This past Sunday’s game presented a difficult but probably a good question for FC Dallas fans. How in the world do you handle midfielder Roland Lamah?
Many of us on staff here at Big D Soccer expected Lamah’s minutes this season to decrease with the signing of Santiago Mosquera. Early on it seemed as if Lamah was going to be pushed to the back burner on the bench as a role player for Oscar Pareja in 2018 but his two goal and one assist effort against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday proved otherwise.
So now we ask, is Lamah in your starting lineup moving forward? Our staff debates that here.
Jeff Loftin - Sure
For week three’s matchup against the Timbers - sure Lamah is our starter. He played well and scored when he had the opportunity. If we are talking about August or September then I sure hope he’s not our starter. Lamah had a good game and contributed to the team’s overall performance in a professional outing against the Sounders. I think most of us enjoyed watching the team have possession (in good weather at that) and score more than one goal. That said, I think Lamah is going to be phased out sooner rather than later unless he continues to have statistical performances like this one. His overall play was fine, scoring goals is always welcome but the big question he will have to answer is this - Is Roland Lamah better for the team than someone else on the left wing? I hope that Mosquera is our starter by the summer and Lamah is a useful player when he gets opportunities. For the time being I see Lamah starting and likely coming off after 65 or so minutes, unless he just goes on an awful streak...which would not be surprising. Whatever happens, I do not care who starts as long as the team plays well and wins games.
Ryan Scanlon - Absolutely
Pareja is known to play players while theyre in form despite who’s waiting in the wings behind them. Roland Lamah now has a legitimate threat to his role behind him and is in a contract year. Thankfully he’s making the most of the chance Pareja is giving him here recently. Granted i think we all want to see Mosquera play, but I think picking up wins like this one without relying on our shiny new toy is exactly the confidence booster we needed at this point in the season. I mean, 2 goals and an assist, who benches that immediately?
Ben Lyon - No way
Ha- just kidding. As the staff Lamah homer, I never hesitate to remind everyone that Lamah’s 11 goals last season are tied for the 2nd highest season output for a player in the Papi era. This was despite playing most of the year without Diaz pulling the strings, little danger coming forward from the left back position, and also the fact that goal scoring hadn’t necessarily been his calling card in Europe. With a year under his belt, Diaz, Nedalkov, and the fact he’s playing for his next contract, he’ll be hyper motivated and set up for success in the 4-2-3-1. With Portland’s defense a mess as they break in a new system and a new coach, you absolutely stick with the hot dice this week.
El Chico Carmona - Absolutely
Given his performance, you absolutely have to roll with the hot hand. I’m a huge Mosquera fan, and truly believe he is one of the missing pieces to the puzzle, but Lamah has earned next weeks start. Lamah has 99 flaws, but finishing aint one! Lamah does the simple things that result in goals, and it is shocking just how hard it has been for fellow attackers to do just that. Here are other attackers, and what they did with a simple scoring opportunity:
My biggest problem with Lamah, is that he doesn’t do this every time he’s on the field. Last season he disappeared for weeks at a time, but last season he had nobody really challenging him for his starting spot. This season, Mosquera and Lamah will be battling it out for the left wing spot, and if it means Lamah disappears less often, then FCD will be hard to stop this season.
Jared Tilley - Sure, only when Mauro is there too though
As everyone has mentioned above, Lamah can be a goal scoring machine. Also, as everyone mentioned above, he disappeared for long stretches of last season too. For me, Lamah is a goal scoring poacher being played out wide, which can be a bit of an issue. If he isn’t able to get close to the six yard box, then he’s pretty ineffective. A healthy Mauro Diaz allows him that freedom much closer to goal. When Mauro is on his game, he is able to free everyone else around him on the field.
Go back and watch the goals being scored from the 14, 15 and 16 seasons. A lot of them were the second guy in the box. Back then, a lot of times it was Blas making the initial runs and someone would follow in behind him and get the goals. Lamah seems capable of doing that. The reason he is able to be successful at it is because Mauro is able to find him. If he doesn’t have anyone slipping him into open space, then it’s not going to work. So, as long as Mauro is able to continue to play at this level, then Lamah should be able to get free runs in on goal.
There’s nothing saying Mosquera can’t do this either, so it’s not necessarily a Lamah or nothing situation. Also, Seattle was bad on Sunday, add on top of that, they played down a man for about an hour. So, it seems kind of early to declare that Lamah has won the spot. For now, maybe, but for how long? Again, nothing Lamah does is anything spectacular. I figure Mosquera can do everything Lamah can do, but can Lamah do everything Mosquera can? In theory no, but we haven’t seen it on the field yet with FCD.
Nathan Hill - Rotate Every 6000 to 8000 Miles
Like maintaining an even wear on your tires, FC Dallas is equipped with a decently deep roster that deserves to be rotated regularly. Roland Lamah showed once again that he is a useful piece on this roster. Against certain teams that might be struggling offensively or where his skills fit, he deserves the start. Against other situations, let Pareja slot in the right fit. They all deserve minutes. But if Roland can keep putting them away, keep starting him.