Quaranta and Adu and...

Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by ursula, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    As it stands right now the performance of these two will go far in determining the success of the team for next year. While they aren't slated to start at any position, if you look at depth charts one can see that they are being counted on:

    - They are the first two subs behind Moreno and Eskandarian at forward.

    - The first sub behind Gomez at a-mid is Adu.

    - The first sub at winger is Quaranta, maybe followed by Adu. (Hard to tell here as the team hasn't needed to go that far into their depth for the last couple of months.) I can imagine Quaranta making a hard push to be a starter on the wing.

    If this remains the case then these two will get lots of playing time (practically every game for at least 1500 minutes next season) and start lots of games. I'm okay about this as 1) they have the proven talent, and 2) I think Q1 will stay healthy as players stay healthier when they feel comfortable in their situations, and Q1 is comfortable now with Nowak.

    I realize that last statement doesn't go down so well with some here, and that's why the title has the "and..." in it. If these two are set up to be core members next year, what happens if either they go down or too many of the other starters go down? Are Quintanilla, Thompson, and Nana enough? Are they good enough to get extensive playing minutes? Should DCU be looking elsewhere?

    The team's first priority should be patching the defense and IMO that's where most of the money should go this off-season. But somehow the end of the bench on offense needs added depth too and it's not clear on how we fill it up. DCU has so few draft picks that if, as I can imagine, the 2nd rounder goes for defensive depth, then the team can't find much help there.

    So I ask you, what to do?
  2. sch2383

    sch2383 New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I think that there will be one hell of a battle in the preseason between Q1 and Gros to take Stewart's position. Q1 has more talent, Gros has more heart it will be a fun battle to watch. Payne has said that Tino is working out with Moreno and Eddie Mason this offseason, so he could be in line for one hell of a season if healthy. As for Adu, I think he will seriously push Gomez for that a-mid spot and if Christian comes into camp out of shape, he could lose his starting spot.

    As for depth, we do have at least one allocation and I do think that there will be a trade made for draft picks...maybe Prideaux or our other allocation that we will recieve for Nellie.
  3. elconejito

    elconejito Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Where Homer Lives
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There are alot of variables to be hammered out before the SuperDraft. On the off-chance that nellie stays (unlikely, i know, but possible) that will change things in that we have one less need to fill, but also will be short an allocation (if we get one anyway...). Also if gomez leaves, that opens another hole, or if his staying requires an allocation or something, then that leaves us with one less roster-filling-option.

    In the case of Adu, one can assume/hope that he will stay healthy and can maintain/improve upon his play and stats from this year. I dont think it unreasonable to expect better performances altho not necessarily better numbers next year as he will likely be behind Gomez (if he returns). If gomez leaves, then adu is suddenly thrust into the starting central AM role. a lot of responsibility and pressure that he may or may not be ready for. It also makes us suddenly thin in that spot as it takes away one person who could conceievably play the wing or FW as well.

    Tino is a different animal since their is a big question mark in regards to health (altho i think he'll be fine) and production. Will he be properly motivated next season? Will he stay healthy? At this point, I dont think you can *depend* on him due to the track record. He will also be backing up another player who historically spends alot of time in the training room in Jaime Moreno. I was amazed (happily) that Jaime made it thru the whole season without major fuss. I think he missed maybe 2 games due to a hamstring, but that was about it. I dont think we'll be so lucky next year.

    The bottom line is that while our young guys were subs (adu, gros, q1, q2, nana, thompson, ara, stokes) we were deeper as a team and more effective with many options off the bench. I have full confidence in freddy and to a lesser extent Tino in starting and becoming reliable and dependable and productive players, but if some of these guys become starters, which at this point seems like it will only be gros, then our depth starts to get stretched as the only people behind them are even younger and more inexperienced.

    i dont think we are in a good position to fill out our roster next year. we only have 2 draft picks, and i hate trading *next years* draft picks for picks this year. Likely we will have a bunch of undrafted guys thru here and maybe a discovery or two, but without making a trade, i think we're going to be hurting.

    As far as what to do, at this point its hard to say until the league figures out what its going to do with our allocations or lack thereof. Maybe there is some date out there floating around by which the league has to announce these things, im not sure. i would guess that we net one allocation after losing nellie and earnie and give up something to keep gomez. we can bring in 1 person with that or (my pref) trade for some more picks/players and use discoveries on some carribean talent to fill in on defense.
  4. Lanky134

    Lanky134 New Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    134, 3, 6
    A lot of it is going to depend on how much more Nowak is willing to take of Dema's lack of discipline. I take it he's suspended for the opening game? That will give Quaranta a chance to claim the starting spot for his own.
  5. Lanky134

    Lanky134 New Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    134, 3, 6
    I don't see Prideaux going. We're losing two defenders, so we need one more just to keep Stokes on the bench.
  6. GoDC

