Robert Warzycha has a decision to make when he sets the lineup against the Union tomorrow. The Crew have starting striker Jairo Arrieta back from international duty. Dominic Oduro filled in at striker during his absence. Eddie Gaven has been back for a couple weeks. His injury replacement on the left, Ben Speas played quite well. Who sits, who plays, we'll take a look at the options and have a quiz at the end.
Left Midfield - Gaven started the season on the left side against Chivas USA before an ankle sprain kept him out of games against Vancouver and San Jose. He was solid on the left before his injury.
Speas came in and played very well. He attacked with abandon and interchanged with Federico Higuain, giving the Argentine playmaker plenty of chances to attack the goal. Speas even scored the game winner against D.C. United two weeks ago.
Right Midfield - Oduro played on the right side for three games before moving to forward. He scored a breakaway goal against Chivas USA, but hasn't gotten into good positions or crossed the ball very effectively from the right side. He doesn't quite look comfortable with the game that the Crew want the wingers to play.
When Oduro moved to forward against D.C. United, Eddie Gaven came in and played an effective right midfield. He moved into the seams that the attacking triangle of Oduro, Higuain, and Speas opened up. He was a linking player to the midfield, he was generally Eddie Gaven.
Attacking Midfield - Higuain. There is only one option here. Higuain.
Forward - Jairo Arrieta has three starts before leaving for national team duty. He played his gritty hold up play, giving Higuain support while feeding the wingers. He scored a very good goal to keep the Crew in the game against Vancouver.
Oduro capably replaced him against D.C. United. His speed forced the defense to play deep and isolated Higuain one on one with Perry Kitchen. Higuain ran rampant. Oduro even had a late rocket that forced Bill Hamid to parry wide.
The Quiz - With Warzycha unlikely to change the lineup, there are four players for three spots. Now for the test, who starts. Higuain will pull the strings. Gaven is a starter on the left or right. He'll be on the right against the Union, opposite of Speas.
The big decision comes at forward. Oduro shined in his one start, but Arrieta has 10 goals in just over half a season. Arrieta would batter the back line, but Oduro would free up Higuain to terrorize the Union midfield, specifically Brian Carroll.
Arrieta edges out Oduro with his performance in the past half year. Oduro then gives the team the speed option later in the game if Warzycha needs to change the game. It may be cliche, but Arrieta's experience earns him the nod with Oduro pushing him.