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Examining The Situation at Left Back

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What would you do if Jair Benitez was stretchered off the field?


Imagine this scene:

It's Saturday evening and Jair Bentiez goes down on the field. He's holding his hamstring, the result of trying to outrun someone who has managed to slip in behind him. It doesn't look like he'll be able to come back, so a substitute starts warming up.

Jair Benitez is like your air conditioning system: always working hard, humming along in the background and not crucial to survival... but if it breaks everyone starts to freak out.

Who comes on to cover for the stalwart defender? Currently Schellas has a few options, and none of them are ideal.

Hyndman can move Michel to LB, a swap which will strengthen that position. Michel impressed many fans during his time at Benitez' spot, and putting him there eases any concerns over the quality covering the flank. He's strong, skilled, and smart enough to handle most of what the Galaxy or any other team can throw at him.

Someone then has to take Michel's place next to Andrew Jacobson, and that's where the situation gets a bit uneasy. Who slots into that DM spot? Je-Vaughn Watson has not inspired a great deal of confidence so far, and Bobby Warshaw is still raw as well. Since Hyndman has a penchant for trusting veterans, my guess would be Watson would be called upon.

It is possible that Good Watson will take the field and put in the type of performance that at times impressed Dominic Kinnear. If Bad Watson laces up however, it could be a nightmare scenario. You would see on Saturday, Juninho, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane all running around with only Jacobson reliably keeping them in check. Watson's predilection for untimely turnovers in awful spots would be exploited mercilessly. The middle of the park, normally a strength with Michel and Jacobson paired up, would suffer greatly in order to cover up the gaping chasm at left flank.

If you keep Michel paired with Jacobson, there is currently one only player who naturally plays LB, and that's London Woodberry. *

Trial by fire is a tough love way to get a player acquianted with the league, but after a solid show against Toronto it wouldn't be surprising to see Woodberry get the call. His heightened adrenaline will help his fitness levels and awareness, but it does nothing for any potential nerves or the poor decisions rookies can make from a lack of experience.

Either way, the idea of Jair going down with an injury should make us all a bit uneasy. Unless, of course, Woodberry is just waiting in the wings to go full-on Matt Hedges on us.

There are many combinations possible, so what would you do if Jair went down and why?

*Moises Hernandez might figure into these discussions if he ever returns permanently to the team.