Maximiliano Urruti did his best last season, that’s why we all love him. He just never—stops—running. Maxi chases the ball like Air Bud playing Total Football. No one can say he ever held anything back, or didn’t buy into the system. Although he was often frustrating to watch, he truly embodies a perfect professional.
But with the transfer of Cristian Colman, and Oscar Pareja’s preferred formation (4-2-3-1) only featuring one forward, it appears Urruti is destined to spend much more of this season on the bench. He has a home in the 4-4-2, but let’s look at ways that Pareja could break him into the XI after Diaz returns, even if he isn’t starting.
It’s the 70th minute of 1-1 game and the forth official holds up a sign. The number 37 is illuminated in green lights, and 9 in red. Urruti on for Colman. Urruti comes on and presses with the intensity that he is known for. The opponents no longer have the luxury of dwelling on the ball in their own half. They must pick their pass and pick it well, or else Urruti will dispossess them. His presence motivates Michael Barrios (who already doesn’t need much motivation) and gives Roland Lamah a taste of what the club is all about.
This isn’t FC Dallas fan-fiction, but instead a scene I predict to see many times this season. Maxi’s ability to disrupt the other team’s backline and fire up the whole team makes him the perfect super sub. Urruti’s presence can turn a game from a tied snooze fest into a Dallas onslaught as they desperately scratch for that winning goal.
Urruti may not have the technical ability to be a true winger, but he can, as Barrios often does, play as a sort of inside forward, making runs from wide positions into the box. His speed certainly allows for it. Employing him in this fashion would allow him to run behind the backline from an even deeper position. Given that Urruti times his run right, there’s not a player in the MLS that could catch him. Coming from a deeper position not only gives him more momentum, but it makes him harder for the backline to pick up and mark. It could also give Dallas some tactical flexibility, allowing him to quickly transition from a winger when the fullback doesn’t need support, to a second striker.
Given Pareja’s love of teaching players new positions, it makes too much sense for Urruti to not be occasionally played out wide. Tesho Akindele moved from striker to winger, Urruti is capable of doing the same.
Urruti won’t feature in the first team as much, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. He is a versatile player who can offer more than just goals to the team. The addition of Colman will see Urruti’s role changed in 2017, but Urruti can still contribute whether it’s as a super sub, or a winger.
How would you like to see Urruti used this season? Let us know below.