There's something that I was thinking about while watching the DCU game that I hadn't thought about before: For the first time since last year I looked at our offense and thought "Man, I just don't think we can score."
That's rare. Last year I had faith in our attacking lineup. I thought that Rodriguez had good positioning, that Shea had a great first touch and poise on the ball and that Ferreira and McCarty could combine to give nightmares to any defensive unit. It goes without saying that all of that is moot so far. Ferreira and McCarty are out, Shea has played little time at left mid (a damn crime) and Rodriguez has been almost invisible.
Avi, Ferreira's replacement, was as invisible as Rodriguez in that DC game. It might be the lack of help from Jacobson who is amazing as a defensive mid or holding mid, but he isn't much for threading passes together and splitting centerbacks like McCarty was. Avila's productivity seems to be hurt most by his lack of challenging defenders. Avila just doesn't seem comfortable going one on one with defenders and attempting to break them down into making mistakes. He makes great runs with the ball into the box, especially if it's a finesse thing, but he's small, not very fast, and lacking in physical toughness. He gets knocked off the ball fairly easily and that's what's hurting him more than anything, and that was a big hallmark of El Torito's productive run with us. You just couldn't knock Ferreira off the damn ball.
I have hopes for Castillo being up top with Shea and Chavez as flank support. The outside presence of those two combined with his penetrating dribbles and runs gives me great hope, but until our lineup solidifies we're hurting.
I'll end this with the thought that perhaps the thing that has hurt us the most is our lack of consistency in the lineup. I don't like the idea of MIlton starting anymore because of how little energy he brings to the table. He's positionally very sound and is a great finisher (usually) but he's slower and doesn't seem to want to cut through defenders either, much like Avi. That's where Shea, Castillo and Marvin excel, and that's where Avi and MIlton are hurting.
(it occured to me this post is all over the place, but I wrote it on my break and had 15 minutes to do so so bear with me)