seems to be what most of the teams in the World Cup are using. If Onalfo uses this lineup, hopefully can get United back to the playoffs next year (especially when Rodney Wallace returns).  Oh right, Saturday’s game.  Its also the last game NYRB have before a possible Thierry Henry signing.  Juan Pablo Angel vs. United’s defense does scare me, but I’m still hoping for a 2-1 United victory.

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