Friday, September 14, 2007

Back to the Future: Guevara or Reyna?

As the Anti-Claudio Reyna Bandwagon picks up speed and the Amado Guevara Rehabilitation Project garners publicity, let us pose a question: Who would you rather have on the Red Bull roster for the start of the 2008 season, Guevara or Reyna?

Soccer By Ives bravely marched into the ReynaRage Arena here and again here, making several good points, as usual, but this particular query avoids the moot point of whether or not Claudio should have ever been signed (he was, get over it), and instead addresses the future of the franchise.

The Case for Claudio -- Unlike Amado, Reyna doesn't burn bridges, hasn't been unceremoniously kicked off a team or disrespected his teammates and the game by petulantly sitting in the stands after getting benched. On the field, Claudio is a defensive, holding midfielder who doesn't panic, controls the tempo of the match and provides easy passing outlets for an increasingly erratic defensive corps. As much as we admire Joe Vide's infectious enthusiasm and Seth Stammler's hearty grit, Reyna provides a crucial, if unglamorous and terribly overpaid, function for the Red Bull. On a lesser note, Claudio is also the designated lightning rod for the club. If he leaves (Chicago?) or retires (LBI?) Juan Pablo Angel or Bruce Arena better get ready for the shock of their lives.

The Case for Amado -- Unlike Reyna, Guevara isn't injury prone and actually enjoys moving the ball forward into scoring positions. With Jozy Altidore headed for Europe and Clint Mathis not getting any younger, Angel will need more than speedy, but raw, Dane Richards and the Big Easy, Dave van den Bergh supplying him the ball. Amado has a deft touch, great vision and healthy, playmaking arrogance which could feed the goal-hungry Colombian striker just what he needs. On a lesser note, after being humbled by Preki and a humiliating tour of the Hondoran League, maybe Guevara will be properly committed and motivated to resurrecting his once promising MLS career. Arena also seems open to the idea, which can't hurt.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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