WARNING: The below includes action from tonight's KC/Crew match. If you have NOT watched the game and want to remain in the dark, avert your eyes from the screen. --------------------------------------------- With the 2 week layoff (MLS action) from tonight's KC match until the 8/31 tilt vs New England, and with 4 games left in the season, I thought it would be a good idea to take an overall view of the team and the remaining road ahead. Current Crew Roster (with all recent signings) ------------------- GK - Busch, Presthus DEF - McCarty, Dunseth, Clark, Torres, Leitch MID - Denton, Garcia, Harkes, Maze, Martino, Matteo, Oughton, Warzycha, Perez FWD - Buddle, McBride, Cunningham, Washington With 4 games remaining (Home vs Revs and Fire, Away at Quakes and Fire), how should Andrulis play his hand? Considering the following items for thought: Jon Busch He SHOULD play out the string. He's only 6-1-1 as the starter since he took over. Tom Presthus, in his only start since his initial exile to the bench, again displayed his inability to play crossed balls in the air. Then again, Busch is NOT a playoff tested keeper, and Presthus is the veteran. During the 2 week layoff, does Andrulis TRY to get Tom back on track somehow? Maybe giving him the start in the upcoming Riverhawks exhibition? Defense What is the ideal lineup in the back? The Crew's obvious weakness lies in the back, and even thought the Crew took it to the Wiz 4-0, the Wiz were largely not a threat until the game was practically over. While Busch organizes the defense well, it is still an area of concern. Leitch has taken the right back position pretty much, although tonight he gave away some really bad balls. In the middle of the defense, should it be Clark and Dunseth? I think McCarty is too much of a hack who can give away bad free kicks near (or in!!!) the box. And then there is Torres. At times he plays very well, at times he's a complete headcase (case in point: that stupid yellow card he got in the 80somethingesque minute with the Crew up 4 goals, for not giving a harmless free kick 10 yards. Are there any options besides what I have stated? Midfield Obviously, we all want to see Freddie Garcia in the mix. With the 2 week layoff, can Andrulis find a way to get Garcia match fit and ready to play in the starting 11? We have all seen what he can do with little prep time with the team. HOpefully in the Riverhawks exhibition, he gets a full 90 minutes. If Garcia does get the starting left midfielder gig, and with only 4 midfielder spots available, who sees the bench? Martino has earned the attacking midfielder gig in my opinion, and Oughton has played well enough as a disruptive defensive midfielder. West is the obvious choice at right wing. Does Maze go to the bench? Maze has shown good form, although not as good as last year (he obviously misses the freedom of playing with Harkes in a 3-5-2). Perez played pretty well tonight, and there is no room for him. Matteo, Denton, and Warzycha obviously are not in the mix, although Denton can fill in the back, especially if Torres continues to mentally break down on the field. Any thoughts here? Forwards Obviously, the embarrasingly deep position for the Crew. McBride has scored 5 goals since World Cup play, and he has shown he can start for pretty much any team in MLS. Cunningham, despite his detractors, shows game after game he is a disruptive influence and a terror to any defense (2 goals, 1 assist tonight, 5th in league in points/game). Then you have Buddle. While McBride has been out due to an ankle injury, Buddle has stepped forward and shown that his scoring and good play from the recent U-23 team run in England was NO fluke. Someone undeservng sits. Who should it be? Personally, I want to see McBride and Cunningham, as they have played together for quite some time, and their steller interplay last year was an intregal part to the Crew's good run last year before McBride went down for the year. That's all the thought I have on this. I'm hoping that Andrulis keeps the attacking style in place over the last 4 games, as it's very apparent the Crew's strength is their attack, not their defense.