    GoDC Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Hamilton, VA
    I see Tino if healthy starting on the right wing. Dema played on the wing but he is not great out there. He may be traded, who knows. Gros on the left wing and Freddy will be the starter behind the forwards if Gomez does not coem back.
  7. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Slating Adu and Quaranta to be subs next year is folly, as both players are more talented than the guys that they were "behind" this year. With a year of seasoning under his belt, I should believe that Gros and/or Dema will be able to continue to fend Adu off on the left side? Assuming a healthy Quaranta next year (big assumption if you look at his track record), we should believe that Dema/Gros will keep him on the bench on the right side? Pleeezzzeeee! For as much flak as Q1 gets, he is so much more skilled than those 2 players that it really isn't worth the effort of discussing. If these 2 guys come into camp healthy, motivated and in shape, they will end up starting because they are the clearly superior talents. Again, that is the big "if".
  8. Th4119

    Th4119 Member

    Jul 26, 2001
    Annandale, VA
    I think Nana will get a bigger role next year.

    His killer speed could prove effective late in matches.
  9. DeKo21DCU

    DeKo21DCU New Member

    Aug 11, 2003
    yes, he is suspended for the first game next year.
  10. scarshins

    scarshins Member

    Jun 13, 2000
    I see Kovalenko on the right and Adu on the left starting next season. Gros and Quaranta also can play there...but the odd thing is not one of these players was originally a wing midfielder. We could use a speedy right midfielder in the draft, just in case.
  11. sch2383

    sch2383 New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I don't think he is being shopped, but he is probably the only defender we have that would be traded.
  12. kravi

    kravi Member

    May 3, 2004
    Section 134
    I don't know. I don't see Adu starting as a wing player. I see him being kept, on purpose, as a sub for either Eskie, Moreno, or Gomez. His strength seems to be central midfield, and he's not bad at forward, but he has no experience as a wingman.

    Our midfield should be solid. We'll miss Ernie, but we have a full roster with Freddie, Q2, and nana as backups.

  13. TEConnor

    TEConnor New Member

    Feb 22, 1999
    The wild card is Quintanilla.

  14. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia

    Yes...he could be either a very important player or be traded for some other needed position.
  15. Arisrules

    Arisrules Member

    Feb 19, 2000
    Washington, DC
    I don't think you guys should forget the importance of a Dema to your midfield. He is in many ways a very versatile player, who can be very effective, as long as he doesn't make what I like to call "brain farts".

    Also, where does he line up? I know he was on the left because of Stewart, but he is a natural righty correct? Does that mean he shifts over to the right, and Gros/Adu battle for that spot. His main competition it seems will come from Quaranta, who I feel is more of a midfielder than a forward (I really hope this kid comes through, he's been through so much).

    It's weird. The past couple of years, DC couldn't decide who to start on the backline, while the forwards were all very poor. The exact opposite, it seems is true. There are a lot of offensive players who have come into their own, while the defense seems sparse without EZ and Nelsen back there.
  16. elconejito

    elconejito Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Where Homer Lives
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    not sure about dema here. even tho gros played most of the year at left wing when earnie was there, he got moved to the right and dema stepped into left mid when earnie got hurt. i would guess there was a "tactical" reason for the shift - he was in front of namoff instead of petke - but i dont see how that would change next year. so the way i see it, right now, dema starts at left-mid and gros on the right.

    he is probably the most versatile of our midfielders tho....
  17. voyager

    voyager Member

    Jun 10, 2004
    Frederick, MD
    DC United
    Personally, I wouldn't mind if somehow we were able to get rid of Dema. He is a very good utility guy and can contribute on both sides of the ball. I just don't like his attitude.

    OK, so assuming we keep Dema, and all the young guys develop at a similar rate, and Gomez comes back I would expect the opening day lineup to look like this (also assuming everybody is healthy):

    Moreno and Esky up top, without a doubt. Gomez in the attacking mid position. Gros and Q1 on the wings (since Dema is out. But the starting spot is his to lose). Olsen and Carroll at the D-mid/do everything else spots. Petke, Namoff and Prideaux on D. Rimando in goal. That list is based on the players we have right now and with Nelson most likely across the pond. I think that, at least in the first 3rd of the season, Adu and Q1 will most likely be coming off the bench. While the could be starters, that is a great pair to have waiting in the wings as subs. Talk about striking some fear into opposing defenses.

    This is making my head hurt. Must take Excedrin.
  18. doctorjim

    doctorjim New Member

    Jul 22, 2002
    The deciding factor could well be a player's willingness and ability to play defense. Nowak's approach demands that nearly everyone plays defense, even the forwards. Even if DC drastically upgrades its back three over the off-season, I think that a willingness to play defense will be required of all starters.

