Milovan Mirosevic has been linked in several reports in a move back to Universidad Catolica. Is this another marker of a troubling trend?
Milovan Mirosevic was the 2012 offseason's prize capture. The Chilean came in with a reputation smooth ball handling midfielder who could score goals. He was going to be the field general that Robert Warzycha was looking for. After big expectations, the season didn't quite turn out that way and now there is talk about him returning to Chile.
The chatter stems from several articles that have surfaced in Chilean media about Mirosevic's desire to return to Universidad Católica in recent weeks. Milo has always stated he would to return to his hometown club, but after a final stop overseas. Milo has another guaranteed year on his contract. In recent days it appears that conversations have begun to bring him back sooner rather than later
There are plenty of reasons a player might look for a return home. Milosevic is a family man and finding the right environment trumps soccer. Milo is also treated as a hero at Católica. It certainly would be a more comfortable environment than toiling away at a mid table club that is still retooling.
There is another reason that Mirosevic may be looking to leave. He has been misused in the Crew lineup. He's often a box to box player helping out the defensive midfielder. He can certainly play this position as evidenced by his solid contributions, but he's stated throughout the season that it's not something he's used to.
Looking at where he's played at previous clubs, Milo often will play with less defensive responsibility and looked to break forward. He's a poacher who has played as a withdrawn forward or as an attacking midfielder. He's not necessarily the creator, but he's the catalyst for a lot of attacks.
Playing in the deep midfield role, he's often ranging back to lend a hand on the defensive end. This leaves him far from goal and less likely to be able to play to his strengths. He can be a clinical finisher and he has exceptional timing to be in the right place to score.
Conversely, Some of his best games are when he was pushed up just behind the forward line. His performance against Los Angeles in August stands out. He played just off of Jairo Arrieta and influenced the game as the Crew put in an impressive offensive display.
Mirosevic no longer has the chance to play that role with the acquisition of Federico Higuain. It's true that Higuain is the better player, but there doesn't appear to be a good way to fit both of them in the lineup at their best positions. Either Mirosevic plays at central midfield or Higuain is shifted to the left side. The Crew staff has kept their influential creator in a central role and pushed Mirosevic back into central midfield.
Mirosevic would command a transfer fee to leave a year early and the Crew should consider it if Catolica make an offer. Mirosevic doesn't have a spot in the Crew lineup where he can shine and it would be tempting to cash in on the solid year that Milo put in.
One very big reason not to is that the team doesn't have too much depth at that spot and Mirosevic is still the best option at that spot. Tony Tchani would be the likely new starter and he's more promise than results right now.
The possible departure of Mirosevic is another in a line of players that are looking for greener pastures. Sebastian Miranda doesn't appear to want to return. Cole Grossman asked out of the team and Rich Balchan may have decided to pick up elsewhere.
If Milo leaves, the impact would be more so than the loss of the player, it would be the distinct lack of stability in team building. Constant roster turnover makes building a playoff bound roster that much more difficult. The technical staff look less for that final piece and more to fill yet another hole.