Warzycha looks for midfield mettle. - George Frey
The Estudiantes defensive midfielder is now a Crew target.
Argentine media has been rife with reports that the Columbus Crew were about to sign defensive midfielder Matías Sánchez from Estudiantes de La Plata. Brian Bliss admitted that he was on the Crew's Discovery List submitted to the league. After Milovan Mirosevic's contract was terminated, Bliss mentioned that they would likely return to Sanchez.
If Sanchez is the midfielder the Crew are after as a replacement for Mirosevic, it's likely to work out better for the team. He comes from a strong pedigree. He won the Copa Libertadores in 2009 with Estudiantes and has played for Argentina team that won the U-20 World Cup in 2007.
Usually You Tube clips are a highlight reel of sharp passes and wondergoals, but Sanchez has a 30 minute series of clips of his work in defensive midfield. It becomes apparent that he plays with a high workrate and is always moving. He's a tough defender, but he's comfortable with the ball at his feet and has solid vision. The Crew haven't had that type of player at defensive midfield in years.
A comparison come to mind. He's positionally astute and his constant movement and involvement in buildup play is much like Dax McCarty's. The Crew can certainly benefit from someone who can play solid defense, but knows what to do when he gets the ball.
Having good distribution from deep midfield will be a big addition to a team that is built off of the slashing counterattacks of Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta. Sanchez certainly looks to be a better fit for the heavy lifting that Robert Warzycha wants his midfielders to do than Mirosevic. He's a defender first rather than the offensive minded Milo. He could be the linchpin on defense the team has lacked since Brian Carroll's departure after the 2010 season.
Given the rumors that sprung up around Sanchez as the Crew came to an agreement with Mirosevic, it's apparent that the team is looking to bring him in quickly.