It’s like having the Get Out of Jail Free Card in Monopoly.
Nay, it’s stronger than that. It’s like having the 1st pick in the NBA or NFL draft. Nope, that player is not a given.
Ah, I got it. It’s like Peyton Manning or a vintage Kurt Warner went on waivers right before your Fantasy Football playoffs and there is no cost to picking them up.
What if the USMNT could add one player….any player from the international scene right before the World Cup. Who would they add? Who would you add if you were playing Bob Bradley?
TSG took a look. Here’s are five of our suggestions:
1. Fernando Torres
The skinny: How could we not name a striker here for the USMNT? In Fernando Torres, the USMNT would arguably have the best pure striker in the game today. The selection of Torres as our first superstar we would pick up on waivers doesn’t end on that statement.
The luxury of Torres is not only that he can get goals any number of ways, it’s that he can play in any formation up top. He can come up the pitch to receive the ball to drive to the whole. He can go balls-out and slam home a header or <salivating> he can run off Donovan…wow!
Torres needs less service than probably any other striker. I just heard the collective USMNT fan base exhale, “Hooray!”
In short, he can fit in with less than 150 days to World Cup glory in anyway Bob Bradley needs him. He fits the style of the USMNT team or he can help create the new one.
Fit rating: 100 out of 100 (um, what team can’t fit Torres in)
2. The big bad “Bison” – Mr. Michael Essien
The skinny: Those of you that read TSG religiously (“We’re watching you.”) know that Chelsea’s Makelele Plus, Michael Essien, is this writer’s favorite player. We tried oh-so-hard to put Essien number one on this list, but we could not ignore the El Nino effect.
The USMNT got a taste of Essien as Ghana shut down the States to advance in World Cup 2006. This time, he’s on the Yanks’ side.
With Essien in the middle, it hardly matters who he is paired with. Imagine Benny freelancing off Essien’s cover. Pairing Mike Bradley would work as well as MB could show his offensive wares up the pitch..
With Essien as destroyer, locking down on errant wingers and strikers and then turning the table to manage possession, the USMNT could afford to take more offensive chances, in turn putting more pressure on their group stage opponents.
Fit rating: 98 (Essien’s counterpart would need to learn real quickly how to be more offensive on the pitch without cluttering another offender’s space. Wait a second…what if the USMNT get Jermaine Jones as well. Two d-backs, still Benny up top, Donovan and Demps to the wings…and Jozy up top….problems solved.)
This clip doesn’t even represent his main skill set!