Top Five Pre-Season Roster Battles #1: Right Midfield

FRISCO, TX - APRIL 8: Sanna Nyassi #23 of the Colorado Rapids and Fabian Castillo #15 of FC Dallas battle for control of the ball during the first half of a soccer game at Pizza Hut Park on April 8, 2011 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

The biggest hole left on the roster, bar none, is the position at right midfield. It's funny looking back at the end of 2011 you'd have said right midfield was the deepest position on the field with two starting caliber players in Marvin Chavez and Jackson. However, a head-scratching trade and a couple personal issues later, FC Dallas is left without a starter opposite Brek Shea on the right flank.

The consensus leader in the clubhouse for the position is 19 year old Colombian Fabian Castillo. The young midfielder showed flashes of brilliance early last season, but seemed to lose a bunch of steam after returning from the U20 World Cup and was unable to produce many moments of magic in the run up to the end of 2011.

Castillo is a guy I'm very, very high on. He was fantastic in the few games he played with David Ferreira and has the potential to be one of the league's breakout stars this season as we have to remind ourselves he won't even be able to legally drink until the summer of 2013. With that being said, I'm extremely skeptical of his ability to hold down the starting right midfield spot.

We've been down the road of the winger that is great offensively, but doesn't make a habit of tracking back on defense very often and it doesn't end well. That's not a slight on Castillo's game, it's just that I think it will take him another year to get the defensive side of the game driven into him. Fabian, for me, in 2012 is a guy that could start the season at right mid out of pure necessity, but will end up being one of those high-impact subs as the season goes on.

So where does that leave us? Read on...

I think there's a much better than zero chance you end up with Zach Loyd and Carlos Rodriguez on the right side. If they can end up forming a good understanding with one another, I think you could certainly see a scenario where they start on the right side and end up overlapping each other on a fairly regular basis. They would provide the defense that Schellas Hyndman loves while we have seen the offensive capabilities of both players.

There's two other possibilities I could see happening at right mid and one of those is a trade within the league. In Schellas Hyndman's tenure pre and post Barry Gorman, I can only think of two player for player trade(Ugo Ihemelu-Drew Moor, Saragosa-Atiba Harris) but he's certainly got some allocation money stocked up with the Marvin Chavez deal. Perhaps a trade for a guy like Atiba Harris on the cheap could be in the cards if Castillo doesn't prove he can handle the position.

There's always a dark horse in the chase and for this position, it's Andrew Wiedeman. He's been getting a ton of work in the early pre-season matches and shown well. Schellas has spoken positively about him and just an injury or two could see him being given a spot start to impress. I'm certainly rooting for the guy, he's put in the hard work and deserves a look at some point.

What are your feeling on the right midfield battle? Should Dallas look outside the team or give Castillo a shot?

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