Tony Tchani is still only 23 and just finished his 3rd year in the league (with his third team), but big things have been expected out of him ever since getting drafted 2nd by the New York Red Bulls in 2010. He's shown flashes of quality, but it's only in glimpses as he still struggles to develop into a consistent performer.
Tchani waited nearly 4 months for his Crew debut in 2011; starting and going 90 minutes in the playoff game in Colorado. He didn't have to wait nearly as long as he started the season in the same place as part of the Crew's three man central midfield. He lasted 67 minutes and promptly didn't get off the bench until late April.
The team's tremendous injury crisis allowed him to slip back into the lineup; he then made 12 straight appearances, 11 of them starts. This was his most fruitful stretch of the season as he bagged both of his goals on the season and notched one of his two assists. Tchani wasn't also constrained to central midfield. He was the team's starting right midfielder as the injury list lengthened.
Tchani again would see limited playing time throughout the second half of the season. He was used sparingly, making two sub appearances during the Crew's brutal stretch of games in late August. He would only get two more starts, the loss in New York that dented the Black and Gold's playoff chances and the meaningless end of season game against Toronto.
His two goals were a career high and his 22 appearances were second to his rookie year, but Tchani didn't make the jump to full time starter as many were expecting. He is still very raw and struggles to show off his soccer intelligence. The physical tools are great, but he hasn't been able to put them together. He also appears to be falling further out of favor as the bulk of his playing time came during the team's midsummer injury crisis.
Final Grade - 4: Tchani was expected to be a key cog of the Crew midfield, but he slowly slipped down the depth chart instead.