In many respects, teams in Major League Soccer have a distinct way of playing; think of it like teams in the German Bundesliga, who all play in a similar fashion. The difference here in MLS is that, in theory, multiple teams have a solid chance of winning the league crown when league play is all said and done. The same can’t be said for Germany.
That distinct way here in the States is the all-too-common 4-2-3-1 formation. It’s a formation which encourages attacking play by throwing the outside — right and left — backs high into the final third, providing overlapping runs. You can also have your Nos. 6 and 8 — the defensive midfielders — help support the attacking midfielders, and even crash the net to poach a goal off the rebound.
And it’s one where you need fleet-footed center backs: if your Nos. 3 and 4 are not fast, all it takes is one clearing long ball over the top to a striker with blinding pace, and it’s 1-v-1 in on the goalkeeper.
While it’s a system that many teams utilize — the Revs did so last year, and have gone with variations of the 4-4-2 since adding Carles Gil in late January — not many have bonafide game changers like DC United, New England’s opponent this weekend, have on its roster that can make defenses tremble.
We all know who that game changer is, and there’s only one Wayne Mark Rooney.
Will he play on the plastic pasture of Gillette Stadium Saturday night? A good question.
The safe bet, of course, is a no: we all know how stars from Europe