    Gomez' defensive abilities seemed limited this past year. It could have been lack of fitness, but I suspect that he is not used to a system in which everyone is expected to play consistent defense. Moreno's defense was better this year than in past years but his abilities are limited as well. If Gomez and Moreno start, more defensive burden will fall on the other mid-fielders and forwards. And therein lies the challenge for both Adu and Quaranta. Gros and Dema are probably more effective defenders at this stage. Neither are world-beaters, but they more consistent, more physical, more savy defensively at this point in their careers than either Tino or Freddy. If Tino and Freddy want to start, they will have to demonstrate consistent and effective defensive effort.

    If Gomez returns, I believe that Nowak will want to start him. Likewise Moreno. I think that Freddy can play wing midfielder effectively -- he played there during the past season -- but I suspect that having Freddy, Moreno, and Gomez on the field at the same time will not appeal to Nowak, because, based on performances to date, they don't collectively add enough to the defensive side of things. Since Quaranta is so much bigger than Freddy, he has the potential to play better defense. I don't recall that he has ever been called upon to play defense regularly, but he seems to have the physical tools.

    Personally I would hate to see Freddy on the bench next season, but, unless Gomez doesn't return and DC doesn't replace him with another experienced offensive midfielder, I think that Nowak will have Freddy coming off the bench.
  19. RMDad

    RMDad New Member

    Nov 15, 2001
    Fredericksburg, Va.
    At this point, so much awaits Q1's fitness outcome, it's hard to project.

    I have a real problem seeing Stokes as anything but trade fodder at this point.
    Prideux isnt THAT bad in my opinion, but unless he has a devine intervention, cant possibly step up to Ryan's level.
    It's gonna be a long, interesting couple of months ahead.

  20. jmsdoc

    jmsdoc Member

    Jun 25, 2000
    The Valley
    These things shall be known unto you...

    1. Stokes can not take the field at anytime!

    2. Mr. Adu will be on the field at the opening whistle!

    3. It is folly to pencil in Q1 anywhere unless or until he can prove that he can stay healthy for more than 3 games!

    Thus ends the reading of the word. :eek:
  21. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Ursula, I'm less worried about overall depth. Here's why. We'll have expanded rosters. And if there is anything that's clear about Peter Nowak, it's that his team will play a system and everyone will be clear on their role and how they fit into the system. So I think we'll actually have good depth. I think we'll have a lot of bodies who work hard and play their particular role. They may not be stars. But they'll fall into the category of maybe a Prideaux with less experience--a player with holes in his game but has a defined set of expectations, works hard, and is a piece of a larger whole.

    What you might be getting at here is not so much depth but "difference makers". What happens if Moreno's body breaks down again? He's a difference maker. Good teams have a couple of these players and you can't afford to lose many of them.

    Additionally, I take it for granted that there will be more turnover on this roster. For a variety of reasons. People go to Europe. A gift falls into our laps. Other teams cut players loose. Injuries happen from out of nowhere and suddenly we're scrambling for a player at a position we thought we had handled. All of that means that I'll be shocked if our top 14 players at the start of 2005 include all 12 of the guys we protected in the expansion draft.

    I wish we had more tools to add players. But Nowak and Co. have shown the ability to find diamonds in the rough (Gros for example) and get the best out of young players. If there is a criticism, it may be that they're so picky, they're willing to let holes in the roster stand for a very long time in order to find someone who's "just right." But it's real hard to criticize Nowak and Kasper and Payne on the personnel decisions they made in 2004. I'm confident they'll find some ways to identify and add more talent to the team.

    My concern is less about depth. It's how difficult it is for a champion to repeat--b/c people get swelled heads, b/c the chemistry changes, b/c people don't work as hard. For instance, Jaime Moreno trained in the 2003-2004 off-season like he'd never trained before in his life--he had an amazing personal regime. Now that he's a near-MVP and champion, does he duplicate that feat or backslide? Gros ran all year like his life depended on it, like he'd attended Marine OCS or something. A year later, will he still have the same work rate? Will Eskandarian read too many of his press clippings? Will Namoff become disgruntled over his pay given his performance level? Will Petke get a step slower (partly with age and partially without Nelsen there to anticipate and call out attacks)?

    Read the 2003 San Jose Boards and they were all about "re-loading" and how they were making no major changes, just gunning for their next championship in 2004. Ditto for LA in the 2002-3 off-season, all that cocky talk about how as champions they were adding Hong and would only get better (the LA example is weaker b/c their central midfielders aged and the team had not antidote for that sickness). I think Nowak will fight this. And I think Adu's eagerness to start and make more of his career will help avoid this too. But our far bigger concern shouldn't be depth, it should be: will regain/rebuild and restore the chemistry this team had in 2004? And that's less about talent (which matters some) and more about willing to work even harder in 2005 (b/c other teams will play us harder).

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